The other day I was able to meet Sheldon Yeager when he came in to speak for one of my classes. He’s a director of operations/development for MTV in New York City and he talked about his career, as well as, working for the monster conglomerate Viacom. He also offered quite a few interesting points about working in the city and finding success in the job market.
Sheldon got his first job right out of college, starting at Nickelodeon in 1998, while soon after he moved to TV Land working on “packaging” the channel and bringing in a new generational audience. He’s had his hand in many projects over the years, working with MTV Puerto Rico and most impressive was his work with the 44 1/2 screen (aka the big screen with the golden frame around it) in Time Square.
In any case, Sheldon offered a great deal of insight into the industry and living in New York City. Here are a few of the highlights:
-If you’re planning on moving to NYC, be prepared to give up a year and dedicate yourself to working. His advice was to “chain yourself to your desk,” and work hard for at least a year to really succeed.
-When you’re new, it’s realistic that you’re going to mess up, however, the important thing to remember is… never make the same mistake again.
-Gifts for your co-worker’s/supervisor’s/boss’ children are the secret to staying in touch and being on someone’s good side.
-As someone’s assistant or when working with people, you should get a feel for what people want and how they like. He referenced Helen Mirren’s character from the movie “Gosford Park,” in which she plays a servant. She said the best servant knows what the master wants even before he does.
-NETWORK. Always keep in contact with people, make connections and keep up a rapport with them.
-Read the news! Sheldon said reading the New York Times is something he does every morning. (As PR people, keeping up to date on the news is crucial.)
Sheldon shared some really valuable insight, talking about his personal experiences, corporate America, New York City and so many other things I found interesting. I’m glad I could share a few of them with our readers too!
Thanks again Sheldon!