Jul 24, 2012
When Kassity Fojt enrolled in the Master of Arts Management program at Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III College, little did she know her graduate school experience would be the beginning of a career path that would bring her to one of the world's most beautiful locations. The Texas native now finds herself based in Hawaii working as the First Assistant Accountant for Hawaii 5-0, a popular weekly show produced by CBS.
As the First Assistant Accountant, Kassity works closely with show's Accountant to manage the production budget. She also oversees a team of Second Assistant Accountants responsible for working with department heads on expense paperwork, cutting checks so people get paid and managing the financial workflow of the office.
"We wrap a new episode every eight days, so there are a lot of line items to manage and no two days are the same," says Kassity. "In the entertainment industry, everything starts and ends with the money and that means every aspect of this show comes across my desk."
Fojt came to CMU with an undergraduate degree in stage production. She loved the arts, but also loved the business side of the industry and found the quantitative approach offered by the MAM program to be the perfect match for her professional interests. Her enrollment at Heinz College in 2001 was several years before the 2005 indroduction of the Master of Entertainment Industry Management program, which now prepares students for management roles within the for-profit entertainment industry.
"The complete educational package I received from Heinz College is so vital in helping me perform my job on a daily basis," explains Kassity. "Everything from time management to mastering Excel to working on my Systems Synthesis Project with a diverse group of fellow students came together to give me a management toolkit that helps me navigate the complex territory of entertainment industry accounting."
All of this is set to the backdrop of the Hawaiian paradise.
"Even though I work 12 to 14 hour days, I still make a point to find quality time to swim with the turtles and dolphins," she says. "Hawaii is awesome."
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