Volunteer Highlight: Interview with Christian Bourdeau

Tell us about yourself

Originally from Long Beach, I am a 2016 graduate of California State University, Long Beach where I majored in Marketing.  I’ve held different jobs since graduating:  from interning for FOODBEAST, a food publication website, to working as a contracted concert photographer for Live Nation.  I discovered photography while I was on vacation in 2013 and turned it into an entrepreneurial endeavor.  This helped me land my first job out of college where I worked branded gigs and taught myself data analytics, so I could determine which photos were most popular online. It was then that I discovered I could impact a company’s online presence by studying their online performance.

Now, I work in the Business Intelligence department for Machinima, Inc., a media company recently acquired by Warner Brothers.  We focus on the next-generation video entertainment network for gamers and integrate award-winning gaming and fandom video content with massive, multi-channel distribution.  I conduct social media analytics and competitive analysis for Warner Brothers Pictures’ theatrical releases.  I worked on several exciting projects including Justice League, Tomb Raider, and the upcoming film Ready Player One.  We are right at the intersection of gaming & entertainment and I love what I do!

You seem really excited about your job, how did you land such a great gig?

I’ve been involved with the American Marketing Association (AMA) ever since college. After I graduated, I thought it was important to give back.  So I volunteered to work on the collegiate relations committee at AMA Los Angeles (my local chapter).  It’s great to work with college students, since I was one not too long ago.  In addition, I still have a lot of connections at the college level.

On September 20, 2017, I attended an AMA event on Video Game Marketing, where Machinima was part of the panel.  I grew up watching Machinima’s content and was excited to find out they were presenting.  After the workshop, I approached one of their executives and chatted with him.  He probably sensed my drive, excitement and enthusiasm for their company.  As a result, he urged me to connect with him on LinkedIn and send my resume.  A month later, I started my first day at Machinima.

What do you think is the most revolutionary thing that has happened in the marketing industry?

As a social media analyst, I think the biggest thing the industry has seen is the burgeoning of social media.  Not only does it provide an alternative medium to radio, TV and print, but it can be a cheaper, more readily available medium to the general public.  Additionally, regular people can become influencers, cultivate a niche following, and make money by producing content they love.  It’s a brave new world we live in today, and I am glad to be on the forefront of it.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I am really excited about my new position at Machinima.  In 5 years, I’d like to be considered as a social media expert, who knows how to effectively use it to make more calculated decisions.  Some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry work here.  So having the opportunity to work alongside them is inspiring.  I have no doubt some of their greatness will rub off on me.  I am also really excited to take on more managerial responsibilities in the next few years and potentially even take the lead on some projects.  I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing managers, and so developing into a great leader myself is something I am really excited about.

Who do you look up to?

Michael Tomlin, my academic advisor from college and mentor.  He has been helping me tremendously up to this day.  There are also some famous authors I look up to:  Stephen Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People), Tim Ferriss (4 Hour Work Week and Tribe of Mentors) and Robert Greene (Mastery).  I recommend these books as required reading if you’re interested in furthering your career and life in general.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve received plenty of good advice over the years.  But this one I find to be most valuable–let go of your ego and be willing to learn. As a Type A, ESTJ personality sometimes I think I know everything, when in reality I don’t. There are many people who know much more than I do.  I learned that if I kept an open mind and set aside my ego, others were more willing to teach me.  This new paradigm of the world allowed me to gain mentors in fitness, photography, analytics, and personal development thereby exponentially cutting the learning curve.  I used to think to get the job of my dreams, all I needed was to graduate college with a decent GPA and craft a pristine resume.  This, however, was naïve.  One day, in front of my marketing class, my teacher Tomlin announced bluntly that I was not special.  He said I was going to be 1 of 10,000 people graduating from CSULB alone, not to mention other people with degrees still looking for work.  What was going to separate me from all others? Maybe my thought-process wasn’t perfect, and this old man may actually know what he was talking about.  Next, he told me I had to be part of professional organizations, network, and most importantly work smarter and harder than the next guy.  After rinsing and repeating that advice, I got my dream job, photographed my favorite music artists, and lost 80 pounds.

Do you have any advice for our readers?

Yes, it is so important to specialize in your field, and not generalize.  Everyone should have a hyper-niche.  Focus on what you wish to accomplish and work hard to achieve it.  So, find your passion and go to work!