Frequently Asked Questions
- Program overview
- Degree and course requirements
- Internships (for students)
- Hiring interns (for employers)
The entertainment management program is a comprehensive undergraduate major housed in the College of Business at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo.
The program began in the fall of 1997 with interest from a handful of students. Currently, MSU has about 200 students with a major or pre-major in entertainment management.
Over the past 10 years, many similar programs have started at other universities across the country. They are called targeted or niche programs.
Our program is somewhat unique in that we provide a general degree in entertainment management and allow you to tailor it to your interest.
Other programs focus on one aspect of the entertainment industry – i.e. music or film. The program is often tailored to the type of entertainment in a region.
The benefit of our entertainment management degree is that you get a general exposure to all aspects of the entertainment industry and a strong business foundation.
We feel this gives you more opportunities. For example, the person who graduates with an entertainment management degree could be quite successful in the area of artist management, but they could also transfer their knowledge and skill into areas like:
- Event management
- Venue management
- Sports management
The Entertainment Management Association (EMA) started in the year 2000. It is a student-led organization that provides opportunities for involvement, education and networking. Students have a great time being together.
You can join this association whether you are an EM major or not, and at any time in your college career. The sooner you join EMA, the sooner you have opportunities for networking with industry professionals and enjoying friendships with students who have similar interests.
The Business Advisement Center, located on the bottom floor of Glass Hall, will provide you with a step-by-step map to make sure you take all the right courses, in the right order and on a certain time schedule. They’ll answer any questions about prerequisites you may need for a course and, if necessary, discuss what courses will transfer in and which ones won’t.
Also, the Business Advisement Center is where you declare your major.
When you have questions about your EM electives, your career or your internship, contact Dr. Philip Rothschild for an appointment.
Check out Dr. Rothchild’s résumé.
The common thread: Our students love to be around the entertainment business.
There are some students who were once performers and no longer want to be on stage.
Some have a love for sports and want to work in marketing or management of a professional- or collegiate-level sports team. Others want to put their organization and coordination skills to work and organize major events for venues and entertainment management companies.
This is the focus of our program: To prepare students for the business side of entertainment.
You’ll have an opportunity in your very first class, MGT 310 (Introduction to Entertainment Management), to be exposed to several different areas of entertainment management.
You’ll discover career options you like, and even career options you don’t like. After taking MGT 310, your eyes will be opened to a variety of new career opportunities you never considered.
There are currently no EM graduate programs at Missouri State. However, there are opportunities to further your education in the entertainment field.
For example, you can pursue a graduate certificate in a related field. Some students get law degrees and specialize in the entertainment industry.
After you have registered for the course, the communication department asks you to bring your degree audit checklist, found at My Missouri State, to Craig Hall 375 to verify that COM 439 is an elective for the entertainment management major. Because it is an elective, they allow you to take this course without the stated prerequisites.
We will only add more seats to a section if the other section is full. Because of the nature of our assignments, our program works more efficiently if there is a balance of students between two sections. If the section you want is full, your best bet is to register for the other section, put your name on a waiting list and watch the status of the class over the course of the current semester to see if anyone has dropped the section you need. If spots open up, you can then register for the section you prefer.
One of the areas we try to prepare students for is the music business. You could be a tour manager, a booking agent or personal manager for an artist, group, road show or theater.
Have you ever wondered how to organize an event like the Olympics or the Super Bowl? Or have you always wanted to plan a governor’s ball or a fundraising event for the Red Cross?
Big, small, city-wide and company-wide events need planners.
There’s a need for professionals to manage the entertainment venues, such as Hammons Field (Home of the Springfield Cardinals), Busch Stadium in Saint Louis and the Juanita K. Hammons Center for the Performing Arts.
Entertainment venues all over the country need people to manage them.
The management duties typically fall into the area of booking the live shows that come to the facility, marketing the facility or the venue and technical operations.
There are opportunities for you to use your management knowledge and skills with minor and major league baseball clubs, athletic departments at the college level and a host of sports-related organizations.
Being part of an association helps to enhance the probability of you being hired and keeps you abreast of happenings in the industry.
For example, there is an International Association of Venue Managers, specifically designed to serve the needs of the venue manager.
