“I quit the job and moved back to Philadelphia. I knew, for me, (working for the credit card company) was not why I paid good money to go to college,” recalls Anthony Gallegos, referring to his decision to move back home after losing most of his contacts in the media industry.
Once back on his feet, Anthony landed his first industry job, working as a Production Assistant at ESPN. That position introduced him to life as a full-time employee in the industry, but Anthony didn’t feel that production was his niche.
After almost a year, he left ESPN for an opportunity with Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Company where he could learn marketing and branding techniques. The company is known for its vintage athletic jerseys and had relationships with several music industry stars. In this position, Anthony was able to merge his many interests, including music. He also drew on his advertising experience from his internship at Pegasus Communications.
Mitchell & Ness had a strong celebrity following, and the rapper Jay Z had been a fan of the company. However, Anthony recalls, when Jay Z released his song “What More Can I Say?” on The Black Album, where he states that he doesn’t wear sports jerseys anymore, the company’s outlook changed almost immediately. “With that song and that album, Jay Z changed the dynamics of urban America and the fashion industry. Our jersey sales plummeted by 40 percent, which resulted in a large staff reduction, and once again, I was looking for a job.”
Anthony moved back home to New Jersey to regroup and decided to start graduate school. While in grad school, he landed an internship with IMG. Within two months, he was hired to work on a project in IMG’s media sales division.
After completing the project and approaching the end of grad school in 2008, Anthony’s luck had changed: He had two job opportunities—one at Nike and another with Viacom (MTV Networks). He accepted the offer from Viacom to become a Sales Coordinator. In two years he was promoted to National Sales Coordinator, which was followed by another promotion to National Sales Manager.
In 2009, Anthony sought to reconnect with the T. Howard Foundation. As he built his career, he discovered that his network consisted of other T. Howard alumni and board members. He valued the professional experience and exposure that his THF internship provided for him and wanted to contribute to the organization.
Viacom is one of the Foundation’s internship host companies, and Anthony became a mentor to students assigned to his division.
At THF’s 2013 internship orientation, Anthony served as a keynote speaker and recounted his career path and challenges, advising students to understand that “their paths are their own;” and that each individual must focus on his/her career rather than comparing it to others’ careers. He continues to advise students to “think outside the box on how they can grow; be willing to deviate from their plans and be open to moving to other cities and try new things. “
Anthony Gallegos has never feared transition or taking advantage of opportunities to advance his career. This past November, he left Viacom after five years to join NBCUniversal as Manager of Content Distribution. In his new position, his duties include sales, business development and increasing distribution for NBC, NBC Sports, Bravo, Telemundo, Sprout, Esquire and USA networks. True to form, Anthony learned about the opportunity through his now full network of industry contacts.