Trojans in Business: Monica Koyama

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Koyama-Monica.jpgName: Monica Koyama

Resume: VP of Creative Services and Movie Marketing for FX

Sport at USC: All-American Swimmer

How have you used the skills that made you a great swimmer in the business world?

Swimming taught me to be cool under pressure. Knowing I had done all the hard work, I always felt prepared. In business, the same discipline applies. It's as simple as the old adage, practice makes perfect or as my coach used to say "perfect practice makes perfect."

Out of school, you worked in SAAS at USC.  What did you learn from that experience coming from perspective of a former student-athlete?

Coming out of college, I wanted to be an athletic director. What I learned by coming to Los Angeles from Minnesota was that people get to be slashed. Student/athlete. So, my goal was to help the university look at the whole person, not just the student-athlete. More like the student/athlete/aspiring writer. Helping students find their academic/life path was an obvious start. Who are you? What do you like to do outside of the pool, field, etc.? What keeps you up at night? What is the most fun part of your day? Now, let's make that a jumping off point for a career...

Your path then led you down the creative marketing sector for the film and TV business.  Are you surprised at where you ended up?

Every day I do my job, I have a moment where I say, "I can't believe a chick from Cottage Grove, MN gets to do this." There aren't jobs like this in Minnesota. But, I have ALWAYS loved going to the movies. I had an older sister who worked at the movie theater and I would get to go for free. It was a great recovery activity between workouts.

Also, as the daughter of an artist, I was forced to write poetry and do origami and attend photo shoots. So, my job now is an extension of all those things. I used to create "psyche-up posters" for myself with words and pictures cutout from magazines. I was essentially creating key art for myself to get stoked for meets. My first job after I left USC Athletics was in a sports marketing agency that focused on print.

 I never had any "connections" in entertainment, but what being a Trojan taught me was to set goals; work hard, keep your head down, and focus on the long game.
Koyama works on FX shows like "Wilfred."

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