Jan.23, 2011. Powered by Blogger.

Full Sail University Online: Program Reflection

I enjoyed the Master’s Program offered at Full Sail University. I have attained a wealth of knowledge within the intense workload and fast pace learning. Full Sail helped me paint a realistic picture of how to start and run a business within the entertainment industry. The online platform is very convenient for those who have a work schedule and those who live afar. Below is a breakdown of everything I learned when I earned my MS in Entertainment Business:

1. Media Literacy & Research Methodologies (MLR)
• MLR was an introduction to help master the online tools needed for academic and professional success, such as e-mail etiquette, effective sentence structure, professional tone, and proofreading. We were also involved with Diigo.com Libraries, Twitter Lists, RSS Feeds, Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) and Mac OS iMovie, Garageband, and Keynote applications. APA was re-introduced and importance stressed when conducting research and writing papers. This class helped brush up on my research and analyzing skills to better evaluate my chosen industry or business.

2. Executive Leadership (EXL)
• EXL sharpened our leadership qualities. EXL is the course identified the qualities necessary to be an executive leader in today’s entertainment industry. All leaders should acquire to possess positive traits such as integrity, influence, reputation, and change. We explored effective communication of leadership for public peaking, personal influence, understanding international differences in communication, and non-verbal communication. EXL also introduced online Blogs and how effective they can be used to build an online presence for your business. Other topics included social networks, leadership problem solving, self-discipline, leadership priorities and strategies, negotiation skills, staff development and Groupthink. Staff development was very tactful because it showed us how to effectively recruit, relate, and encourage to our staff; a good staff is a means to success. We read books “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene, “Developing the Leader Within You” by John C. Maxwell, and “The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies” by Rhonda Abrams.

3. Project and Team Management (PTM)
• PTM was a course with heavy teamwork, which is much appreciated. Many people dread teamwork because of the skepticism of others upholding their end of responsibility. Well, I was in the dreaded group but it turned out to be a great experience, and it introduced be to the convenient use of Google Docs. We learned how to create an effective project management plan, correctly order tasks, understanding every aspect that leads to a successful project, such as pre and post-production timelines. We also explored how to create a productive team by matching tasks to team members’ skill sets, motivating members, providing mentorship, and empowering members to take ownership of a project’s task and productivity. My team “Victory” was also one of the winners for the commercial production assignment. PTM provided a real life insight of how to manage projects in a specified time frame for clients.

4. Business Storytelling & Brand Development (BSB)
• BSB was a course that taught us how to research the entertainment industry market trends, market research methods, study brand identity case studies, and developing personal branding. I enjoyed the project for brand identity development because I got the chance to dissect my creativity with profound meanings and messages, and expel how I chose to design certain logos with my personal life experience. We explored advertising and public relations strategies, marketing plan development, corporate and brand development, integrating marketing communications, and marketing foundations. Two of our books were “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” and “The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Strategy and Design.”

5. Entertainment Business Finance (EBF)
• The two books we read in EBF were “Entrepreneurial Finance (5th Edition)” and “Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!” Very interesting reads, if you get a chance grab them and find out what you’re missing and if your assets are really liabilities. “The Rich Don’t Work for Money,” they make money work for them. We learned how to create, analyze, and present financial statements for our business plan(s), develop a plan to ensure that our entertainment business is profitable, identify potential sources, the appropriate debt and equity mix for financing a business, and create a personal financial plan for debt reduction and wealth creation. The class was very intense due to creating and gathering information for the financial statements, but it was much needed and appreciated.

6. Negotiation and Deal-Making Online (NDM)
• This is the course in which I received the March Course Director Award! The NDM course dealt with real life situations such as negotiating contracts, stipulations, and payments upon an agreement. We went over separating people from the problem, inventing options for mutual gain, positions vs. interests, objective criteria, addressing the concern and not our emotions, negative emotions & being prepared, and BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement). We also explored the 5 core emotional concerns: autonomy, affiliation, appreciations, status, and fulfilling roles.

