Ming Zhang's ePortfolio

A City Tech OpenLab ePortfolio

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Unexpected news

On my usual day in work I started off my day with an unexpected news. I headed to my usual morning meeting with Jason and my other coworkers expecting to talk about what we are planning on doing today. However, one of my coworkers Kyle wasn’t there. Jason explained to us that the company decided to lay off some employees in our department and Kyle was one of them.

Jason explained to Ayano and I that it wasn’t any performance reason and that it was just differences in views and some work politics mumbo jumbo. He didn’t want to go more into detail and told us that the company gave him a nice severance package.

I know I haven’t gotten to know Kyle long enough, but I expect it may have something to do with him being in the department for a long time and they may be looking to hire another designer with a new perspective to work in the MTV app. I also found out that they also laid off other senior designers in my department.

Experiencing this news during my internship was shocking, but it made me realize that it is common for people to leave or quit their jobs at a company like Viacom. Everyone has to perform on the same level as everyone else and there is a lot of expectation in terms of designing a wonderful app for one of Viacom’s many channels that they own. What happened this day has motivated me to work even harder¬†during my internship so I can be up to par with my fellow coworkers at Viacom.

Day to day

Interning at Viacom my schedule consist of going there Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm. I was able to make my own schedule and decided that I want to work there everyday and as much time as possible in order to get a full experience of what it’s like to work in a corporate environment like Viacom. ¬†I only work half a day on Wednesdays and Friday’s because of class.

First thing everyday at 11am I would head off to my supervisor’s office along with the rest of my team so we can have a meeting. We talk about what we are working on as well as go off topic and talk about other things non work related. I think these group meetings are good for everyone since we work far apart of each other and this is a good time to see each other everyday. In addition, the whole design department uses this chat program on our computer called Slack. It’s a great app that allows our team as well as other people in the design department to talk to each other even though we are far apart. We use this program daily to keep up to date with our work progress during the day.

During the afternoon around 2pm I usually have my lunch, but I would just eat my food while also working so that there isn’t much downtime. I’m pretty much a hard worker so I like to do things and send them to my supervisor to get any feedback. My first week interning at Viacom just consist of competitive app research which I had to present to the whole team at the end of the day in a meeting where my team presented what they are working on and get feedback from each other. This type of meeting was good for me in understanding how people present their work and improve on my public speaking when presenting my own work to my team in a company environment.

Getting to know my coworkers

I work¬†at Viacom’s Music & Entertainment department and my team works predominantly on the MTV app. ¬†During my second day of my internship I was introduced to other designers at Viacom’s lower Manhattan location. I realized that there are other teams who work on other channels for Viacom. They also work as a team of 3 and have the same set up as my team ( A design director leading a team consisting of a senior and associate designer). Most of the designers are located on the 7th and 3rd floor and they are bunched up together in one section of the floor except for my supervisor and I. ¬†I also found out that one of the associate designers were recently hired after being an intern during the summer.

My day consist mainly in understanding what my team does with the MTV app and their current progress with the design. I learned what each of my co-workers are working on and¬†what role I will be doing in supporting my team as a intern. MTV has two apps, one for news and the other for their music and TV shows. Jason assigned me with the task of researching competitive news apps and see what they are doing that differentiate from MTV news app. They are trying to get an idea on improving their news app and in hopes by next year integrate MTV news app together with MTV’s main app.

During the afternoon Jason wanted the team to bond and get to better know each other so we went out to eat for lunch. We went to this nice restaurant in the West Village called Ditch Plains. I had a Fish Sandwich with fries and honestly I was impressed how good it was. There we talked about a lot of things like our lives as a designer and other design topics. It was very interesting and made me appreciate my team members more for opening up themselves.

 

First Day

On my first day at Viacom’s lower Manhattan Building located in 345 Hudson St I was excited and a bit nervous. Commuting to Viacom was actually just a few train stops away from where I live. I found it very convenient and glad that I didn’t have to travel all the way to Viacom’s Time Square location every day. I will be interning on the 7th floor, just a floor beneath my supervisor’s office.

Before going to the 7th floor I went straight to my supervisor’s office so that he can take me to my desk and introduce me to my other co-workers. Jason, my supervisor is actually ¬†the director of product design and he leads the design for the MTV app. He introduced me to Kyle, the senior product designer and Ayano, the associate product designer. Kyle has worked for Viacom for almost 8 years and Ayano just started around the same time I did. I felt comfortable that there was also someone else who started at the same time¬†as me and still learning the ropes about Viacom.

After introducing myself to my coworkers I was taken to my work space. I found out that it was a temporary desk because there wasn’t a desk available near my coworkers so we’re kind of a distance away from each other. However, I was sitting with other people who work at Viacom that were not designers. I found out that my floor consist of people who work on various other channels in Viacom such as Spike TV and Comedy Central.

It was a nice first day and there wasn’t much work to be done since I spent the whole time getting to know my coworkers as well as people I sit near.

