Published Jul 14, 2020
This Grad Helps Facebook Hire Data Scientists
Whitney Grant's Entertainment Business master's degree helped her prepare to work in HR at one of the largest tech companies in the world.
Working in Silicon Valley is a goal for college students around the globe, but scaling the tech industry mountain can seem impossible if you don't have an engineering degree or programming experience. Luckily, it's definitely possible to make a place for yourself in the industry with a range of different skills. For instance, Full Sail Entertainment Business master's degrees graduate Whitney Grant is making strides as a Recruiting Coordinator for Facebook.
Whitney has loved the arts ever since she acted in plays and sang in choruses as a child. Her interests moved behind the camera as she grew older and she became fascinated with the business side of the entertainment industry. After college, she decided to build on her bachelor's degree in business with an Entertainment Business master's program and started exploring options at different schools. She knew that she was destined to attend Full Sail after she participated in the Behind the Scenes Tour.
"I was just blown away by the backlot and the [production] studios…. I just felt like there was no other school that had that type of vibe and provided that true, creative type of environment," she says.
Whitney's academic experiences on Full Sail's campus helped prepare her for her job on Facebook's Menlo Park campus. Her Negotiation and Deal-Making class was particularly helpful.
"It went over all the legalities of the contractual parts of the business, and just how to make sure everything is super airtight before you can even jump to the creative side," she says. "It was just very well-rounded, so it's helped me in a bunch of my positions so far."
Whitney's social life at Full Sail also readied her for the world of Human Resources. The school's diverse student population of musicians, gamers, and film aficionados taught her how to cater to different artistic personalities.
"HR and entertainment management are pretty closely related just because it's the level of providing service for talent," she says. "I was an Entertainment Business major, but on campus I would be mixing and mingling with Gaming majors and Film Production majors. So it was being able to operate with diverse communities and diverse people and bring it all together."
That combination of behind-the-scenes knowledge and social connections with creatives put Whitney in an ideal position for an HR role. A few years after graduation she landed a job as a Recruitment Coordinator at Facebook. She works with hiring managers, interviewers, and job candidates every day to help match qualified people with open positions at Facebook. "Right now I coordinate the interview process for data scientist candidates," she says.
Whitney's favorite job perks include working within Facebook's tight-knit community and working on the company's legendary campus.
"I really do feel like my coworkers are honestly my friends, people I can come together with in a social environment," Whitney says. "And the campus is amazing. The food is amazing, there's a million restaurants… it's almost like working in an amusement park," she adds.
Whitney's advice for tech-industry hopefuls boils down to three points: location, location, location. "I didn't have any jobs that I was interested in on the East Coast or in my small town in Maryland," she says. "If you're from a small town, I think your best bet is to go where the industry is, and that's where you'll have the most opportunities."