7. Product & Artist Management (PAM)
• I really like the aspect of the PAM course because we got a chance to role-play as either an artists or as the artist manager, and we got a chance to negotiate contracts and services offered in an agreement. We performed an artist management case study evaluation, a Live Event Project in which I chose to bring back the rapper ‘Twista,’ continued to work on our professional blog(s), and product development pitch for our business plan. This course enabled us to ensure a market-driven direction through market research, guide product fit and function, oversee budgeting and financials, and evaluates success and refinements. The two books we read are “This Business of Artist Management (4th Edition)” and “he Product Manager’s Field Guide.”

8. Advanced Entertainment Law (AEL)
• AEL was the course the helped us identify and evaluate legal liabilities within the entertainment industry and create strategies that would reduce or eliminate those risks. We researched current legal cases within the industry in regards to intellectual property. AEL ensured that we’d know how to protect our IPs and how to gain rights for other’s intellectual property. Artist and talent management & advertising regulations was also covered, along with contract law, business agreements and structures. The two books used for AEL were “The Permission Seeker’s Guide Through the Legal Jungle” and “Cyber Law: A Legal Arsenal for Online Business.”

9. Entertainment Media Publishing & Distribution (EMPD)
• Our EMPD course director, Kim Craft, published our textbook “Entertainment Media Publishing & Distribution (2nd Edition). This course prepared students to study traditional and new digital publishing and distribution models, such as print media, music, and audiovisual. We explored issues within the industry in regards to piracy, social media, digital rights management, legislation, and more. We also explored how to tactfully protect and monetize our creative content and how to select and solicit agents with query letters, and evaluate agent agreements. Creating a press and media kit was a very good exercise because it prepared us how to appropriately exhibit skills and products we offer, and engage potential agents. We also worked on the written introduction of our business plan, refined our SWOT analysis, develop a self-publishing strategy using some existing POD sites and traditional methods of distribution.

10. Digital Marketing (DMK)
• DMK was the course that taught us how to analyze website traffic, input Google Analytics for our blogs, understand strategies of successful search engine optimization (SEO), measuring the effectiveness of your campaign, search technology, keyword research and selection, and digital promotion, such as creating effective email marketing that engages the recipient and persuades them to act. We also created QR codes, covered link building, digital PR and communication, viral marketing, social media optimization & tactics, and coordinating social media. DMK enabled us to explore the different digital advertising types, such as display, interactive, contextual, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and behavioral. Conducting our own survey and analyzing the qualitative measurements was a helpful exercise because it showed us how to monitor social media and opened & answered emails. We also went over the laws, rules, and regulations of e-commerce and digital marketing.

11. Business Plan Development (BPD)
• BPD allowed us to expand upon our business plan, written and financial statements. We did extensive industry research and dissected every part of a business plan and addressed it with credible research and statistics. We described industry trends, target markets, described the business venture, create a marketing plan and sales strategy, develop operations and management plans, build a business plan budget, and the unique position our business beholds. We also conveyed how to effectively described the company, its competition, and how to differentiate from competitors. This course prepared us for the last one, Final Project- Business Plan.

12. Final Project- Business Plan (BPL)
• Finally, at the end and it has been a tremendous ride. BPL pulled all our courses together and we prepared our individual business plan, written & financial income statements, marketing and staffing budget, and amount of investment inquired. We also worked on our elevator pitch for our business, to engage our potential investors in a 5-8 minute time frame. We continued to expand on our professional blog posting and critiqued our business plans with revisions that were overlooked previously in the program from other courses. We continued to use the book “The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies” by Rhonda Abrams throughout the program but it was our source of guide in particular for BPL. I learned so much and it fueled my confidence in my business venture(s) and skills to proceed successfully.

Live Your Dream!!

Full Sail University Online Degrees: http://online.fullsail.edu/

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