When Chris Smith, MBA ’08, finished his bachelor’s degree in music — focusing on composition and audio engineering — he founded Lois Earl Entertainment, a post-audio production company in Austin. His idea was simple: provide professional composition and all post-audio services at Texas-style prices for independent filmmakers, game developers, songwriters and recording artists. After a few years of success and exposure to a variety of media professionals, he wanted to take his business and career to a new level. So in 2006, Chris enrolled in the Master of Business Administration in Digital Media Management program at St. Edward’s University.
A Different View of SXSW
During his first year in the program, Chris learned about changes in the digital media industry such as game publishing strategies, digital distribution, copyright alternatives and new media marketing strategies. He also added to his network of professional contacts, particularly at the South by Southwest Film, Music and Interactive Conferences and Festival. While he had worked at SXSW for the past four years as a stage manager, this year was different. His involvement in the digital media program helped him mingle and talk with executives from major media companies. Chris landed an eight-week summer internship with Sony BMG doing new media marketing, licensing and business development for the music catalogs within the newly-formed Commercial Music Group.
“There are so many companies who are looking for people who know how to dissect these new technologies and their convergence,” Chris says. “I feel like I’m in a good place.”
Using Technology to Create Value for Kids
“Kids today are all over technology,” he says. “We should be able to leverage entertainment technology and culture so it creates value and empowerment for these kids and their education. They should feel that it’s cool to be tech-savvy and smart about the economic drivers of the technology, too.”