News

NBCUniversal executive visits School of Communication

NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer speaks to students about his career and life experiences, and offers his insight on the future of the television and film industry. The event took place Monday in Shoma Hall. Nick Gangemi // Photo Editor

NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer speaks to students about his career and life experiences, and offers his insight on the future of the television and film industry. The event took place Monday in Shoma Hall. Nick Gangemi // Photo Editor

This story was corrected on Monday, Oct. 20 at 4:55 p.m.

Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal Ron Meyer shared his journey to becoming the longest-serving chief of a major motion picture company in Hollywood history with students Monday morning at the School of Communication.

Meyer gave professional advice on presentations, business fundamentals and writing, in addition to sharing his personal experiences working his way to the top.

When Meyer was 15, he dropped out of school. At 17, he joined the United States Marine Corps. 

Meyer then worked at the William Morris Agency and then founded a talent agency with four other agents from the WMA, named Creative Artists Agency. When reflecting on his time at the WMA, he described his first interview, when he pretended to be something he wasn’t.

“I told them I had previously worked as an agent,” he said. “But I don’t think they hired me for any reason except that they liked me and needed someone.”

Meyer then said that “presentation is everything,” and that is how he makes his decisions, too.

The former Universal Studios president then pointed out two business fundamentals not taught in the current education system.

“Treat everyone the way you want to be treated. Remember, nice people does not mean weak people,” Meyer said. “And secondly, give everyone the benefit of the doubt.”

Senior Sean Steinberg, who attended the event, felt the discussion was honest and helpful.

“In all of his responses, it never felt like we as students were being pandered or talked down to,” he said. “He held a frank discussion about the nature of the industry, and while not everything he said was meant to be encouraging in a cliche sense, he gave practical advice to anyone with a real desire to work his or her way in from the bottom.”

Matt Head, a junior majoring in motion pictures, shared a similar opinion.

“Ron Meyer was incredibly frank with us students about to enter the industry,” he said. “Ron’s advice that through hard work, determination and a bit of luck we could be successful in Hollywood was relieving.”

Meyer thinks the industry’s biggest challenge is the cost.

“If you spend more than you make, costs keep going up,” he said. “Sixty-five to 70 percent of movies made are flops. You make great movies, but you make bad movies, too. It’s an imperfect business.”

When addressing the question of where students should get started to be successful in the industry, he said it’s all a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

“You may be special as individuals, but as students, everyone goes to college nowadays,” he said. “For me, to get ahead, people had to die, quit or go to jail.”

The best thing to do to be successful in the field, he advised students, is not to give up.

“Stick with it. It’s the hardest part, but that’s it,” he said. “The good news for those of you who refuse to give up is that a lot of you will give up.”

October 20, 2014

Reporters

Patricia Amaral


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

The attorneys for University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga expect indictments to be ...

Few could have imagined this scenario coming into Saturday’s University of Miami football game at ho ...

Alex Cora’s success hasn’t surprised Miami Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris. Cora, according to ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

The Miami soccer team will conclude its 2017 home slate Sunday against Notre Dame and recognize its ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.