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MBAs on the Move

Marketing Exec Rebecca Mall Advocates for Top Talent Agency’s Star Clients

Rebecca Mall

  • Senior Marketing Executive, William Morris Endeavor
  • University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management (MBA, 2010)
  • University of Michigan (BA, Psychology and History, 2001)

Rebecca Mall has always known two things: she likes people, and she wanted to work in entertainment. This mom of twins has accomplished that dream — and a lot more. Her resumé includes stints at some of the most renowned companies in show business, including ABC, NBC Universal, Google, Paramount Studios, and now William Morris Endeavor (WME), arguably the most famous talent agency in the world. As a senior marketing executive at WME, Rebecca advocates tirelessly on behalf of the agency’s clients and applies her business know-how to the creative community.

NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS

Tell me about the media and entertainment industry. What attracted you to it?

I’m a fan and consumer of TV, movies, and theater, and I’ve only ever been passionate about entertainment.

I have done a lot of different things in this business since starting at 21. It’s very fun, but it’s also challenging because there is no traditional career path, unlike a lawyer or banker. You take risks, and it’s unpredictable.

 

You do business with people, not with an entity or brand or intellectual property.

 

What does William Morris Endeavor do? What is your role there?

WME is one of the most dynamic and innovative talent agencies in the entertainment business. I am not an agent – I do not represent people and get them jobs. But once someone has a job, I support the work they are doing across the platforms of TV, movies, etc.

I am a senior marketing executive – the role didn’t exist before, and WME created it for me. I do not run marketing campaigns but serve as a liaison and internal consultant to the marketing process.

For example, I screen movies that our clients are starring in or directing so that I can provide recommendations to the marketing department, meet with companies like Apple to discuss a new marketing platform, and I help open films like “Ford vs Ferrari.” In everything I do, I ask myself: How can I bring my expertise to help manage the marketing process and advocate for our clients?

CAREER JOURNEY: IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE

What do you think have been some of the keys to your success?

I love people. At the end of the day, you do business with people, not with an entity or brand or intellectual property. There is a person on the other side of every transaction and negotiation. I have consistently built relationships and coalitions, I have empathy for the people I do business with, and at WME, I am an advocate on behalf of the talent – the artists and creators. My business background is incredibly valuable, and I use it to fulfill my duty to the creative community.

Why did you make earning an MBA a part of your journey? How has it helped you?

After getting a degree in psychology, I knew I liked working with people. I got a job in TV for seven years, working in development and learning that business. In 2007, there was a writers’ strike in Los Angeles, the creative business of TV was not offering many options, and it was very restrictive to one medium and skillset. I applied to business school to broaden my skillsets. Business school teaches you how to think differently and gives you a macro perspective. I also met a lot of people at business school – including my husband, my most valuable personal (and professional) relationship.

 

I use my business background to fulfill my duty to the creative community.

 

Do you have any advice to share, particularly to women in the workplace?

Learn to fight for your point of view.

What appealed to you about this campaign?

I found the ages 15-28 as a woman to be very hard. You don’t know what the world has to offer yet. I’m proud of the career I have built, it’s very satisfying, and I want to educate other women on what is possible.

SUCCEEDING OUTSIDE OF WORK

Outside of work and home, how are you involved in your community?

There are only so many hours in the day, and I have twin five-year-olds. I have been involved with Women in Hollywood, Women in Entertainment, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

There is an old adage: exercise, sleep, career, family, and friends. Pick three. I do four of them moderately well, but I do not see friends as often as I’d like.

Are there any apps or productivity/organization tools that you cannot live without?

I think of my assistant as my business partner, my best “app.” Hiring smart people to be an extension of you is incredibly valuable.


Best advice:
If you are going to be a working mom, having a partner who is at least 50-50 is key. My husband has nothing but pride for me and what I do.

Book recommendation:
I read a lot of parenting books. How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims has a lot of good life lessons that can also be applied to management.

Song that makes her turn up the volume:
Higher Love by Steve Winwood

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