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MPA and BBA Trek to Hollywood

On May 31, 2018 and June 1, 2018, Stephen Smith, senior director of the MPA Program and Jim Franklin, director of the MPA Program guided BBA and MPA students through Los Angeles, the city of stars! There, the students visited famous entertainment companies such as Warner Bros Studios, Universal Studios, and CBS, and learned about accounting and finance within the showbiz industry. The students also had the incredible opportunity to meet and dine with Southern California McCombs alumni!

Here are some highlights from the trip:

What was your favorite part of the Trek to Hollywood?

Ross Trivisonno: “My favorite part of the trek was definitely our visit to NBC Universal Studios. Getting a glimpse at the actual film sets of movies like Back to the Future, Psycho, War of the Worlds, and Jaws was a real treat, something most people won’t ever get the chance to experience.”

Mary Yamamoto: “My favorite part of the Trek to Hollywood was getting an inside look at the vast opportunities presented in the business-film industry through presentations and panel discussions by professionals working in the industry.”

What did you learn?

Ross Trivisonno: “I learned a great deal about how the corporate hiring process works, not solely with regards to accounting and finance but across the entire entertainment industry in general. Being afforded the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with UT alumni from the likes of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer VP and Sony employees was highly informational and a rare peak into the less glamourous, “behind-the-scenes” corporate realm of Hollywood.

Ross Trivisonno at the Back to the Future Town Hall

Mary Yamamoto: “I learned of various positions within entertainment accounting that I never knew existed, from production accounting to profit participation. I also received significant insight from industry professionals, who shared the experiences and knowledge they had gained from working in their specific roles and companies.”What stood out to you?

Ross Trivisonno: “Personally, the Wofford Denius UTLA Center really stood out to me as being a truly state-of-the-art facility. Very impressive that UT students are able to have such exclusive entrance to an industry that typically only USC or UCLA film majors get to easily access while studying.”

Mary Yamamoto: “The emphasis on networking, specifically the readiness and enthusiasm with which professionals shared their experiences, stood out to me; I was able to establish meaningful connections with professionals working in my dream industry, which will undoubtedly help me move in the right direction towards the career that I want to pursue.”

Mary Yamamoto at the Universal Studios Back Lot.

What made you want to go on the trek?

Ross Trivisonno: “I am still an undeclared BBA student. By learning more about corporate career tracks in accounting and finance, I was able to hone in on what my true passions are. This trek helped me in further choosing my McCombs undergraduate major.”

Mary Yamamoto: “I wanted to go on the trek because it was the perfect opportunity to explore the industry I had always wanted to work in – the business side of film and entertainment.”

Hayley Seat at Disney