Category: GEMA, GEMA Externship

Title:My Externship Story: Rachel Simpson (MBA’03)

What was my extern experience like in general?

I moved to Los Angeles immediately after receiving my MBA from Georgetown in May 2003. Months prior to moving, I had really focused on developing a network of contacts in the entertainment industry. And I saw participating in the Summer 2003 Externship Program as a means of expanding my network even further with the ultimate goal of receiving a job offer in entertainment marketing.

During the week of the externship, I primarily conducted informational interviews with professionals in marketing, business development, and licensing. However, the main focus of the week was entertainment marketing, and my meetings involved professionals in theatrical, home entertainment, cable, broadcast, consumer products, and corporate marketing at companies such as Fox, Disney, E!, Warner Bros., and Sony.

How has the GEMA extern experience helped me shape my future goals?

First and foremost, the Summer Externship Program helped me start my career with my current position at Fox. But secondly, it made me very aware of the wide scope that makes up entertainment marketing in terms of the multitude of ancillary markets. Film marketing is not limited to a movie’s theatrical and subsequent DVD/VHS release but extends beyond that to satellite, consumer products, hotels, digital cable, the Internet, etc.

I would highly recommend anyone interested in an entertainment career to participate in the GEMA Externship Program. The exposure to a multitude of people, companies, and jobs is an invaluable experience that I could have never gotten on my own.

What would I most want applicants to know about the GEMA extern program?

Even though I conducted over twenty informational interviews, I did thorough research before each interview in order to be prepared and convey my desire to work in the entertainment industry. I also had an extensive list of questions for each meeting. Even in the span of an hour-long interview, it became more and more apparent each day as to what aspects and areas of entertainment marketing interested me the most.

What am I doing now?

As the week wrapped up, I was convinced that I wanted to market films. In my second-to-last informational interview, I met with a marketing director, who marketed 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight’s films as they aired on Hotel Pay Per View, Home Pay Per View & Video On Demand, and the Internet. As it turned out, she was hiring a marketing manager for her group. Four interviews and ten days later, I received and accepted an offer for the position.

If you would like to contact Rachel to learn more about her experience, she can be reached at