Thinking about a summer internship in social enterprise? Want to know how your MBA skills would be applied? Wondering how the experience would meet your goals and interests? Jesse Souweine, Vice President of Careers for the Social Enterprise Club, asked Jeannie Munn, a 2002 Summer Associate with Public Broadcasting Services (PBS).
Can you describe the organization you worked for and your specific project?
PBS is a private, non-profit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 349 public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services that inform, inspire, and delight. PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week.
As a summer associate, the scope of my project at PBS was twofold.
First, I examined the future of television, focusing on how TV viewing patterns change with the increased adoption of on-demand personal video recorders platforms (PVRs such as TiVo and ReplayTV). Based on the analysis, I made strategic recommendations on what PBS could do to ensure that their content remained relevant in this dynamic landscape.
At the end of the summer, I presented the results to the senior executive staff, the local public television station management, and the CEO. One of the recommendations I made resulted in the formation of a long-term strategic relationship with TiVo, a PVR industry leader.
Why did you decide to take a nonprofit internship?
I pursued a summer internship at PBS for several reasons. First, I wanted to gain exposure to the media world and determine if it was an industry in which I was interested in pursuing. I came to business school in order to explore a career in the content and media industry and planned to get an internship in the field. Second, I wanted to work for a company that created content which touched the consumer, rather than learn about the media industry from a professional services approach.
Finally, I was interested in gaining exposure to management opportunities in the nonprofit sector and understanding how the nonprofit environment differed from the for profit world to which I am accustomed.
Based on these criteria, I realized that PBS was a perfect fit for my interests.
How did you apply your HBS skills? And what did you learn?
In order to achieve the project objectives, I had to use many of the skills I learned throughout the course of my academic and professional career.
When examining the TV landscape, I realized that the frameworks such as Porter’s Five Forces for competitive analysis and marketing’s 4 P’s were especially useful. They were helpful in structuring the problem at hand and enabled me to quickly analyze the market environment.
However I also learned that I had to develop straightforward ways to convey the results of the analysis through visual diagrams as I had done in consulting. I had to present the results of the project to individuals of all levels of understanding, from directors and producers who had low awareness of the technical and market implications of personal video recorders, as well as to the CEO who was a sophisticated, avid TiVo user.
What I enjoyed the most out of this experience was the ability to make recommendations and help implement them.
How has this internship has shaped your thinking and future involvement in the sector?
Overall, the project at PBS exceeded my expectations and helped me focus my own professional goals. It confirmed my interest in the media industry and
I plan to pursue a profession within this field. My experience has also helped me appreciate a profession within the nonprofit sector and I plan to stay connected to this organization going forward.