MBA and Cinema Arts Alumna Promoted to Associate Producer for Brunner Alumni Profile
Meet Emily DeShantz
- Job Title & Employer
- Associate Producer, Brunner
- Cinema Production, M.B.A.
- Undergraduate: Dance
Graduate: MBA concentration in sports, arts and entertainment management
- 2012, 2016
- Haddon Heights, N.J.
- High School
- Southern NJ Academy of the Performing Arts at GCIT
- Now Living In
- Gibsonia, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Dance, boxing, boating and skiing
"My current position is actually the perfect combination of my two degrees. While producing was covered during my cinema studies, the business and marketing aspects of working at an agency were learned during the MBA program. Here at Brunner, a producer is almost like a project manager for video projects. I genuinely feel both areas of study have played a part in my career success thus far."
Tell us about your role as an associate producer for BRUNNER.
As an associate producer, I handle the logistics of Brunner’s productions — including the budgeting, resourcing, casting and scheduling. The productions could be anything from content series for social media, radio spots and food photography to broadcast commercials. I work alongside the creative and account teams to deliver quality projects to our clients which include Huffy Bicycles, PNC Bank, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, The Home Depot Rental and more. I feel very fortunate since there’s only a few agencies in Pittsburgh that employ full-time producers.
Why did you choose Point Park’s cinema program and what factors made you return for your MBA degree?
The cinema program prepared me to begin a career in production, specifically for feature films and television. Though initially, I chose Point Park so I could also study dance. When I realized it would be difficult to double major in both, I decided to minor in dance and focus my education on cinema.
After a few years working as a freelancer for various studio productions, I realized the lifestyle wasn’t right for me. I wanted a work-life balance that would allow me to stay in Pittsburgh, work standard office hours and maintain steady job security. Problem was, full-time producer jobs are hard to come by in Pittsburgh and advertising agencies did not consider applicants with only a cinema degree.
My (now) husband was planning to attend Point Park’s MBA program, which influenced my decision to come back as well. I felt an advanced business degree would make me more valuable in the job market. It was fantastic that I was able to continue working full time while earning my master’s degree.
How do you incorporate the skills you learned in your cinema and MBA classes into the work you do?
My current position is actually the perfect combination of my two degrees. While producing was covered during my cinema studies, the business and marketing aspects of working at an agency were learned during the MBA program. Here at Brunner, a producer is almost like a project manager for video projects. I genuinely feel both areas of study have played a part in my career success thus far.
Please list internship and career-related experiences you had as a Point Park undergrad and grad student.
I was fortunate to be an intern on the movie Out of the Furnace while still a cinema undergrad. I was the assistant to the AD (assistant director), the career I had thought I wanted to pursue at the time. It was this experience that helped me learn that it wasn’t the right career for me.
I also worked on various indie films, usually without pay. But these experiences were priceless! They helped develop my resume, portfolio and my abilities as a producer.
During grad school, one of my MBA professors (David Sladack) suggested I apply at his workplace, Brunner, where I began working during my last semester. Without this connection, I may never have gotten my foot in the door at an agency.
What advice do you have for students considering our cinema and MBA programs?
Point Park’s cinema program is designed for narrative films; however, if you have an interest in other areas of production, it’ll prepare you better than most production programs out there! It’s invaluable as a producer to understand all areas of production so you can speak to what’s best/right. Point Park’s program provided this for me.
I’d also share that the film/video industry is tough. Get a good understanding of the lifestyle you’re getting yourself into. I didn’t realize this before college, but I was fortunate to find a career within the industry that fits my personal needs. That’s not the case for everyone, though. Just be open minded in your decision to study cinema.
For MBA prospects — Do it! It will only make you more valuable in the job market. Point Park’s program is efficient and offers great ways to customize. They also really try to help you network so that once you graduate you have the best chance at pursuing or advancing your career.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Fun fact – My husband, Louis DeShantz, is also a Point Park University MBA and business undergrad alumni. We studied in the MBA program together and he proposed at our graduation party.