An MBA from Redlands accelerated her marketing career.
Shavonne Wieder ’10, a graduate of the School of Business, started off like many people in Hollywood—in the mail room.
After earning a degree in film studies from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003, Wieder landed a job at Dreamworks and got to know the studio inside and out. “When you’re delivering mail all day, you see a lot of things,” she says.
A year later, Wieder moved into the home entertainment division as an assistant to the head of sales on the retail marketing side. Once Paramount acquired Dreamworks, she moved again to take on a new role as manager of sales and retail marketing. In that position, she worked with partners such as Target, Walmart and Amazon on national DVD releases.
“As a rare L.A. native, my father taught acting and directing for the stage and screen at Moorpark College,” says Wieder. “I had the bug growing up but never wanted to be in front of the camera. I preferred working behind the scenes.”
In 2008, the head of marketing approached Wieder and told her that, to further her career, she should consider going back to school for her MBA. She enrolled in the University of Redlands School of Business at the Burbank campus, and, with the support of her studio, spent two weeks studying abroad in Finland and Sweden, where she learned about green technologies. Because she came up from the mail room and many people saw her as more junior than she was, the degree gave her validation and new knowledge to apply on the job.
“In one class assignment on organizational behavior in management, we had to use our own company as a case study,” Wieder says. “We needed to find ways to improve the organization and write a term paper about it. Mine was shared with an executive, and little did I know they made copies and gave it to other executives.”
Today, Wieder is director of new release marketing with Universal Home Entertainment, running national campaigns and enticing consumers to buy movies like Jason Bourne and The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
“What I love about working in home entertainment is the challenges we face,” she says. “It’s a unique position, because half of the people who buy movies, physical or digital, haven’t seen the movie, but half have, so they know what the surprise is. It’s always an interesting balance.”
Wieder is one of many Redlands alumni (including Julie Henderson ’92 and Naysan Mahmoudi ’96) keeping Hollywood running on the business side. While the days can be long, the challenges and constant innovation can also be exciting.
“It’s a fun industry,” Wieder says. “There’s always something happening, and it’s hard to turn your back on that.”