Fox internsCaption: After their successful presentation to officials at Fox Sports in 2010 are, from left, Myra T. Chen, Steven J. Vasquez, Svetlana Zotikova, Mark Hiroshi Okumori, Rucha Sapre and Aaron Thomas.

Business Skills Lead to Job

Case Study Helps One Grad Get Foot in the Entertainment Door

WHEN MARK OKUMORI’S FAMILY was cheering for him during commencement, they were really cheering for two achievements. The first in his family to earn a college degree, he completed his MBA, and despite the current economic situation, he already is working in his chosen career field — entertainment.

Last summer, Okumori was a member of a case consulting team that worked with Fox Sports. The team spent approximately three weeks conducting research, working on various aspects of the project in two-person subgroups, including best practices and the technological aspects, before planning and organizing what became their final proposal to Fox. The entertainment company is currently implementing some of their recommendations.

Earlier this spring, when Okumori began his job search, he turned to Fox executives he had worked with during the case study. That led to an interview and internship in April.

“I currently work 32 hours a week on the Fox lot in Century City,” said Okumori, who hails from Malaysia. He received his permanent residency and work authorization just one week prior to the start of the internship.

“My internship at Fox 2000 is geared more toward the creative side of feature films, as opposed to the business side. I have the opportunity to read scripts and write ‘coverage,’ which is basically a report on and my opinions on aspects of the script,” Okumori said. “I get to view production dailies (daily video footage from films in production), production notes and other film-related documents.

“I feel that this experience is critical as I would need a good balance of creative and business experiences in the film industry to achieve my goals of becoming a studio executive in the production side of feature films.”

His internship continues through June 16 but he’s hopeful for fresh opportunities. He recently met with a recruiter from Warner Bros. about a financial analyst position.

“The Fox Sports project and my Fox 2000 internship played a major role in the recruiter agreeing to see me to begin with, so I really have to credit the Fox Sports project for this opportunity,” said Okumori. “The Fox Sports project was a great opportunity. At the same time it was challenging and forced us to think outside the box and steer away from delivering an ‘academic’ project and present our deliverables in a more executive manner.

“Most of the knowledge that I demonstrated in my interview with the finance manager was learnt directly from the Entertainment and Tourism Management Program that I completed at the undergraduate level, while my M.B.A. might have given my profile a little extra gloss,” he noted.

“The entertainment industry is all about getting your foot in the door and knowing people. The Fox Sports project provided the opportunity to do just that. I can’t say thank you enough to professors Fraser and Kim Tarantino (both lecturers in management) for giving me my education in the field and for helping me get my foot in the door. If I achieve any success at all in this industry they can take a good deal of the credit.”

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