Monique Jones (’93) is vice president of finance and controller for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, a leading independent finance and production company dedicated to developing high-quality motion pictures and television programming. Jones provides financial analysis and decision-making support to the executive management team. She has also held senior finance positions with Sony Pictures Television International, Icon Entertainment International, Myriad Pictures and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. She moderated a panel at Anderson's 2016 Pulse Conference in January.Twenty years into her career in the entertainment industry, she looks back at how she aspired professionally.
Q. You began your entertainment career in Los Angeles in 1996, but you’re originally from Omaha. Did you know growing up in the Midwest that you wanted to land in Hollywood?
When I was growing up in Nebraska, my dream was to move to New York City. I didn’t know what I would do there, I just knew it was the city for me. I made a pit stop in Washington, D.C., to attend college at Georgetown University. Although I majored in finance, it was during my college years that I developed my interest in the entertainment industry. Specifically, I wanted to work in the music industry. But before heading west, I moved to New York after graduating from college and worked as an internal auditor in the financial services industry.
Q. What led you to UCLA for your MBA?
After working in financial services for four years, I knew I would never be passionate about a career in that field. That said, I was not prepared to quit my job and take an entry-level position in the music industry. I decided my best strategy would be to earn my MBA at a school in Los Angeles. This would give me the opportunity to pursue a variety of internships during my two years in a full-time MBA program and determine if a career in entertainment was the right fit for me. If it wasn’t, then I would still have earned my MBA and would be able to pursue other career options.