Students in MGT 410 (Venue Management) must join this professional association. In return for joining, students receive a bi-monthly magazine that talks about what is going on in the industry and a directory of all the managers and venues in the country that are members of this organization. These provide you with great contacts when it comes time to do a job search.
Several of our students have received scholarships to go to New Orleans and Reno for the IAVM annual conference and trade show. This is just one example of a trade association.
Many professional trade associations have associated certifications. You do not have to have one, but once you are in your field you may choose to earn a certification in that particular area to help you move up in that organization.
For example, a venue manager may have a CFE designation, which means he or she is a Certified Facility Executive. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has a specific certification designation as well.
We know from interviews we’ve conducted that entertainment professionals look for students who have performed well academically and have had some form of experience in the entertainment industry.
What comes up most often in interviews, however, is:
- Communication skills (verbal and written)
- Work ethic
I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to work hard, to love working hard and to demonstrate that by your performance in the classroom by volunteering and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. It will definitely pay off.
You’ve been stressing the importance of developing a network for future hiring opportunities. How do we do that?
You will have multiple opportunities in your EM courses to develop a network. For example, after a class assignment where you conduct an interview, follow up with thank you cards and occasionally let them know you are available for opportunities in the future.
Also, attend Entertainment Management Association meetings where you may just meet your future boss. The point: Keep your name in front of potential employers and assume that everyone you meet may be your employer.
Experience in the entertainment field is, in some ways, as important as your college degree. The more experience you gain, the more suited you will be for the entertainment profession.
Take every opportunity you can to volunteer for the student activities council or other student organizations that give you an opportunity to plan and implement events on and off campus.
There are many non-profit organizations that use students to plan and implement major fundraising events. Experience is critically important for EM majors. That’s what the industry requires and that’s what the industry needs.
The more mobile you are, the more opportunities you will have. If you want to stay in Springfield, you will have a smaller number of opportunities than those who are willing to relocate to other entertainment hubs like Nashville, Hollywood, New York or Orlando.
If you are willing to relocate, you’ll have lots of opportunities to fulfill your dreams.
One other word of encouragement: Don’t tie yourself down with debt, a new car or a long-term lease during your senior year. You’ll want to be able to move quickly if an opportunity becomes available.
Finding an internship is easy.
You can contact the Career Center, view past and current entertainment management contacts compiled by Dr. Rothschild or identify a company you like to work for and initiate a first contact.
You need to follow the steps to getting registered for the internship course, MGT 494.
That is something that you must discuss with the organization. Some companies provide paid internships. Some that do not.
You must do your internship after you have completed MGT 310 (Introduction to the Entertainment Industry).
We feel it’s important that a student gets at least a bit of a background in the entertainment area and complete some basic management courses before we send them out as an intern.
Most students complete their internships during the summer after their junior year. However, if a great opportunity comes available, jump on it during the fall or summer after completing MGT 310.
Yes, but only three (3) credit hours count toward your EM degree.
The other hours you receive for an internship may be able to count toward your general electives, but most often do not.
Yes, but only under special conditions. You must be learning and applying skills and knowledge specific to the entertainment industry.
For example, selling cutlery for a company or starting a paint business in town would NOT be suitable for an internship.
However, if you were fulfilling meeting planning duties for Jack Henry and Associates (banking industry) or Physician’s Care Network (medical industry), this would be considered suitable. If there is any question about the suitability of an internship, you should meet with Dr. Rothschild prior to making any formal agreement with the internship client.
There’s another way for you to get up to two more hours of academic credit for working or volunteering.
It’s called service learning, provided by the citizenship and service-learning department.
As an EM major, you can take up to two hours of service learning credit – typically related to MGT 310 or 410.
You will work for a non-profit organization in the Springfield area for 40 hours as a volunteer over a semester.
In return for volunteering and writing a paper, you will receive one credit hour per semester – up to two credit hours over a period of two semesters.
This is another excellent opportunity for the much needed "experience factor" and you get to give back to the community.
Assuming you haven’t exhausted all six hours of MGT 494, and have met all graduation requirements, it is okay to do an additional hour of internship after graduation.
You will need to be reclassified as postbaccalaureate (nondegree-seeking). To find out how to reclassify, contact the Admissions Office in Carrington Hall.
If you have unique circumstances, you may be able to register for an internship before completing MGT 310 or MGT 410. At a minimum, those unique circumstances include the following:
- You have a unique and beneficial opportunity.
