For So Many—Why BEMT

Written by Danielle Bennett

[Kennedy] noted that one of the best things about the BEMT minor were the professors, all of whom remain active in the industry.

The Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology (BEMT) is currently one of the most popular minors at NYU, but it hasn’t always been that way. In 2009, it had only 32 enrollees. As of Spring 2017, there are 763 students enrolled in the BEMT minor. Al Lieberman, the Executive Director of the Entertainment, Media and Technology Initiative, as well as a distinguished NYU professor at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, spearheaded the minor almost 15 years ago. At the time, Professor Lieberman was teaching graduate courses in the Entertainment, Media and Technology concentration when students and administrators alike began to ask for undergraduate courses in the same subject.

Professor Lieberman says that the demand has been there since the beginning for the minor. Today, over a thousand students take at least one course every academic year from the minor’s class selections in Stern, Tisch and Steinhardt. The increasing popularity of STEBA, or the Stern Tisch Entertainment Business Association, only further justified the administration’s decision to advocate for this undergraduate minor.

The minor attracts Stern and non-Stern students alike. Kennedy, a Gallatin student, said that she chose the BEMT minor because she, “didn’t just want to be a creative.” Long-term, she wants to go into TV production, so she thought having a business background would be vital for her career. She noted that one of the best things about the BEMT minor were the professors, all of whom remain active in the industry.

Professor Lieberman also emphasized this feature of the minor, stating that the majority of professors who teach BEMT classes are adjunct, with only three to four professors full-time. This was strategic and done so that students could get the most up-to-date information about specific areas of the entertainment industry depending on the classes they are enrolled in. The goal was to have a well-resourced professor teaching every single class, regardless of whether it was TV Nation or Sports Economics.

Kara Dubria, a senior at Stern and the current co-president of STEBA, is also pursuing the BEMT minor. She noted that the diversity of class offerings drew her in. However, she explained that another possible reason for the minor’s popularity, especially among Stern students, is its “unconventional way of thinking about businesses and where business can take you”.

The number of students pursuing the BEMT across NYU is growing rapidly—and mostly through word-of-mouth. The adjunct professors, support from STEBA, and long-term opportunities in the entertainment industry have piqued the interest of many students across NYU, regardless of their school affiliation.

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