Emily McTiernan, Product Manager at Starz
How did you get started working in media in Denver?
After graduating with my Master's in Media Studies, I started working at Sling TV in Denver as a product manager. This past March, I started with Starz as a product manager.
What are the sorts of things that a Product Manager at Starz handles?
My team works on the Content Supply Chain, so we are improving the tools used by the teams that process content from when we get material from the studios to when it goes live on the Starz app, linear channel, or to a partner (e.g. Netflix or Globoplay). Generally I'll work on new tool features requested by these teams and create features that are firstly, user-friendly and meet the users' needs, and second, broken down into language easy for computer engineers to understand so they can create the feature.
What's your favorite part of your job?
I love learning about so many different areas of the content supply chain that I did not know about before this position. From localization, captions, ratings, and logos, and more, there is so much work done by many different people before content is ready to be watched!
Do you have any tips for folks who are looking to start working in the media industry after they graduate?
1) Everyone's path will look different and 2) learn as much as you can. Product management is not exclusive to the media industry, but it is now a need for digital media companies. Prior to my master's degree, I worked in technology at non-media companies. I was able to leverage both my education and my previous work experience to now work in technology for a streaming company. I also try to learn as much from my coworkers and network. Media companies have a wide variety of needs and therefore there are a lot of different careers possible in this industry. The best way I have learned about other career paths in the media industry has been talking to people in a variety of roles.
Do you have any advice for people who want to work in a role like yours?
If you're interested in working in tech in the media industry, all tech experience will be valuable to learn core concepts around product management, UX, design, or engineering. On the media side, I like to ensure I'm up to date on macro media industry trends by reading trade magazines, as my work can get pretty in-the-weeds, and I think no matter the role, understanding the media industry at large can help give you perspective in your work.
What are you watching these days?
I just watched the second season of The Bear, which I can't recommend enough!
Cristina Pablos, Texas Music Office
Hey everyone, my name is Cristina Pablos. What a crazy couple of years it has been. Even though we have been in and out of zoom classes and quarantining, I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to intern at the Texas Music Office (TMO) here in Austin and take UT’s for-credit internship class. I am a junior economics major – economics, I know, weird, right? What does that have to do with music? It turns out a lot. During my two semesters interning at the TMO I gained practical skills such as data entry and developing fluency with Word, Excel, and Access (which nowadays are “highly encouraged” skills in every job application). I also learned how music is a huge player in Texas economic development!
I am not a performer/artist, but I love the music industry and what better place to learn about music than Austin, TX. The TMO has taught me that there are dozens and dozens of ways to contribute to the growing realm of the Texas music industry. At the TMO we are a powerhouse of information for everything Texas music. We are active in growing the Texas music industry in bigger cities like Austin and hidden gems like New Braunfels, Waxahachie, Vidor, El Paso, and many more through our Music Friendly Communities Program. This program strengthens the Texas music community and helps each city develop and attract music lovers, musicians, music executives, etc. All to make Texas the GO-TO for music and showcase our incredible state!
After getting the opportunity to observe all that the TMO is doing for the Texas music industry, an idea arose for a project where I interviewed Texas music industry professionals that work behind the scenes. With the help of my amazing supervisors Marc Fort, Steve Ray, Bredon Anthony, and Chip Adams, I created an interview series called Texas Music Makers! I had the pleasure of interviewing a CEO of a vinyl manufacturing plant, a guitar luthier, a concert photographer, and two entertainment attorneys. They are all active members of the Texas music community and contribute to making Texas a hub for the worldwide music industry.
My internship helped me gain confidence in engaging in conversation with incredibly successful people and in growing my network. I learned firsthand about the many opportunities that the music industry holds. Ultimately, I learned that my skills as an economist ACTUALLY COULD contribute to the Texas music industry, even if I wasn't making music or doing stage dives into a sold-out crowd (that would be cool, though).
With that said, I hope you consider pursuing not only a fun internship through UT-Austin but one that will help you grow and get you out of your comfort zone! Hook’ em!