2016 Best MBAs: Ronica Reddick, New York University

Ronica Reddick NYU

Ro Reddick

 
New York University, Stern School of Business

“I want to bring more interesting and diverse stories to film and television.”

Age: 30

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Undergraduate School and Degree: Ithaca College, BFA in Acting

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I worked as an actor in theater, television and film. I have performed at Tony Award-winning theaters like the McCarter, Long Wharf and Hartford Stage. I was in the off-Broadway musical Silence! and have appeared in shows like Louie and The Americans.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? I spent my summer internship at Women Make Movies, which is a non-profit film distribution company that specializes in the educational distribution of documentary films by and about women. My summer project involved collaborating on a cross-functional team to research new markets, develop an outreach strategy and negotiate sales of the award winning films Dreamcatcher, Private Violence and Regarding Susan Sontag.

Where will you be working after graduation? I am currently seeking opportunities in film distribution.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School

Recipient, Ronald E. Blaylock Scholarship

Fellow, Stern Leadership Fellows

Fellow, Social Impact Internship Fund

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of the work I’ve done as a member of the marketing and distribution strategy team for the independent film CRONIES, by Michael J. Larnell. The film was executive produced by Spike Lee and was completed while Michael was still a directing student in the grad film program at Tisch. CRONIES premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to Tribeca, BFI and the Chicago International Film Festival. After Sundance, Michael opted to distribute his film independently in collaboration with the NYU Production Lab, an incubator for filmmaking talent on campus. The NYU Production Lab approached the Stern School of Business with the opportunity to add students to the project in the form of an experiential learning program, the Stern Signature Projects, offering participants a high impact role and real-world experience.

Recently, the entire team had the opportunity to speak at SXSW in the “90 Minute Film School Panel” and share our experience with innovative distribution alongside industry experts.

One of my goals post-graduation is to work on a team of passionate creative professionals helping talented storytellers find their audience. This project has been an incredible launching pad. We are doing more than consulting—we are actually executing the strategy we’ve created together and then sharing that strategy with the indie film community. It has been wonderful to see the value of an MBA in the creative space and the places where my unique skill set is filling a need for filmmakers and producers.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In my professional career I am most proud of the entrepreneurial endeavors I’ve taken on before and during my time at Stern. I have a production company, Little Red Ro Productions, through which I’ve produced several short films. While at school, I co-created the Little Bright Notebook, a project design tool for creative types and entrepreneurs, along with my classmate Lenore Champagne Beirne. Stern does a great job of creating a diverse and interesting class of students each year. Our collaboration is a perfect example of two people with wildly different backgrounds and areas of expertise coming together to build something that helps the broader creative community. I’m not sure we would have crossed paths were it not for Stern.

Favorite MBA Courses?

Gary Faber’s Movie Marketing course is a must-take for anyone interested in working in film.

Dolly Chugh’s Leadership In Organizations helped prep me for my summer internship experience and see ways to craft the role that would provide the most value for both myself and Women Make Movies.

William Silber is also a fantastic teacher who manages to bring a touch of poetry to Foundations of Finance.

Why did you choose this business school? NYU Stern was the only business school I applied to – which was risky but I knew I wanted to attend an institution that adopted a holistic approach to developing its students so that I would be surrounded by and learn from talented, well-rounded, creative individuals.

What did you enjoy most about business school? Aside from working on the CRONIES distribution team, I really loved my experience with Leadership Fellows. It’s a program for a small number of second- year MBA students that has helped me form what I think will be lifelong bonds with the other participants. Leadership Fellows doesn’t really focus on developing leadership skills. It assumes you have them (demonstrating that is part of the selection process) and then works to help you manage the challenges leaders typically face personally and professionally through meetings with high-level executives and mentorship with a CEO. It also helps you create a guide star for your career based on your passions and skill set.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? How quickly we as students can transform into the best versions of ourselves.

What was the hardest part of business school? Finding balance while juggling multiple projects and opportunities.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Be yourself. Don’t let your GMAT score do all the talking. Stern cares about the whole person.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized there were things I wanted to do with my life that I couldn’t realize without further education and solid business skills.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…prepping for an audition.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Shonda Rhimes. She’s a creative genius with a strong business sense and an inclusive approach to storytelling.

What are your long-term professional goals? I want to bring more interesting and diverse stories to film and television.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My mother for providing unconditional love and support. She also did an amazing job of cultivating creativity – and grit – in all of her children.

Fun fact about yourself: For fun in the late laughs I sang in a country, rock and blues band called Take My Lips.

Favorite book: How could I possibly pick one? Last summer, I read the Star Side of Bird Hill and it really stuck with me. I’ve been recommending it every chance I get.

Favorite movie: Harold & Maude

Favorite musical performer: The queen: Beyonce. Of course.

Favorite television show: Of all time…The Wire. Of the moment…Unreal

Favorite vacation spot: Ithaca, NY (If you go in the winter, pack a shovel.)

Hobbies? I love board games and often host game nights at my house. Favorite games include: Splendor, The Resistance, 7 Wonders.

What made Ronica such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Ronica (Ro) Reddick is a second-year MBA candidate at NYU Stern. Ro came to graduate school with a simple mission: bridge the gap between the creative and business side of the entertainment and media industry by fueling it with a transformative business education. Over the course of her degree, Ro has wasted no time unlocking her potential by participating in and building various experiential learning programs. She started her program off by securing a Social Impact Internship Fund (SIIF) award which supports 1st year, full-time MBA students who wish to complete a summer internship working at the intersection of business and society. She spent her summer at Women Make Movies, a non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women, where she worked on Outreach & Distribution.

Now in her second year, Ronica is leading a team on a Stern Signature Project (SSP) with NYU’s newly created Production Lab- a cross-school initiative that educates and assists NYU filmmakers as they transition from student to film professional. This inaugural project has culminated with her and 4 team members presenting at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, TX on how to develop disruptive distribution strategies for independent films.

Before NYU, Ronica spent over a decade in the performing arts where she worked as an independent actor and singer, performing in numerous television and film projects such as Sex & the City 2, Louie, The Americans as well as 300 performances of the Off-Broadway show Silence! In 2012 she founded Little Red Ro Productions, a production company which is dedicated to telling compelling and engaging stories from an African-American perspective.

Ronica earned her BFA in Acting from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. In Ronica’s free time she volunteers for Vocal Ease, a non-profit volunteer singing organization that provides live entertainment for New York City seniors in hospitals, senior centers, and nursing homes.”

Bryan Ramos
Associate Director
Office of Student Engagement
NYU Stern

DON’T MISS: CLASS OF 2016: THE BEST & BRIGHTEST GRADUATING MBAS