Top executives receive Fullerton’s new Entertainment and Tourism Management program
Hollywood’s captains of industry had a chance to rub elbows with Titans Wednesday during a presentation of Cal State Fullerton’s Entertainment Tourism Management program at Paramount Pictures’ Hollywood studios.
The event, featuring a press conference and mixer with California Film Commission Director, Amy Lemisch, College of Business and Administration Dean, Anil Puri and President of the Studio Group of Paramount Pictures Randall Baumberger, was organized to help integrate the educational aspect of the profession with industry experts.
Launched this semester, the Entertainment and Tourism Management concentration began with CSUF accounting professor Kim Tarantino seeing the possibility of expanding the entertainment business component of instruction by the university.
Tarantino said she approached Harold Fraser, a business administration professor at CSUF in summer 2006, and together they created and developed the new program, but not without help.
“One of the first things we did was call four senior folks from the entertainment industry,” Fraser said. “We met for lunch in Santa Monica and discussed the feasibility of an undergraduate business concentration that focused on the special skills and tools required within the entertainment industry.”
To Tarantino and Fraser, the lunch meetings with the four industry professionals opened up a dialogue between executives and instructors, Tarantino said. It became their mission to bring top executives in the industry as advisory board members to provide insight and current trends to directly apply to the curriculum, Tarantino said.
“We are seeking organizations in all aspects of the industry â€“ film, TV, video games, theme parks, home entertainment, studio management, recorded music, sports, casino management, meetings and events â€“ willing to partner with us to train students through internships and job opportunities,” said Fraser, a former senior executive of Paramount Pictures and Panasonic, who, with Tarantino, is co-executive director of the Entertainment and Tourism Management program.
The support of the movers and shakers in the entertainment and tourism industry was evident as students in the program were able to network and share their CSUF experience at Paramount Pictures Wednesday.
Georgia Johnson, a senior in the program, has always wanted to work in film and was drawn to CSUF because of this new program.
“This program doesn’t just cover the film business, or the theatre business, but it covers all aspects of the industry,” Johnson said.
One benefit of joining the new program, which now has almost 100 students, is that the four professors of the program are helping students meet top executives and land internships.
Brandy Melendez, a senior graduating in a few weeks, was able to attain an internship at JNR Incorporated, a company that offers service in areas of travel, incentives, meetings and special events, she said. James G. Jalet III, president of the company, sits on the board for the new program.
However, internships are not automatic.
“We are going to help students get into the interview, but after that, they are on their own,” Fraser said.
Through the board members and CSUF faculty, it is evident that industry professionals are talking about this new program.
“The industry is starving for a program like this,” Baumberger said. “We are going to produce a new generation of executives.”