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  1. #1
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Default To MBA or Not to MBA?

    I just wanted some advice as to whether or not I should pursue an MBA to further my nascent film producer/studio executive career. Cal State-Dominguez has a program in which you can get your MBA in any number of concentrations completely online in 18-24 months. Would this be a good idea in my late-20s? I will be working full-time, but I will have established residency in California by then, and it would be something like $400 per credit (and I'd need 30-33, I think). So, it would be approximately $15,000. Since it's an accredited university and not a University of Phoenix-type thing, I could simply put, for instance:

    "B.A. - Temple University
    Film and Media Arts major, Business Studies minor

    MBA - California State-Dominguez Hills
    Management concentration"

    Do you think that A) it would be worth it in future remuneration and job opportunities; and B) would I be able to work 40-50 hours a week with lots of script reading at home AND be taking 2-3 online college classes at any given time? Will I have no social life? Who here has an MBA? Has anyone taken college courses online, or is anyone taking them currently? Anyone in the entertainment industry have any insights? Thanks in advance.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  2. #2
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Hey PM, I beat you to it. Gosh you're lucky to be on an online forum and reap the benes of other people's labor.

    I was researching mba's and attended mba fairs and panels (including with Power Gays! From Hah-vahd and the likes). And spoken to a few admissions people as well as folks 'in the industry'.

    The only credible mba program for producers that I know of is the Star(c?)k program at UCLA and that's very specialized and for people who have already been working on films basically. Maybe you'd be a good fit for it. From my very limited knowledge of it, it seems like a program to groom A-types and ambitious film/aspiring insider types.

    I went to Tisch and spoke to the admissions person who front desks the nascent joint MBA/MFA Produers program. You have to apply to both Stern and Tisch separately and be accepted at each. That's the program I was looking at. She said mostly more experienced folks who were already working in film and had 'hit the ceiling' were applying.

    One of my film instructors HATES Tisch and told me an MBA is a waste of time for film. He said it's better to get an MBA for finance and do finance or else just move to LA to work on sets and work your way up, but an MBA for film was too specific and not helpful.

    The admissions person from USC Marshall had a certificate in film from USC and had worked in film production. She said an MBA from their school (or probably 98% of MBAs) did not qualify you to work on the production side, but perhaps you could work in accounting or finance for a studio.

    I think it's UCLA (or USC? Ha, I know I'm pissing off alums from both schools) MBA program let's you take classes from the film school and there is a club for people who want to go into entertainment.

    But basically, it still boils down to foot work you do yourself to get placed in an 'entertainment' field and the MBA itself doesn't do a whole lot for you. Probably opens less doors for you in film than a BA or AA in film does.

    That's the gist I've gotten.

    Also, even though online degrees are getting more commonplace, and I know at least 2 people who got MBAs online at my previous job, I'm not sure how much the online thing would impact your crediblity? Then again, I know someone who got their JD online and then started working for their senator, so what do I know?

    I'm still looking at the NYU program with a look-and-see attitude. This will be only it's 2nd incoming class.

    BTW, now that I've shared this info with you, DO NOT compete with me in the same application year! Raaaawr!

    So yes, I'm there will you peering into academia.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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  3. #3
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Hey PM, I beat you to it. Gosh you're lucky to be on an online forum and reap the benes of other people's labor.

    I was researching mba's and attended mba fairs and panels (including with Power Gays! From Hah-vahd and the likes). And spoken to a few admissions people as well as folks 'in the industry'.

    The only credible mba program for producers that I know of is the Star(c?)k program at UCLA and that's very specialized and for people who have already been working on films basically. Maybe you'd be a good fit for it. From my very limited knowledge of it, it seems like a program to groom A-types and ambitious film/aspiring insider types.

    I went to Tisch and spoke to the admissions person who front desks the nascent joint MBA/MFA Produers program. You have to apply to both Stern and Tisch separately and be accepted at each. That's the program I was looking at. She said mostly more experienced folks who were already working in film and had 'hit the ceiling' were applying.

    One of my film instructors HATES Tisch and told me an MBA is a waste of time for film. He said it's better to get an MBA for finance and do finance or else just move to LA to work on sets and work your way up, but an MBA for film was too specific and not helpful.

    The admissions person from USC Marshall had a certificate in film from USC and had worked in film production. She said an MBA from their school (or probably 98% of MBAs) did not qualify you to work on the production side, but perhaps you could work in accounting or finance for a studio.

    I think it's UCLA (or USC? Ha, I know I'm pissing off alums from both schools) MBA program let's you take classes from the film school and there is a club for people who want to go into entertainment.

    But basically, it still boils down to foot work you do yourself to get placed in an 'entertainment' field and the MBA itself doesn't do a whole lot for you. Probably opens less doors for you in film than a BA or AA in film does.

    That's the gist I've gotten.

    I'm still looking at the NYU program with a look-and-see attitude. This will be only it's 2nd incoming class.

    BTW, now that I've shared this info with you, DO NOT compete with me in the same application year! Raaaawr!

    So yes, I'm there will you peering into academia.
    Oh, I KNOW I will neither the time nor the money to get an MFA in Film Producing. The Ray Stark Program is exceedingly expensive and hard to get into. So do you think that a Management or International Business MBA would be worth if I wanted to make VP at a studio later on? I may want to jump from indepedent producing to a studio suit job (and maybe back again, when I am older and don't feel like wearing a suit and pulling 60-hour weeks all the time and have some money in my pocket).
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  4. #4
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Guess it depends on how an MBA is viewed within your career field.

    You might appear overqualified. Overcredentialed without physical experience can be a blackball to many employers; they may think you're simply an academic without a sense of practical merit. Or worse, a money-hungry know-it-all.

    My best advice would be to pay attention to your peers. Look to those in power above you. Find out the general reputation of a mid-20s MBA. Graft from there.

    You might wind up slinging yourself into a side-field where technical expertise is favored at the expense of creative leisure, ala screen editor; managerial waitstaff; human resources potpourri or the like.

    Best of luck in either direction. The MBA is hard work. Brush up on Excel.

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