SAEM Alum is a Marketing and Content Strategy Manager by Day, Pittsburgh Comedian By Night Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Meet Frank McDade
Job titles: Marketing and Content Strategy Manager and Independent Comedian/Producer
Employers: PwC Experience Center, Arcade Comedy Theater and Unplanned Comedy Pittsburgh
Degree earned from Point Park: B.S. in Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management with a minor in Photography, 2008
College activities: SAEM Club, John P. Harris Society cinema club and inaugural member of the Student Judicial Board
Hometown: Aliquippa, Pa.
High school: Hopewell High School
Now living in: Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Photography, comedy, improv and video production
LinkedIn: Frank McDade
Update: Frank is now owner and toy designer of Playn'at Toys. He was featured on WTAE-TV news in the segment "Comedian launches new toy store in Beaver Valley Mall."
Why did you decide to pursue an SAEM degree at Point Park?
I started off college at another university just majoring in general business, but I was unhappy there because I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. In high school, I was very active in theatre and the arts so when I heard about Point Park's sports, arts and entertainment management major, the name itself stood out to me. Also, the SAEM class descriptions really appealed to me because they gave a great depiction of what I could do for a career after college. After taking the campus tour and talking with friends who were already students at Point Park, I decided to transfer to Point Park as a sophomore.
Tell us about the work you do as a marketing and content strategy manager for PwC.
I work with Fortune 100 clients and primarily look at the types of content and topics they should be using to reach their customers. From there, I build a strategy for content development and where that content should live. I've done a range of different projects. For example, one client I worked with for a long time was ADT Home Security. We created and managed timely content for this client that was outside the topic of security, such as Valentine's Day, as a way to attract new customers to the brand.
How have your SAEM classes helped you in your comedy career?
Doing comedy is more than just trying to come up with some funny bits or writing for weeks on your next big thing. There's so much importance around building a personal brand and figuring out new ways to not only gain exposure, but also to strategically position yourself against others out there. There are a lot of projects in the SAEM classes surrounding talent management and how to market entertainment entities. I've been able to reposition myself a few times over the past six years in ways that I had never imagined, which has led to some really cool projects.
What are your favorite Point Park memories?
I have a lot of good memories working with my friends in the cinema arts department. Whether we were taking photos, shooting videos or hanging out in our dorm rooms editing video, we were always creating. Other favorite memories I have are from the SAEM Event Management class I took, in which we worked with different businesses to bring to life a scavenger hunt that took place across the city.
How has your SAEM degree helped you professionally?
One of the major things I gained from the program was learning to plan something and then do it. There was a lot of applied knowledge throughout the different SAEM courses. These classes instilled in me the ability to properly plan for a project or event in order to set it up for success. Professor Paige Beal's Internet Marketing class prepared me for my first job out of college because I could speak the language of internet marketing and show potential employers what I had done in class. Even in the comedy world, a lot of what I do has been directly related to what I did in the SAEM program.
What are your career goals?
Long term, I'd like to merge both my professional and comedy careers. I think there is a lot of crossover. I'd love to own my business, such as a theatre, at some point. I'd also like to explore more of the somewhat untapped area of applying comedy for business and carve a niche for myself there. Until then, I plan to keep building and growing where I'm at because it's going well.
What advice do you have for our current SAEM students?
It's easy to get lost in the ambiguity of what you're doing in college, but it's important to realize what you have compared to many other people in the world. Take advantage of the accessibility that you have at Point Park to so many individuals in different subject matters. SAEM faculty encourage you to work with different departments across the University. I always worked closely with the cinema arts department and took a lot of photography classes. I was exposed to so much not only in the SAEM major, but also throughout the University. My biggest piece of advice is just to take advantage of everything offered at Point Park.