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Writer Lee Goldberg: ‘Almost all the work comes from personal relationships’

By Amy A. Ross

Lee Goldberg is a close as a person can possibly come to being born a writer. He was raised in a family of authors; as a kindergartner he would proclaim his vocation for writing; and as a child he would “print” a  magazine to sell to neighbors. Although fiction was at the root of his passion, his path towards a professional career as a consolidated novelist and screenwriter began when he freelanced for publications like The San Francisco Chronicle and UPI. Today his resume includes more than two dozen books, some of them collaborations with authors like William Rabkin and Janet Evanovich. His career in television includes credits writing & producing a broad array of genres from Monk and Baywatch to Diagnosis Murder and R.L. Stine’s The Nightmare Room.  In an interview with the MSLCE blog, Goldberg reminisced about his entry into the professional writing scene and offers insight into the industry:

At what point in your life did you realized you wanted to make a living from your writing?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I really mean always, since I was in kindergarten. When I was ten or eleven, (more…)

MSLCE Student Gets Advice from Facebook, Pandora on SF Trek

By Robyn Latchford

Our trek began with Michael Holtmann, who spoke of his work for the National Endowment for the Arts and his current work for the Center for the Art of Translation. We all loved his congenial manner and his insightful stories about his career path and finding enjoyment in his work. I especially admired his candid comments about having a job that took him to places such as the White House, but not personally enjoying it himself. (more…)

MSLCE Students Pitch Business Proposals to Experienced Entrepreneurs

By Amy A. Ross

Writing up a project for a class is one thing; pitching a convincing business proposal to a panel of experts is a completely different challenge.

Students from the NUvation: Arts course were able to recreate this real-world experience during their final presentations at the beginning of June. The eight proposals included business startups in a broad array of creative industries, including fashion, music, digital art, and even an education non-profit.For example, the inventors of Voguetrotters pitched a model for a worldwide business that would allow fashion designers to connect and sell their autochthonous creations to people across the globe. (more…)

Student ‘Ready to Pursue My Dreams’ After MSLCE Trip to SF

By Kaitlin Very

The San Francisco trek was truly invaluable to me. While both of the other treks were great learning experiences, what set this last one apart was the unique balance of nonprofit and for-profit industry leaders with whom we met. Our speakers represented a wide variety of industries and roles, and they all shared an awareness of one another as well as a shared sense of excitement about their work. It gave those of us in the program a glimpse of the vibrant cultural ecosystem within the city, which is the reason that it is seen as such a cultural leader in our country. (more…)

MSLCE Student Works to Turn Music Passion Into Industry Career

By Jacob Nelson

Years before Alec Schulman decided to pursue a career in music, he was a high school student touring Florida as a saxophone player in a ska band. Between performing live at concerts throughout the state and then going to Northwestern to major in saxophone, Schulman was on his way to being a professional musician.

Then, his music professor retired, and Schulman did a 180. (more…)

MSLCE Student Hopes to Modernize China’s Fine Arts Market

By Jacob Nelson

Mona Fu wants to modernize China’s fine arts market.

The MSLCE student was inspired to apply to Northwestern after she worked for three years at a Beijing fine arts auction company. During that time, she realized that the auction industry in China is too traditional compared to the industry in the U.S.

“When I was traveling with my general manager in New York, we would visit Sotheby’s and Christie’s and I could compare their operation structures with ours,” Fu said, “and I found their’s were more advanced.” (more…)

Syndio CEO Applies Social Network Analysis to the Music Industry

By Amy A. Ross

Before he had even graduated from college, Northwestern University alum, Zack Johnson, was already cracking the social-media code. Applying network science to the creative industries, Johnson was helping upcoming music pop and hip-hop artists like Mike Posner and Big Sean rapidly grow their fan bases. How? (more…)

Chicago Executive sees the future of media business in the “cottage industries”

By Amy A. Ross

In some ways, Julian Posada’s approach to the media business resembles the old adage of not putting all your eggs in one basket.

Rather than targeting the large mass audiences of the twentieth century, his philosophy captures the need to capitalize on the niches. “It all boils down to the secret sauce of no fear and unlocking value in the smallest pieces,” said Posada during a visit to a Northwestern classroom at the beginning of the month.”I don’t see an end to that, but with a reality check: you are not getting $100 million dollar businesses anymore,” he said. “You work with small cottage industries and those can be successful.” (more…)

MSLCE Students Get Insights into the Art of Pitching from a Los Angeles Writer

By Kathryn Lawson

Writer Roger Wolfson recently had a bad day. A few weeks ago, while walking along the beach with his wife and three dogs, Easy, Peaceful, and Miracle, they were approached by a group of teens that tried to mug them, leaving him with a black eye. (more…)

‘Advancing Women Executives’ CEO Shares Advice on Entrepreneurship and Pitching Your Passion

By Jenna Myers

“There needs to be a 30% minority representation for that minority to be heard,” says Meiko Takayama, and the percentage of corporate executives who are women is far lower than that — around 15%. Takayama is the founder and CEO of Advancing Women Executives (AWE), a business service for corporate executives with the mission to increase the number of women in senior management and on boards.

Takayama video-chatted with MSLCE’s marketing/project pitching class last week to share the methods she uses to pitch her company’s mission and services to potential clients. It’s no easy feat, as Takayama and her sales team operate almost entirely by cold calling and emailing leads, and they often schedule upwards of 500 sales calls per year. So does this strategy work? Takayama says that the key is in the follow up.

She herself gets hundreds of cold emails per day and remembers receiving only a handful of follow up calls, so she tries to make AWE stand out. Follow up starts in the subject line of AWE’s emails, where she will often use a phrase like “Scheduling time on April 22 or April 29” rather than a more generic phrase. Even so, the team will sometimes send a client more than a dozen emails before the client agrees to a call. “We are totally relentless,” she says. Once a call is scheduled, it is kept brief and tightly organized from start to finish, while still remaining conversational.

The tenacity of AWE’s methods is typical of Takayama, who also shared lessons she has learned as a female entrepreneur, which is a role many MSLCE students wish to take on after graduating. Takayama believes that women in particular can often have trouble letting go of the reins once they step into a management or entrepreneurial role. She joked that she made an intentional choice not to call her company, “Meiko Takayama and Associates,” and has had to coach herself to remember that her job is to be the best manager that she can be and to serve her team and the company’s mission.

She also shared general advice for women in the workplace, a sensitive topic that is receiving increasing attention in the media. Takayama said that women sometimes become angry at the team at AWE, asking why they are promoting the idea that women should act more like men. Takayama refutes this idea but remains grounded in reality when talking about different the expectations for men and women leaders. “Since 85% of executives are men, we need to think about what society expects in a leader… [Women] need to be very competent, but warm…Unfortunately, that’s not the case for men. Men just need to be competent.” Stay current with all things MSLCE, click here to join our mailing list!