NO TWO days are ever the same in the glamorous world of entertainment lawyer Natalyn Bava.
Ms Bava, 26, is currently legal counsel at NBCUniversal’s Asia Pacific office, which is based in Singapore. It supports its six core channels across the region, including channel brands Diva Universal, E! Entertainment, Universal Channel and Syfy.
Together with the head of legal, she works across the spectrum — handling distribution deals for channels across the region as well as acquisition of programming and channel advertisement sales. She also supports the marketing and creative teams, among other responsibilities.
While most of her time is spent on her role, she makes an effort to develop her skills and attend seminars or networking events.
Networking, she says, is important for people in her profession who want to grow in their career.
“It gives you an advantage if you are looking for a job you want. More importantly, identify the people whom you want to learn from. Finding mentors is one of the keys to development and success,” she says.
More to life
It is not all work and no play for Ms Bava, who also gets to attend movie premieres and promotional events as part of her job.
In fact, one of her most memorable experiences was meeting Canadian actor Patrick J. Adams, star of American legal drama Suits, when he was in Asia to promote the show.
The Singapore Management University law graduate had always known that a career in the entertainment industry was her calling, thanks to a job in a music and festival company she held during her tertiary education days.
Then, she was primarily involved with coordinating the management of live concerts and festivals in Singapore. She also coordinated the schedules of performing artists and their entourages.
The job taught her to be resourceful, she says. Once, she had to tap her networks to find last-minute reservations at a vegan restaurant for a star. She also had to find unusual items requested by artists.
Today, she enjoys her legal-entertainment career for three reasons:
First, her colleagues. She works with a team of talented and passionate people who are constantly innovating in the fast-evolving television industry.
Second, she enjoys being able to see the tangible outcome of her work, in the form of the acquired television content, at NBC-Universal.
Third, she is always kept updated with latest technical advances as the rights involved in the media business are always evolving.
Role model parents
Her parents are her role models, she says. Ms Bava comes from a family with a strong sporting background. Her father, Mr Natahar Bava, is a former Singapore athlete and rugby player. Her mother, Dr Rose Bava, was a gymnast, marathon runner and was recently conferred a doctorate in childhood education.
“My parents have been paramount to my development and have motivated me in multiple ways,” she says.
For example, her mother would constantly remind her to make her bed every morning as she was growing up. She saw it as a mundane task then, but later realised its importance after watching a commencement address by American naval admiral William H. McRaven.
Making one’s bed, she realised from his speech, signalled that one had accomplished the day’s first task.
Quoting Admiral McRaven, she says: “It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
As a young entertainment lawyer, Ms Bava knows the importance of staying grounded and focused. She says: “This can be a rewarding profession, provided you are willing to work hard, stay focused and keep motivated.
“As a lawyer, your reputation will travel farther than you ever will. In Singapore, there is a great awareness about legal ethics. I’ve found that most lawyers pride themselves on being trustworthy, ethical and reputable.”