UPDATE: Today, Hollywood is amused by my reporting about “CAA U”. Now it turns out that United Talent Agency started its university first. Look, it’s never been enough just to push the mailcart and sort packages in the mailroom. In the old days, trainees were expected to use their street smarts to learn about the Biz (which is why lore has it that Barry Diller toiling as a peon at William Morris soaked up so much knowledge about contracts that even partners would pick his brain.) Still, you’d think that with so many agency trainees having MBAs and law degrees, they’d already be schooled in advanced business. But the tenpercenteries want to instill an even more sophisticated understanding that’s specific to them. So UTA nearly a year ago started “UTA U” where trainees and interns take mandatory classes in bookings, coverage, information technology, and other subjects on corporate policies and practices. They also learn about the UTA Foundation and participate in service projects. The instruction is ongoing and taught by partners and senior execs from different areas of the agency. Trainees “graduate” before they land on a desk.
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