This summer, I moved back across the pond for an internship at PBS in Washington, D.C. For those unfamiliar, Public Broadcasting Service is the US version of the BBC. It's the company that first brought Sesame Street to television, making it an ideal place for me to really dive into the media world. From day 1 of the MBA, I've been interested in children's media, a pretty focused niche, but one that I'm determined to pursue. This position provided me with the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Over the past 10 weeks, I've been working with the PBS Children's Media matrix team, a cross-functional team composed of employees who work on children’s content across various departments - programming, interactive, brand, education, finance, legal, distribution, etc. They're the ones responsible for developing the programs you watch on broadcast along with the games you play online and other interactive content. They're the ones who create marketing campaigns and educational tools to support those programs, and they're the ones who make sure that everything's funded and compliant with US guidelines. Specifically, my project focused on a current children's content licensing partnership that's at a turning point in its development. My task was to research and analyze this partnership in order to make strategic recommendations on its continuation. What made this project really interesting is that it touched so many different areas of the business and gave me the opportunity to observe first-hand how things across the organization come together. Overall, it's been a great learning experience. Not only did I get a crash course in public and cable broadcasting, new methods of distribution and media licensing, amongst others, I got to meet a bunch of great people who are all passionate about the same things as I.
Which brings me back to how I got this position in the first place...finding people who share my passion. I knew I wanted to pursue children's media, so I started by creating a list of target companies and then worked to find contacts at each of them throughout the year. When I was back in the US for Christmas, I was able to set up a meeting with Dr. Bill Baker, President Emeritus of WNET/Channel 13, the flagship station of PBS in NY. He and I spoke about my interests and continued to touch base over the next few months. In the spring, many of my target companies began to post interesting opportunities; this is where I first found out about the MBA internship. I drafted my cover letter and submitted my application through their online portal. At the same time, I reached out to Bill to see if he might be able to put me in touch with someone at PBS directly to follow-up. I was in luck, as he knew the people down there and was happy to refer me. The rest is history!