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International Vision: No Travel Required


As a television Producer/Writer currently based in Los Angeles, I have to confess there have been many times when the importance of my background in Global Leadership, thanks to  USD’s MSGL Program, has not always been apparent. Although my intention for enrolling and graduating from the MSGL program was clear – to develop my personal leadership style and gain a deeper understanding on how to apply that within a global context –  I always thought the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills I gained from the program would be reserved until I began traveling again, on a quest to write and produce compelling human interest stories from a global perspective.

MSGL Alum Emily Butali (second from right)

I am happy to have found that view quite myopic, and slightly embarrassing, given that I currently reside in the world’s Mecca for television and film production. Since graduating from the MSGL program in October of 2008, I have been faced with various opportunities within the entertainment industry where I have had a chance to deal with international clients, and apply valuable lessons from the cross-cultural training skills gained from the MSGL program.

Among some of my more recent opportunities has been the chance to help produce two short film series in conjunction with Women In Film, Los Angeles. WIF is an organization that strives to empower, support and mentor women in the entertainment and media industry. As an MSGL alumna, I naturally found myself drawn to the organization’s international committee, where I have so far helped produce two international short film series in support of Korean and Kenyan filmmakers.

Both events gave me the opportunity to partner and work with filmmakers, sponsors and other forms of publicity and promotion from two vastly different cultures, albeit with the same goal – to introduce and promote international filmmakers within the LA community. Needless to say, I found myself putting some of the skills picked up from the MSGL program to the test, and came away feeling fulfilled every step of the way, whether it was a challenge or a relatively simple achievement. Although my quest in storytelling within a global perspective is just beginning, I am glad that I have been able to apply some tricks of the trade from the MSGL program while still in my backyard. No travel required!

Emily Butali is a 2008 graduate of the MS in Global Leadership program who currently lives in Los Angeles where she works as a television producer and writer for media giants like Universal, Discovery Channel and others.

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