Kia Darhahi, MBA '22
Voiceover Actor, Kia Joon VO
What was the inspiration to start this business?
"After hitting a wall with 14 dental school rejections, I thought about what I wanted to do and decided to pursue something that has always meant a lot to me. I have always been a fan of video games, cartoons, and anime, and I have been doing silly voices for my whole life. Voice acting was a natural choice given my hobbies and interests! I believe that you have to love what you do, and there is a duty that I am fulfilling in life by using my voice to portray causes that are important to me."
How did your entrepreneurship classes help to move your business forward?
"Entrepreneurship classes have been at the core of solidifying the day-to-day operations of my voiceover business. Dr. Cox in particular has been a huge aid in solidifying my ideas, my business plan, and some strategies to enter the medical narration market for instance. Instead of not knowing what to do at a given time, I feel that now I am able to map out short and long-term goals while also being grounded in finances and not treating my career as a hobby. Entrepreneurship has also, importantly, taught me the importance of the pitch, specifically, pitching myself and my skills."
What have been the challenges you’ve faced so far?
"One of the biggest obstacles in voiceover is that there is an abundance of voice actors, and an abundance of talent at the top. The most successful voice actors are highly specialized, offer coaching, cameos, panels, and are able to leverage their platform for further growth. I need to be able to break into this highly competitive field with a strategy and a vision, and coming up with the former continues to be very challenging. Time, hard work, and awareness of the industry are needed before entrepreneurial skills can come into play. The advantage that I think I will have as an MBA is that I will be able to streamline the business side of VO in order to grow as a voice actor."
What is your hope for the future of your business?
"I hope to be among the best voiceover artists one day, and leverage my platform in even more ways than those who currently excel. I wish to produce all kinds of content and have Kia Joon become not only a person but a brand. Companies would ideally be reaching out to me because they want me to represent their brand in national spots, and I hope to be able to be picky with whom I choose to work with so that my principles can align with theirs."