Live from New York It's...Friday Night?

I'm typing from my very comfortable king-size bed at the Omni Berkshire hotel in New York where I am sufficiently exhausted after a very long day of networking on the HBS Entertainment & Media Club's New York Trek. I'm highly looking forward to getting an early night tonight and sleeping in tomorrow morning so that I can gear up for four more days in the city (and they will be just as jam-packed as today was!).

To recap:

This morning we started at The Food Network, which is in the Chelsea Market area of New York. The building was very nondescript from the outside, but the workspace was perhaps one of the cheeriest I've seen (and coming from a former Disney gal that says a lot!). The walls were all sorts of sunny yellow and orange shades and the lights were modern and warm (not fluorescent!). We started with a panel featuring Brooke Johnson (Food Network President), Amanda Melnick (Director of Marketing) and Kim Williamson (Director of Programming). From there we were given a tour of the testing kitchen and the set of a new show called "Cooking for Real." The visit was interesting, especially considering HBS had never visited the network before, but it was a bit disconcerting to hear the President say that they were only TWO MBA's in the entire company. Now, I know entertainment tends to be light on the business degrees, but only two in the whole company? I'm hoping perhaps she was thinking two hundred and just left off the "hundred," but that's probably wishful thinking! Before leaving we did get some cool "swag" including a Food Network cap and copies of their magazine's latest issues.

Second on the agenda was a trip to HBO where we had a panel featuring Henry McGee (President of HBO and HBS grad), Jamyn Edis (Emerging Technologies, also an HBS grad), Courteney Monroe (EVP Consumer Marketing and...a Wharton grad, but she's pretty cool so we'll forgive her for that) and Andrew Goldman (Cinemax VP). I really loved the "feel" of this company -- very "we know we're cool cats but we won't be cocky about it." Plus, everyone seems SO smart, innovative and willing to take risks in their roles -- three qualities that are really appealing in my job search! Excitedly, I'll be returning to HBO, not once, twice, or thrice, but FOUR times in the next four days to meet with three separate folks in marketing and a rep in HR. Wish me luck!

Around lunchtime we went to Time Warner where we were served cold pizza and some boring spiel about mergers, acquisitions and investing. Yeah, that's all I'm going to say about that visit (wait, I lied, I need to say one more thing: the building is beautiful!).

Fourth on the agenda was MTVN, which is also a place where I get really good vibes. Here we had a panel with six different HBS alums, including my WSA Mentor Anne who I totally admire because she not only has a JD AND an MBA, but she has the coolest job on the planet and she's an amazing person as well. Was also excited to meet a woman I had been referred to that works in the digital retail group for Nickelodeon and a guy who now does Ad Sales for MTVN but used to work at my old stomping grounds in Orlando!

The final destination for the afternoon was NBCU. We met with Lisa Shaw, the SVP of Digital Marketing for Bravo, a really nice guy named Tony Loney (love the rhyming name) from HR and another HBS grad from business development at iVillage. By this point, we were all pretty tired and you could tell by the fact that the rigor of our questions totally fell flat. Nonetheless, I saw Tausha on the way out and grabbed two cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery, which is right next door, and that totally lifted my spirits.

And now that I'm back in my wonderful, comfy hotel room with feet that have finally calmed after a day full of walking in heels, I plan to get a good night's sleep. Will write more (and post photos) soon (I didn't bring the cord to NYC, but will upload a NYC photo gallery once I get back). Good night!

2 Responses to "Live from New York It's...Friday Night?"

Cooper responded on February 20, 2010 at 8:37 PM #

Are you getting a job offer from HBO? Good luck.

Gabrielle responded on February 21, 2010 at 9:12 PM #

Hi Cooper. I wish! I'm meeting with an HR rep and people in Consumer Marketing, International Marketing and Affiliate Marketing, but no job offers just yet!