Media industry veteran Andrea Houston has volunteered her time and expertise as a T. Howard Foundation Internship Program mentor since 2012. As Vice President/Senior Integrated Investment Manager at Universal McCann (commonly known as UM), Houston is responsible for marketing clients through buying commercial time during television and radio broadcasts.
Having witnessed the evolution of media during her 30-year career, Houston believes she can be a resource to newcomers eager to learn the ins and outs of the ever-changing industry.
Last summer, Houston was paired with Pearly Hidron, a then-rising senior at Baruch College and ad sales analytics intern at NBCUniversal. Because they work in similar functions of the industry and their offices were physically close to each other, Houston and Hidron initially met for lunch. “I shared with her some of the things that would help her move along in her career, including reading trade publications to get a sense of how fast the industry moves.”
After their initial meeting, they communicated by phone and email over the course of the summer and still keep in touch. Houston recalls that “she was interested and very attentive, and ‘leaned in’ to the conversations and was appreciative of the time.”
Also of Pearly Hidron, Houston remarked, “She was very refreshing and inspiring to me; she shared an excitement of being in the business.” As a mentor, Houston wanted to ensure that Hidron wasn’t intimidated by the industry and encouraged her to reach out with any questions and share updates.
Before becoming a T. Howard Foundation mentor, Houston had mentored young professionals informally—mainly friends of her children and young people at church. She finds the organized mentorship program ideal.
“It is evident that the T. Howard Foundation is highly selective and has a structure in place to choose individuals for internships and carefully match them with mentors,” said Houston. “I participated in a breakfast with other T. Howard interns last year, and it was inspiring to interact with such high-quality students.”
If you have at least two years of professional experience in the media industry, please consider serving as a T. Howard Foundation mentor. Complete the mentor registration form.