Kamilah Gray, global media marketing professional at Bloomberg Media, interned in the media industry in 2009 and 2010 through the T. Howard Foundation. This is Part 1 of her T. Howard experience, in her own words.
UGA Made THF Introduction
As a freshman at The University of Georgia, I was very active in the school’s career center, and my career consultant advised me to apply to the T. Howard Foundation’s Internship Program because of my interest in obtaining a summer internship. I knew that getting into the program would be a long shot (freshmen were permitted to apply at that time), because of my lack of experience at the time, but I applied anyway. At that time, my career aspirations revolved around marketing for a fashion magazine–but I was open to any experience I could get through T. Howard. After the application and interview process, I was admitted to the Final Talent Pool, which doesn’t guarantee an actual internship for the upcoming summer.
AMC Networks Call Trumps Retail
I was a rising sophomore, and had not secured an internship, so I started a retail job during the summer. A week into that job, I received a call that Rainbow Media (now AMC Networks) was interested in interviewing me for a summer position. Little did I know what Rainbow Media or AMC was, but I prepped for the interview, reading every trade article and quarterly earnings report I could find on the company. And it worked. A week after the interview, I was offered an internship with AMC Networks’ affiliate marketing department. I immediately quit my retail job and went to New York.
Summer Intern Orientation Provided Networking, Industry Summary
Just before my internship began, I participated in T. Howard’s Summer Intern Orientation. I networked with peers and industry professionals, and was given a fantastic overview of the industry, which was essential foundational knowledge for my internship at AMC, and my career moving forward in the media industry. At AMC Networks, I got to work across the entire portfolio of brands, creating marketing collateral for AMC, WEtv, Sundance Channel and IFC. I was also able to network within the company and pitched six TV show concepts to WEtv’s Manager of Development. Even though none of my show concepts were picked up, I learned the process of pitching a TV show to a network–something that was not in my marketing internship job description. My summer experience with THF and AMC Networks ignited my passion for media and I decided (without a doubt) that I wanted to intern again through T. Howard. I reapplied and was offered an internship with Time Warner Cable’s marketing department in 2010.
Time Warner Cable: Marketing Bootcamp
While I thoroughly enjoyed my work and intern colleagues the previous summer at AMC Networks, my Time Warner Cable internship was vastly different; it was more like a job than an internship. I was the only intern in the marketing department of my division at Time Warner Cable, and the division was understaffed, so my colleagues utilized my knowledge and experience as if I were a full-time marketing coordinator. My position with Time Warner Cable was in a sense, marketing bootcamp. I managed a creative agency to develop a direct mail piece and email blast that targeted 10,000+ end users in the New York City region. I also developed and presented a business marketing plan to Time Warner Cable employees and senior executives on how to optimize their product offering to specialized market segmentations. And that was just small sampling of my tasks. It was a busy, busy summer to say the least–but one that gave me more insight into traditional marketing than any marketing course I took in college.
Next in Part 2: Kamilah Gray returns to UGA more inspired than ever, and THF connections help her advance to a full-time position with Bloomberg Media.