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Meet the… vice president of product management

Dave MacKinnon, vice president of product management at Clear-Com, explains the value of collaboration and networking in building a media career

Talk us through an average day in your role

Each day brings something new: one day may involve exploring new products, another may entail improving existing ones, and yet another may revolve around assisting customers in utilising Clearcom’s tools to construct personalised communication systems.

How did you get started in the media industry?
Dave MacKinnon, vice president of product management at Clear-Com

My journey into the media industry was unexpected. While working in technology for the U.S. Navy, I received an offer from NBC Universal to return to my hometown, San Diego, to oversee technology operations there. Over my 12-year tenure at NBC, I eventually managed West Coast technology for local media. Though much of my learning occurred on the job, my prior experience with the Navy provided a valuable perspective and foundation for innovative thinking.

What training did you have before entering the industry?

My background is primarily in electrical and RF engineering, honed during my time with the US Navy. Additionally, I acquired formal and on-the-job training in IT and satellite communications. While I would have appreciated more formal education, hands-on experience proved invaluable in understanding how to navigate real-world challenges.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

The collaborative environment is what I cherish the most. Clear-Com boasts a team of dedicated and highly skilled professionals, which I find invigorating. Having been a long-time customer, transitioning to a role within Clear-Com was facilitated by the relationships I had cultivated over the years.

What advice would you give to those interested in a similar role?

Explore diverse opportunities. Your interests and passions may evolve over time, so it’s essential to remain open-minded. While formal education is valuable, hands-on experience, like my time with the US Navy and NBC Universal, is irreplaceable. Reflecting on my career, much of its trajectory was shaped by timing and relationships. Cultivating a broad network and understanding of industry workflows equips you to seize opportunities when they arise.