Name: Ana Sena
Position: Account Manager, Strategic Partnerships
Why did you choose this industry?
I love that the entertainment industry can be a vehicle for real change through storytelling and creativity! I have been fortunate to have worked at companies like CAA, Warner Bros. ViacomCBS, and now Twitch, which not only participate in creating entertaining content, but also use their resources and access to have a positive impact on communities and causes.
I chose to work in entertainment, handling high-level talent, because I have the opportunity to help storytellers succeed. As an Account Manager in Strategic Partnerships, it is gratifying to use data to identify rising stars and have an impact on growing their business. I am excited to continue working with diverse and emerging creators to highlight new meaningful perspectives to mainstream audiences worldwide.
How did you strategize to get your career to where it is today?
Two strategies were crucial for me: (1) Taking things one step at a time and (2) Staying curious and searching for creative solutions. For example, my goal was to work in entertainment but I had no contacts in the industry and I could not work outside of Chapman during my first year because I was an international student. Below are some of the steps and creative solutions I came up with under my limited circumstances:
- I asked the MBA Program Director, Debra Gonda, if she knew anyone hiring at Chapman. She did and I got my first job in the U.S. at the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics.
- I asked my professor, Thomas Turk, if he knew anyone hiring a summer intern. He did and I got my first job outside of Chapman.
- I asked a guest speaker in a film class, Jimmy Miller, if we could stay in touch. We did and I got my first entertainment internship at his company, Mosaic Media Group.
- I asked HR at CAA if I was a good fit for an assistant position, they said “absolutely not” but we have a receptionist position opening soon. I took it and found my way into becoming an assistant.
Do you have any career advice for current students entering the industry in this job market?
I love practical advice! I learned that when you are looking for a job it is more important to establish a genuine connection with a potential mentor rather than trying to prove your knowledge.
Given the unprecedented times we are in, I suggest using this time to expand your network with Chapman alumni via video instead of waiting until you find your perfect role to reach out. When you jump on a video call, don’t ask for a job. That alumni might not be hiring but is still willing to help. Instead, think of forming a real connection and get that potential mentor to feel comfortable: ask about their story, their work challenges and thoughts about the direction of the industry. At the end of your video call, once you have built and established trust, ask them for resources like books, articles, etc., and if you can reach out to ask further questions sometime in the future. If the answer to the last question is yes, you now have a long-term contact that is part of your network and who you can reach out to for a referral to a potential job.
How did getting your degree from Chapman set you up for success on your career path?
The two main aspects that have contributed to my success have been Chapman’s location and its alumni network.
Chapman’s proximity to the heart of the entertainment industry gave me a step up during my time as a student by allowing me to intern and learn from amazing guest speakers. Chapman’s vast alumni network within entertainment companies has been a resource in my job search and while navigating the industry in my day-to-day job.