Bo Stump, Carolina Nucamendi, Kelsey Odom and Michael Tabb
There’s something about Los Angeles. When you land at LAX airport at night, you see all the city lights – and if you’ve been there a few times, you can spot the downtown skyline at a distance. There’s this crazy energy to L. – it’s really hard to describe. The city has a bit of a bad reputation, but the truth is that there are so many sides to LA. It is a city that just lets you be. It lets you dream in a way that no other city can.
Bo Stump (MBA ’17) and I lived in LA for a few years. We both came to UNC Kenan-Flagler with the idea to switch industries because of how volatile careers in entertainment can be. Digital disruption has turned the industry upside down, and I don’t think that will stop anytime soon. But as I went through the recruiting process for other industries, I came to realize that after working in something you really love it’s hard to imagine yourself doing something that is just a job or just a paycheck or because the company is a good name on your resume. It felt a bit overwhelming at the time, though, because UNC Kenan-Flagler doesn’t have a large presence within the entertainment community yet. But the Sports and Entertainment Club is working to change that.
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The Sports & Entertainment Club is small and definitely a lot less structured than some of the other MBA career clubs – but that’s really how those industries are. They’re not so much about structure, but about putting yourself out there and being at the right place at the right time. There’s a special element to it, too. You get to form your own path.
Michael Tabb (MBA ’17) and Bo approached me a few times about participating in the 2016 UCLA MBA Media and Entertainment Case Competition sponsored by Paramount Studios. We put a team together with Kelsey Odom (MBA ’17) and signed up.
For me, it was the journey – not just the end result – that brought me so much joy.
The case was insanely broad. Our challenge was to figure out how to drive the studio’s business forward in such a disruptive time. The brainstorming sessions were so much fun. We worked on this for days, even through a snow storm. I have a blackboard in my apartment that covers my entire kitchen wall and we kept running out of space every hour or so. I think that was when I realized I had to go back into the entertainment industry. I’ve done a few case competitions before, but I just had so much fun with this one. I think that’s the difference between doing something you love and something you don’t. When it’s something you love, it just doesn’t feel like work in any way, shape or form.