Alessandra Kroeff, MBA '16

Mar 21 2016

New Opportunities in Unconventional Industries

Alessandra Kroeff, MBA '16

As you consider securing an MBA and wonder about your post-degree career, did you ever think working in a movie studio lot was a possibility? Or, in an office where everyone’s signature contains their online gaming alias? Johnson’s Media, Entertainment & Sports Club (ME&S) held its annual trek to LA in January, where students confirmed that an MBA degree can help you get into the most unconventional industries, as long as you have the passion to pursue it.

Domestic and international treks are an important experience in an MBA program, and for members of ME&S, it is crucial to make up for the physical distance between Cornell and their dream work location. When you come to LA, meet recruiters and establish connections, it plays a pivotal role in increasing your chances of getting an internship in such competitive and desirable industries.

We visited Paramount, Disney, Warner Bros., Hulu, and Riot Games. We had three busy days to see all companies, meet recruiters, catch-up with alumni, and make time to enjoy a bit of what LA has to offer.

Paramount Lot Visit

Some visits are coordinated by Club officers, through alumni outreach, but the majority is part of an established MBA-Day calendar. Each year, visits are scheduled by studios during the first week of January in order to attract MBA students interested in the industry. Most MBA-Day visits include a presentation, panel, and opportunity for networking.

Dinner with Cornell in Hollywood

On our second day, we experienced the strength of the Cornell network! We were invited to a dinner and networking event by Cornell in Hollywood, an alumni club that supports students interested in working in Hollywood. We learned about their summer program, which includes weekly education sessions with well-established alumni and visits to all major studios. We had a great time and felt even more energized to follow our passion.

Disney office - Star Wars!

Although I may be biased, I think it’s fascinating to be able to mix my MBA education (something often perceived as “corporate”) with a dynamic and creative industry. Corporate employees in the big studios we visited work inside the studio lots, side-by-side with movie production groups. This means you get to see movies in production and all the fun stuff that goes on behind it from the comfort of the office seat.

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