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SDA Bocconi MBA Boosts Career In Entertainment Industry

Andi Caruso has acted in indie movies and run a Canadian rodeo festival. Now she's eyeing a marketing career in the media industry

SDA Bocconi School of Management snapped up Andi Caruso, MBA 2012 candidate, for her unusual experieince within the entertainment industry, both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes in corporate sales, strategic planning and event management across Canada.

After Andi, 28, completes her SDA Bocconi MBA she has plans to take her entertainment industry experience into the world of digital media and e-commerce.

The Canadian and Italian dual citizen graduated from Ottawa's Carleton University in 2006 with a major in Journalism and a minor in Business. While at Carleton, she wrote for independent papers Charltan and Centretown News. On graduating in 2006, she spent a year in acting school.

Andi describes her stint at acting school as, “Something no one expected of me. It was tough to do but it was full of great people and so much fun”. Highlights at acting school were workshops with Larry Moss who coached A-list stars Leonardo di Caprio and Hilary Swank. She also appeared in a few short films before deciding it was time to try her hand in a different part of the entertainment industry.

Andi worked in sales and marketing Penny Lane Enterntainment Canada. The company owns and operates over 15 venues in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. The best thing about working for Penny Lane, Andi says, was “being able to engage in projects from conception to execution”.

She was in charge of the Calgary Stampede, a 10-day rodeo and exhibition that takes place in July. Andi co-ordinated corporate sales, project management, strategic planning, traditional and online marketing, media planning and buying, sponsorship development, and logistical management for the event, which attracts over one million people each year.

There was also the added benefit of meeting celebrities such as the Backstreet Boys, Samuel L Jackson and Josh Hartnett. 

She also worked as Project Manager overseeing tours and other major events for Union Events in Canada.

Andi decided to pursue the SDA Bocconi MBA because she felt her experience on the ground was not translating well into ger experieince on paper. Bocconi had the exact programme she wanted and she would get a chance to live the Milan style and see the rest of Europe.

So far, she’s been around Italy, travelled to Paris and Greece, and had just returned from Copenhagen when we spoke. She has trips scheduled to Barcelona and to the Cannes Film Festival with her classmates.

In between all the travelling and the hectic MBA schedule, Andi is active in Bocconi’s Marketing Club, Ski Club and Sailing Club. 

She’s busy applying for internships and Bocconi's Career’s Services staff have helped her reach out to people in the e-commerce world. She’s eager to take her experience in marketing and entertainment and use them to help media companies and consumers interact better through social media.

She’s applied for roles at Disney, Sony and Salesforce.com and will be taking an exchange option this fall at UCLA or Duke University to specialise in marketing strategy, but Bocconi has the final say on this. During her exchange, she’ll be keeping her eyes peeled for opportunities in Silicon Valley.

You can follow Andi’s progress on her blog for the Financial Times.

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