Jasmine Shockness: From THF Intern to Rising Star

Jasmine Shockness was a 2011 T. Howard Foundation intern for NBCUniversal’s content distribution department. She currently works as Manager, Sales and Business Development for Viacom Media Networks in New York. Jasmine was honored at the 2016 T. Howard Foundation Diversity Awards Dinner as this year’s “Rising Star.”

Jasmine’s thoughts on working in the media industry and how THF helped get her there, in her own words:

Current Job Responsibilities
My responsibilities as Manager, Sales and Business Development at Viacom are to build and maintain relationships with clients, including affiliates, as well as Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon. I also work to find new business opportunities for the company.

Homework Doesn’t End When School’s Over
One of the executives I worked with stressed the importance of doing “homework”—being prepared for every meeting you’re in and every introduction you’re going to make. I always “google” people before I meet them, and I’ve found that it has allowed me to be successful with my clients. Just knowing a little bit about them before meeting has really made a difference, even knowing what client representatives look like.

Your Work Colleagues are Your Network
The most rewarding aspect of my job is working with amazing people. I have been extremely fortunate to work with a group of people who encourage me and teach me new things. I think it’s great to have a network of people who want me to be better because it makes the company better.

THF Offers Unique Resources
One of the greatest things THF has is an abundance of resources for their interns and alumni. Sometimes people forget what a great resource THF is, and they fail to utilize it. If you use the strategies you learned as a THF intern, make yourself known to the THF staff and your intern class, you’ll never know where you and your peers will end up professionally.

 

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Many THF Alumni Launch On-Air and Production Careers

T. Howard Foundation interns represent most business functions of the media and entertainment industry. Take a look at a few Internship Program alumni who have reached careers in media on-air and in production at major media companies.

This video first aired at the T. Howard Foundation 2016 Diversity Awards Dinner, in front of an audience of 800 media and entertainment industry executives.

Attention THF Alumni: Scott Weiss Scholarship Application NOW OPEN

The T. Howard Foundation meet and greet reception for the 2013 interns at the Silver Spring Civic Center in Silver Spring, MD June 3, 2013.

Scott Weiss, right, speaks with a college student during Summer Intern Orientation. He is THF’s Founder and Chairman Emeritus, and current serves as President & CEO of Speakeasy, Inc.

For the 17th year, the Scott Weiss Scholarship provides eligible former T. Howard Foundation interns with financial assistance for their academic and career pursuits, including college tuition, textbooks and/or expenses related to professional development, such as conferences and workshops that help prepare recipients for a career in the media industry.

The scholarship application is now open! If interested, eligible THF alumni must apply by Wednesday, November 4 at 5 p.m. ET.

The alumni scholarship is named for Scott Weiss, T. Howard Foundation Founder and Chairman Emeritus.

Alumni Spotlight Video: Ismabel Cueto

Ismabel Cueto 2012Ismabel Cueto (THF’ 12) got her start in the media industry as a T. Howard intern with nuvoTV. She currently serves as a Human Resources Coordinator with Amplify, having been an active participant in THF’s Alumni Network.

Learn how Ismabel went from a Syracuse University student without a media background to a full-time industry employee with the help of the T. Howard Foundation.

Alumni Spotlight: Anthony Gallegos, Mr. Reinvention–Part 2

Read Part 1 of Anthony Gallegos’s path through the media industry.

The T Howard Foundation 2013 Intern Orientation at the Silver Spring Civic Center in Silver Spring, MD June 4, 2013.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.

The T Howard Foundation 2013 Intern Orientation at the Silver Spring Civic Center in Silver Spring, MD June 4, 2013At 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. 

First Person Alumni Spotlight: Taylor Henriquez

It was the summer after my freshman year at the University of Georgia (UGA), and like many students home for the summer, I had a part-time job: a glamorous one at the local mall. That same summer, a friend was interning in New York at a major media company through the T. Howard Foundation (THF). My career aspiration was to work in fashion journalism, and while working in the media/entertainment industry was not a career path I had ever entertained, I applied based on my friend’s involvement with T. ImageHoward and gained internship experience.

I was also adamant on never using a t-shirt folding board ever again.

The following fall, I was accepted into the THF Final Talent Pool for the summer of 2010, and after a round of interviews, I was offered an internship with A+E Networks’ distribution marketing department in New York. The responsibilities centered on TV everywhere initiatives, which included creating competitive analysis reports and tracking performance metrics. The work was challenging, but my supervisor also served as my mentor who helped me gain confidence when working with analytics.

I applied for a second internship through THF for the summer of 2011, and was offered a position in the corporate communications department at ESPN in Bristol, Conn. The department was a great match that aligned with my public relations and journalism backgrounds. At ESPN, I was an editorial contributor for their corporate blog Front Row, and creator of the column, “Intern Chronicles.” I loved interviewing story subjects and writing about their experiences working at ESPN.

In May 2012, I graduated from UGA with a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism and kept in touch with my managers from both of my internships. Three months later, I accepted a position at A+E Networks as the Public Relations Coordinator for the international and corporate communications departments. My roles range from managing corporate’s social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, to creating digital newsletters for international channel partners and program sales clients on priority programs, ratings and marketing campaigns.

It’s an exciting time to work in media and entertainment, and I am glad to have been given a nudge from T. Howard to go forth and continue in that direction.