Orientation

Before working at my actual internship I had to attend orientation for the internship program. For orientation I had to go to one of Viacom’s big skyscraper buildings in Time Square. This made me realize how big of a media company Viacom actually is in general. As I head up to the 13th floor I went into a room with other interns who will be working in various other departments at Viacom.

During the orientation we all had to introduce ourselves and talk about what college we came from and where we will be interning at Viacom. I learned that there are many students outside of the New York area that came to intern at Viacom. I also found out more about Viacom and the company in general.

The orientation was very organized and structured. They knew what to explain to us and even had a folder with a small book and paperwork for us to do before actually starting our internship. They also had to check if we completed our paperwork for employment before handing it to our supervisor. Overall it was a good orientation and I had a great time talking to other students and learn where they will be working in Viacom.

An Internship at Viacom

This semester I am interning at Viacom. Viacom is a mass media¬†industry with interests primarily in cinema and cable television. When researching about Viacom I found out that their¬†networks headquarters are located in New York and London. They also have other international offices located in Berlin, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Singapore, Budapestand and¬†Sydney amongst others. It is a public company currently holding around 9,000 employees based off it’s Fiscal Year for 2015.

Viacom’s primary business is to operate as an entertainment content company in the United States and internationally. The company creates television programs, motion picture, short-form content, applications, games, consumer products, social media, and other entertainment content. It operates through two divisions , Media Networks and Filmed Entertainment.

The Media Networks segment provides entertainment content and related branded products for consumers approximately through 250 locally programmed and operated TV channels. Some of the more known TV channels that they handle include Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, SPIKE, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Channel 5 (UK), Logo, Nicktoons, TeenNick, Paramount Channel, and others, as well as through online, mobile, and apps.

The Filmed Entertainment segment produces, finances, acquires, and distributes motion pictures, television programming, and other entertainment content under the Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Paramount Animation, Insurge Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, MTV Films, and Paramount Television brands. This segment shows movies through home entertainment, television, and digital licensing. The company releases its content through download-to-own, download-to-rent, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, transactional video-on-demand, pay television, subscription video-on-demand, basic cable television, free television, and free video-on-demand, as well as airlines and hotels.

Viacom has 3 buildings in New York. Two¬†is located in the middle of Time Square and the other one is located downtown west at Hudson St. I am interning at the downtown location on the 7th floor.¬†I work as a UI/UX intern in¬†Viacom’s Music + Entertainment department. Since there really isn’t a designated floor for designers we share the same floor with employees from Spike and Comedy Central.

Two recent artles about Viacom:

http://www.nypost.com/2016/10/20/viacom-cbs-merger-could-be-in-place-by-thanksgiving/

This article basically talks about the potential merger of Viacom and CBS happening soon. This merger was predicted since the recent step down of CEO Tom Dooley. Viacom is looking to change things around with the leadership since their drop in young viewers who are shifting towards online paid to view streaming services. ¬†Viacom hopes to merge back with CBS after it’s past split in order to develop a better strategy in sales and pay down their debt.

Tom Dooley Steps Down as Interim Viacom CEO

This article talks about ¬†Tom Dooley, former Viacom CEO stepping down as CEO for Viacom. Viacom’s recent drop with younger viewers moving¬†from pay-television platforms to digital and streaming services has hit them hard. The board believes that a new and It talks about the ¬†future of Viacom and where it is going in the company.

Getting an Internship

Getting an internship at Viacom was kind of an easy process. It was during the end of July and I was applying everywhere online in hopes of getting an internship. I just went on the Viacom career website and applied to their fall internship program. I applied to work under their design section.  It took a few weeks after and I got an email from the program asking me to come for an interview.

I was asked to email my supervisor I was going to intern for to set up an interview with him. I wrote an email email to him to set up a date and got a prompt response. I was feeling very nervous in preparing for my interview because that meant I had to tidy up my portfolio and find a suitable attire.

During the day of the interview it was raining and I thought that it wasn’t a good sign. I went to one of Viacom’s building in lower Manhattan¬†where I would be interviewing with my supervisor. It was on the 8th floor and I spoke with the receptionist to inform them of my interview. As I was waiting for my future supervisor I was approached with a man that was more than 6 feet tall. I felt kind of intimidated as I was shaking hands with him and walking to his office.

As we were in his office he started by asking me to to talk about my design experience in relation to work and school. I talked for quite a while explaining my past design internship and what I was learning at school and how it relates to this internship. I then went on and showed him my various design work. He seemed very interested and asked me questions about my design work ¬†and how I approached them. After a while I felt very comfortable talking to him and I went on and asked him about his life as a designer and what led him to work at Viacom. It was very casual and didn’t feel like an interview at all. In the end he explained to me what I would be doing as an intern and then we parted ways.

At the end of the day the internship program also told me that it was a good idea to email them a thank you letter for the interview. I went ahead and did it and then waited for a response back to them. IN a few days I got a response back from my supervisor Jason that I was accepted into the internship. I was happy and excited to work at Viacom during the Fall.

 

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