In the St. Edward’s Digital Media MBA program, I learned about a range of traditional business concepts and their application in a digital context. For example, our Project Management class was heavily focused on overseeing video game development. And our marketing classes examined in detail the effects of social media and online communities in developing successful campaigns. In addition, we had entire classes about disruptive innovation, digital law, entertainment media, and information systems.
The overarching goal of the program was to prepare us to lead businesses in a rapidly evolving digital environment. We examined many case studies on how companies responded to changing market conditions resulting from technological change. We learned how to analyze a business situation and provide recommendations to strategically leverage mobile, web, games, social, and other cutting-edge digital channels. Below are some of the projects that I completed during my time in the MBA program.
- Market Research — For our Marketing Research class, we designed and conducted surveys and interviews on a topic relevant to a digital media industry. My group chose to focus on the subject of video game piracy. The document posted here is my portion of the final report, which includes survey responses in chart and graph form. The last several pages feature cross-tab statistical comparisons of responses that were found to have a high degree of correlation.
- Branding — In our Promotion and Branding class, we were asked to give recommendations on rebranding for a real-world company or entity. My group chose the St. Edward’s DMBA program as our subject and suggested steps it could take to better promote itself within the digital media industry and to prospective students. The document posted here includes only the sections that I wrote.
- Upsell Recommendations — For our Capstone project, all DMBA students were assigned to a local technology or digital media company and asked to provide consultant-level recommendations on how the company could address a specific issue. My group was assigned to Bazaarvoice and our issue was improving upsell performance of the company’s suite of products to existing customers. To determine our recommendations, we interviewed various Bazaarvoice employees and researched enterprise B2B and SaaS marketing best practices. Since our final report contains sensitive, proprietary information, I’m unable to share it here.
- Project Plan — For our Project Management class, we were required to develop a project plan for a large, complex digital media project. This plan needed to include a communication matrix, schedule, budget, risk mitigation, team layout, measurement methods, reporting steps, etc. This was a group assignment that we completed in a highly collaborative manner, so I’m including the entire final deliverable here.
- Team Building — For our Business Communication class, we were assigned a research paper on a technology-related communication issue that occurs in businesses. For my topic, I chose to examine the team-building applications of the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft. Since team-building and communication are essential aspects of project management, many of the concepts outlined here apply to real-world settings.
- Business Plan — I created this business plan for a fictional iPhone game company, along with two other students, as part of my MBA degree at St. Edward’s University. This was completed for a group project in our Managing the Organization class. Since the project was done in a highly collaborative manner, I am including the entire plan here.
- Investor Pitch — For our New Venture Creation class, each group was tasked with developing and delivering a pitch for investors. Our fictional company had to relate to mobile devices, and my group chose to focus on a personal safety-oriented mobile app. Since the PowerPoint slides (and our verbal presentation) were our primary final deliverable, I have included this document here.
- Disruptive Innovation — For our Digital Convergence class, we closely studied the concept of disruptive innovation by reading Clayton Christensen’s books The Innovator’s Dilemma and Seeing What’s Next. For this paper, I examined the textbook industry through the lens of disruption. Understanding the ideas described in Christensen’s books is critical for being an effective technology-based entrepreneur.
- Financial Accounting — Using the same fictional game company discussed in the business plan above, I created a complete breakdown of one year of operations for this company from a external accounting perspective. This was done for our Financial Accounting class.
- Managerial Accounting — Again using the same fictional business from the business plan above, I created a breakdown of one year of operations from an internal accounting perspective. This was done for our Managerial Accounting class.
- Company Analysis — For our Digital Marketing class, we were tasked with doing a profile and analysis of one digital media company. We chose to focus our paper on Boxee, the creators of open-source media center software. This was a group project, but the document posted here only includes the portion that I wrote.
- Industry Analysis — For our Intro to Digital Media and Entertainment class, we were assigned analyses of different digital media industries (mine being TV/Cable). This was a group project, but the document posted here only includes the portion of the paper that I wrote. My section is focused on the various business, legal, and ethical issues facing the industry.
- Trend Analysis — Also for our Intro to Digital Media and Entertainment class, each student was required to write a paper on the subject of fragmentation in the various digital media industries. As demonstrated in the paper, this trend is one that occurs in many forms within these industries.
Policy and Ethics
- Global Ethics — For our Global Digital Media class, we were required to complete a research paper on an international digital ethics issue. I chose to discuss the ethics of privacy on Facebook, including the company’s moves to decrease privacy options in recent years. I then examined the impacts, both positive and negative, of this policy on citizens in countries with repressive regimes.
- Digital Policy — For our Digital Law class, each student selected a topic to research and write about in-depth. My topic was Net Neutrality. In the paper, I examined the history of Net Neutrality through the lens of specific treaties, pieces of legislation, court decisions, industry initiatives, and government agency actions.