Carlos Morcillo: THF Experience Opened Door at Telemundo

carlos-morcillo-telemundoCarlos Morcillo began his career in the media industry in 2012 when he was a T. Howard Foundation intern at Speakeasy. Today, Carlos serves as Manager, Affiliate Marketing at NBCUniversal/Telemundo. He was hired in 2013, shortly after graduating with a degree in advertising and marketing communications from Baruch College in December 2012.

Learn how the T. Howard Foundation introduced Carlos to careers in the competitive media industry, in his own words.

I was first introduced to the T. Howard Foundation (THF) via a career fair at Baruch College, but also through my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time. She forced me to go to the career fair during a time when I was not focused on my career goals and professional development. That is where I met Karla Morrison, Senior Program Manager, Internship Program.

After the rigorous application and interview process, I was lucky enough to intern with Speakeasy in the business development department. Scott Weiss, THF’s founder, is Speakeasy’s CEO. I secured my internship by demonstrating my ability to think outside of the box and ask smart questions.

During my internship, I worked closely with account managers to find business opportunities and also helped with the maintenance of the company’s CRM system.

THF Supports Interns Every Step of the Way
Interning for a communications consulting company gave me the opportunity to develop skills from a professional perspective. I also learned to focus on building my personal brand and improve my communication skills in a corporate environment. Those concepts were stressed from day one at THF’s Summer Intern Orientation. I still use what I learned there on a daily basis.

The support you get from the THF team and the connections you are able to build are priceless. Being a T. Howard Foundation intern and alumnus is something that will be a part of you throughout your entire professional career. The Foundation works tirelessly to expand its partnerships with top companies, and this only helps ensure that its name and reputation grows throughout the years.

Previous Media Experience Opened Full-Time Doors at NBCUniversal
As Manager, Affiliate Marketing, I am the main point of contact for more than 50 Telemundo broadcast affiliate stations in the U.S. for all marketing-related issues.

I work with multiple departments to supply our local stations with promotional strategies and materials for Telemundo’s novelas, specials and live sporting events, including El Señor de los Cielos, Señora Acero, Latin Billboard Awards, FIFA World Cup tournaments and the Summer Olympic Games. I must ensure that deliverables are being developed on schedule for activation, and sometimes that includes creating and delivering promos within hours.

Despite the fast turnaround time, there is no better feeling than seeing your work live and available for the entire world to experience.

THF Offers Professional Growth for Alumni
Over the past two years, I have been able to grow as a mentor, which allows me to serve as a support system and resource to my mentees, friends and colleagues. Being a THF mentor means behaving and thinking differently because my guidance can impact someone’s decisions and their professional development.

Advice for College Students Interested in Media
Television is a fast-paced environment and anything can change when you least expect it. You have to be prepared to adapt to change and maintain a clear mind to ensure a solution is identified immediately. Additionally, being able to anticipate problems and understand how the business works from all perspectives is crucial to ensure everything is working smoothly.

The T. Howard Foundation opens doors for diverse college students seeking careers in the competitive media and entertainment industry. Kick-start your career with a T. Howard Foundation-sponsored internship.

The application for 2017 internships is now open. The early deadline for submission is Monday, October 31. The final deadline is Thursday, December 1.

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Mentor Finds Inspiration from T. Howard Interns

Andrea Houston

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.”

Andrea Houston (right) and her mentee, Pearly Hidron, THF '14 (center), with Jannath Ahmed, THF '14 (left)

Andrea Houston (right) and her mentee, Pearly Hidron, THF ’14 (center), with Jannath Ahmed, THF ’14 (left)

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.

Alumni Spotlight: Christian Ortega–On the Path to Success

Christian_Ortega“I had just graduated college when I started my T. Howard internship. I was a day late for orientation in Silver Spring because I was participating in my graduation ceremony.”

As Christian Ortega reflects on the start of his T. Howard Foundation internship, the Brooklyn, N.Y. native would have never imagined that after he crossed the stage in 2011 and received his bachelor’s degree from Baruch College that his next step would be working at Viacom. “I wanted to get into accounting but I lost interest in it and opted to earn a marketing degree,” he stated.

His interest in pursuing a career in the media industry was sparked by another internship during the Fall 2010 semester at MTV Networks. Although he had gained some experience, Christian still felt uncertain on how to leverage his degree in marketing in the media industry.

He learned about the T. Howard Foundation’s Internship Program from the career services department at Baruch, applied, and landed the internship with Viacom. Christian says that his THF experience gave him the opportunity to explore one of the largest media companies and find his niche. “I knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry in some capacity and T. Howard helped steer me into ad sales.”

Most college students aspire to land a job by graduation and many view postgraduate internships negatively. Christian also had some reservations about being an intern with a degree. “It was scary because it was an internship. It wasn’t a full time job, so I knew what I had to do. I knew that I had to market and position myself to be offered a full-time entry-level job.”

While working on projects for Nickelodeon (a Viacom network), he managed to schedule several informational interviews with executives throughout the company. Christian says that his supervisors encouraged and sometimes assisted him in scheduling meetings that allowed him to gain exposure to several of Viacom’s networks and truly maximize his internship experience.

One of his most important takeaways from his time at Viacom was the knowledge he gained about sales. Christian says, “I learned a lot about the affiliate and national ad sales, subscription fees and the negotiations that can carry on for months.”

His initiative during the summer internship had a direct link to his first full-time job in the industry. In March 2012, he was hired as a Sales Assistant at Discovery Communications, resulting from his relationship with THF. Christian became aware of the opportunity through the Foundation’s alumni listserv. He touts the Foundation to students for helping him to launch his career. “If you are eager and you really want to be in the media and entertainment industry, T. Howard is a great way to get your foot in the door; they have fantastic contacts. It’s just an outstanding resource for any young minority who wants to get into the industry.”

Christian worked on national accounts for Investigation Discovery and TLC for 18 months before accepting the position of Sales Planner at 20th Century Fox in 2013.

He values THF’s mission of diversifying the media industry, and feels the responsibility to mentor students in the same way he was supported as a college student.