Career Path

Stephen O’Connor

Vice President of National Sales and Marketing, MiMedia Productions, Denver

career path oconnorEDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in communication arts and sciences with a concentration in broadcasting from the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

MY FIRST INDUSTRY JOBRetail sales manager at the Walt Disney Company in Orange County, California. They were starting the Disney stores at the time, which back then was a huge deal. The company was growing and expanding to touch their market in different cities, instead of just their main areas such as Anaheim and Orlando. I was a part of that initial launch.

WHAT I DO It’s my job to introduce and create industry trends. It’s also my job to bring together the best people in the industry to take the audiovisual experience to completely different levels. I took a step back and said, okay, instead of being an AV company that tells the client what they’re getting, how much it’s going to cost, and what they’re going to do, I interviewed over 100 meeting professionals and asked, “What are your challenges? What are your frustrations? What do you need an AV company to do?” Based off that data and interview process, we developed solutions for our client in a couple different ways.

MOST INFLUENCED IN MY CAREER BY It may be kind of a typical response, but my parents.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM THEMThey instilled [the values of] entrepreneurship, and how to treat and respect people in the best ways possible.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT MY JOB The impact we’re making and the relationships we’re building with our clients. It’s an amazing industry, an extremely creative industry. We’re basically the vendor that can make or break an event — and we also have the ability through technology to transform the experience that people have through great sound, great lighting, great graphics, a great team, and a great experience. People really feel and absorb what we do. It’s a great responsibility, but we have the ability to make a great impact, and that’s extremely exciting to me.

MY ADVICE FOR YOUNG MEETING PROFESSIONALS Don’t be good at just one thing. Learn as much as you can about many different topics, and even different trades outside of what you’re studying or currently doing. I’m a firm believer that the more you know in many different categories, it’s going to make you enjoy what you do more. Learning a hodgepodge of information and knowledge is going to make you both a happier person and more marketable when it comes to finding jobs or bettering the position you’re currently in.

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch is associate editor of Convene.