- It is a for-profit company, and it is a non-paid opportunity.
- The for-profit company requires it.
Under these unique circumstances, you can register for one (1) credit hour of MGT 494 before completing MGT 310 or MGT 410, upon approval by the Internship professor of record.
You would then complete another internship after MGT 310 for two (2) credit hours. Combined, that gives you the required three credit hours for MGT 494.
Your two-credit hour internship would be treated as a three-credit hour internship in terms of assignments. You would be required to do only email journals for your one-credit hour internship.
If your unique circumstances fit all the above, please contact Dr. Rothschild.
Here’s a script you might use when making contact by phone:
Hi, I’m Sarah Jones, an entertainment management major at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. As part of my major, I’m required to complete an internship.
I was wondering if you might be able to use someone with a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and a willingness to do just about anything to gain some experience (use your own qualities). The internship requires me to put in at least 90 hours over a minimum of two months – but I am willing to work more if necessary.
Question: Well, we don’t have a formal internship program set up in our company.
Response: That’s not a problem. I just need to gain some experience in an entertainment related role – and I’d love to work with your company. My supervising professor will create learning activities for me – your only responsibility will be to supervise my work and provide an opportunity for me to interview you or someone else in the company. Of course I’d love to do more, like job shadowing and rotating to other assignments. I just want to get my feet wet.
Question: Are you looking to be paid?
Response: Ideally I would like to be paid – but I’m willing to volunteer if necessary just to gain the experience.
Question: Let’s meet. And if there’s a good fit, what’s next?
Response: Excellent. I’d like to meet you. If you agree to bring me on, then I will fill out paperwork with my professor, sign up for the internship course, and report to work when you say so. I do need to get your contact information though.
Valuable telephone tips
- Whenever you make a phone call and leave a voice message, be sure to leave your phone number and the best time to call. Repeat your number at the end of the message. This is very important. You don’t want to play phone tag.
- Smile while you are talking on the phone. It makes a difference.
- If you email, don’t assume it is now in their court and wait for them to reply. Be assertive, not aggressive. Follow up with a phone call.
Yes. While some organizations have formal internship programs – an application procedure, etc. – most do not.
If you can provide interns with an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge, skills and attitudes, we’ll develop learning activities that will ensure the academic requirements are met.
You can even view them as temporary employees or volunteers. We’ll do the rest.
Some internships are paid, others are not.
Other things being equal, students will choose an internship that is paid.
Students typically register for an "internship course" at the beginning of each semester: August, January, May-June.
However, if a need arises, contact us, and we’ll get the word out. Students can register late for internships.
It all depends. It might require an additional few hours in the first week to orient them. Each week following would require about one-to-two hours over lunch, debriefing after a meeting, etc.
For students that are getting three academic credits for the internship (most common), a minimum of 90 hours over at least eight weeks is required.
We recommend a minimum of 10 hours per week.
There are several points of contact. Send a one-paragraph description with complete contact information to the Director of the Entertainment Management program at Missouri State, in care of Dr. Rothschild.
He will distribute to more to over 200 entertainment management majors. If your organization is a non-profit, you may also let the office of Citizenship and Service Learning (417-836-5774) know about your opportunity and become a regular "partner organization."
This is a great opportunity to find temporary event staff.
First, minimize your chances of getting a "dud" by doing a few things prior to selection:
- Delineate in a spreadsheet the specific task and activities you (and your associates if applicable) do on a regular basis. In another column, delineate tasks the intern can do. Include project-based tasks like doing a benchmark analysis using the web for research, developing an orientation manual for future interns, creating job aids for infrequent tasks, taking detailed notes in all meetings, conducting a survey for constituents, etc.
- Assess written communication skills by having them take a grammar and punctuation assessment prior to hiring.
- Clarify expectations, ask for re-statement expectations in writing (maybe as part of a journal entry) and provide benchmark samples of what you are looking for.
- Caution during orientation, warn and clarify after failure, remove after repeated failure.
Yes. In addition to the for-credit options above (i.e. internship credit and service learning credit), the students from the Entertainment Management Association can help. EMA will let more than 200 students know about your opportunity.
If the event is regarded worthwhile because of “mission” or “money,” you’ll get some great help. Contact EMA by sending a one-paragraph description of your opportunity to Dr. Rothschild.