Q: Hi, I had a question regarding college majors. When I was younger I always wanted to go into business, doing marketing/advertising and work in “the city”. Now that I am 18 and attending a community college, I am in a General Business program, however I have wanted to go into the entertainment industry in the business section, maybe as a publicist or work for a marketing firm in the industry, but I definitly want to be involved in entertainment. I search online for jobs in the industry, and it says what they want in the person “multi-tasker, personal skills, etc.”, and am quite unsure what they would like to see that person major in. As my dream is to get a job working in New York City for tv/film/music ventures, I am not sure if I should be majoring in business, or a communications degree, or maybe do a double-major. Also, do you think it is feasable to attend a college/university in NYC while obtaining an internship in those related fields?
A: Hi Michelle: The descriptions of skills that you are referring to in the on-line ads are called “soft skills” – i.e. personality traits. They are not the hard skill sets that one needs to perform a specific job… but are an extremely important component when an executive is making a hiring decision. You don’t need to worry about that now. If you would like to work during school, then you should try to get a part-time job in the industry of your choice… be it film, TV or music. And really, it could be doing anything… the value of working part-time is to give you the connections & the networking opportunities, so that when you graduate, you will be well-positioned to apply for a professional, full time job. Your major could be communications, or business, or both… not that important… What is important is getting that summer internship, or trying to work in your field while going to school, if that is truly what you want to do. As long as you have your degree, & have developed those “soft skills” that are necessary to function within the entertainment business, you will be on the right track. Another TIP: Get in touch with the VP Human Resources of some of the companies in which you are interested in working, & ask them what they look for – ask them what qualifications they like to have when they hire college graduates. In this way, you can plan for your future intelligently.