Media management majors find identity in new club

Though media management is one of the smaller programs in the School of Communication, the students majoring in it have big things in mind. Last fall, faculty and students in the program established the Media Management Association (MMA) to help create an identity for those interested in careers in the media business.

“We decided to form a group where all media management majors could have a chance to interact with one another and network, as well as explore all of the different career options available to them,” explained Michelle Avalos, treasurer and secretary of MMA.

Primarily, the association helps students excel in the media industry by hosting guest speakers and creating networking opportunities and discussions about trends in social media. Students do not have to be media management majors to join and benefit from the networking opportunities.

“We promote networking for the industry, which is critically important,” said professor Michel Dupagne, faculty adviser for MMA. “Networking is a way to get your foot in the door with the industry, whether it be locally or beyond.”

Guest speakers last semester have included Rich Martinez, a local NBC national sales executive, and Armando Boniche, the Miami Herald circulation director.

“We try to find speakers from all over the place, but we have better luck with locals,” Avalos said. “Professor Dupagne has a lot of contacts, and sometimes we just find a company or institution and send them an e-mail or give them a call. “

This semester, the MMA has three guest speakers slated to speak at upcoming meetings, including the director of programming from a local radio station. They hope to confirm speakers from the marketing and research areas of the media industry as well.

“I think people should know if they have any interest at all in working for a media company, it’s a great opportunity to meet and understand what the media business is,” said Courtney Kimmey, acting president of MMA. “There are students that want to work in business, but don’t understand the possibilities of working in the media business.”

The media management major includes every aspect of the media industry. The major is similar to the management major at the business school, but focuses specifically on media operations.  Currently, there are about 50 students in the program, though MMA has about 70 members from all majors in their organization.

“We take classes in economics, laws, management itself, broadcasting and cable, and advertising,” Kimmey said.

Students in the media management major hone the skills needed to establish their careers in the media industry, including companies such as a television network, production company, television station or magazine.

“With media management, you are knowing, interested and willing to work in the business side,” Dupagne said. “You learn advanced managing operations and making your own media business.”

The association is applying to be an official student organization under the Council of Student Organizations.

“At the moment, our budget does not require much,” Avalos said. “But if we want to expand our club outside of the Com School, we definitely need the support of COSO funding.”

The association’s next meeting is Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Room 2055 of the Communications International Building. Sandy Lighterman, film commissioner at the Miami-Dade County Office of Film and Entertainment, will be speaking. All students are welcome to attend.