Disney Hosts THF Alumni Mixer

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THF staff and alumni pose at The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank.

On August 4, THF staff members LaShika Howard, Senior Manager, Career and Alumni Services, and Brynton Lett, Associate Manager, Internship Program, joined more than 20 current THF interns and alumni at The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, Calif. The group enjoyed a welcome reception at the lot’s Legends Plaza, followed by a brief history presentation, and a tour of the sets of hit television shows Code Black and black-ish.

After the tour, Ben Pyne, THF board member and President, Global Distribution, Disney Media Networks, greeted the group. Members of the talent acquisition and diversity teams were also present and engaged with the interns and alumni during a networking reception.

“It was wonderful connecting with fellow THF LA interns and alumni, and getting to visit the Disney lot was an extraordinarily special experience,” said Victor Li (THF ’16, Paramount Pictures)

A special thank you to Ben Pyne and the rest of The Walt Disney Company team for a great event.

 

 

 

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.

 

T. Howard Foundation 2016 Summer Intern Orientation (VIDEO)

Nearly 80 minority college students from top institutions across the country joined together for the T. Howard Foundation’s Summer Intern Orientation (June 6-8, 2016) in Silver Spring, Md.

Billed as a “Media Industry Boot Camp” (#THFSQUAD), the students selected for THF’s highly competitive internship program participated in interactive sessions to fully prepare for their summer media industry internships and future careers.

Following orientation, the students traveled to their internship cities to begin their career journeys in the media industry—well prepared and motivated.

800 Media Professionals Celebrate Industry Diversity Strides at THF’s Annual Awards Dinner and Fundraiser

Russell Simmons, John Ridley among awards presenters

For the 23rd year, the T. Howard Foundation (THF) brought together top media industry leaders at its annual Diversity Awards Dinner—but this year was different. Nearly 800—a record—media and entertainment professionals attended and supported THF and its programs for minority college students and young professionals seeking careers in media.

At the Diversity Awards Dinner, which took place on Wednesday, March 23 at New York City’s Cipriani Wall Street, THF recognized HBO and ABC for outstanding leadership in the area of diversity. Additionally, THF saluted its most recent internship program class and new hires, and acknowledged the internship host companies and employers.

“In 2015, THF placed 106 students in paid internships in the industry. The same year, 43 THF Internship Program alumni were hired into the industry, with an additional hired outside of media by such respected companies as Accenture, KPMG and Deloitte,” said Jo Pamphile, THF President & CEO.

Jasmine Shockness (THF ’11), Manager of Sales and Business Development at Viacom, spoke to attendees about her journey from THF intern at NBCUniversal to a full-time employee in the media industry. Shockness was acknowledged as THF’s 2016 Rising Star.

Russell Simmons, entrepreneur, author, activist and philanthropist, presented THF’s Corporate Excellence Award to his friend and colleague, Richard Plepler, Chairman & CEO of HBO. Simmons recounted his long-standing friendship with Plepler and professional relationship with HBO.

Accepting the Corporate Champion Award on behalf of Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment, was Academy Award winner John Ridley. Dungey is the first African American to head a major network, and Ridley is the creator and executive producer of ABC’s “American Crime,” for which he has received an Emmy.

Additionally, THF presented two Diversity Partner Awards to Crown Media Family Networks and Microsoft Corporation. Bill Abbott, Crown Media’s President & CEO and Martin Sacchi, General Manager, Business Development, Media & Entertainment Group at Microsoft Corporation accepted the awards. Both companies have supported the Diversity Awards Dinner for more than four consecutive years.

During the evening, THF presented a silent auction with more than 30 items and exciting experiences donated by companies supporting the dinner, including tickets to a seven-day Disney Cruise, 2017 Super Bowl, season finale of “Project Runway,” and tapings of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

Diversity Awards Dinner emcee, Juju Chang, Co-Anchor of ABC News’s “Nightline” led a live auction during dinner, featuring tickets to the 2017 college football championship game and a private 10-person dinner at the Food Network Kitchen and Studios.

A spontaneous live auction surprise happened when Mark Kang, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Distribution at INSP, took to the stage and auctioned off tickets to a Rihanna concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The generous winner gave the four tickets to THF interns.

Earlier in the day, THF hosted its 2nd annual Diversity Meet & Greet for New York-based Internship Program alumni who are actively seeking full-time positions in the media industry. Human resources representatives and recruiters from AMC Networks, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, Grey Group, HBO, Reuters and Viacom gave presentations and networked with more than 30 THF alumni.

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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.

When Doors Shut, T. Howard Foundation Opens Windows

Miles Armstrong (THF' 15), a senior at Morehouse College, interned at Turner Network Sales.

Miles Armstrong (THF’ 15), a  Morehouse College senior, interned at Turner Network Sales.

If you’re a minority college student interested in launching a career in any business function of the media industry, apply to the T. Howard Foundation Internship Program. The final deadline is December 1.

The summer of 2015 was an introspective one for me. Pressured by my parents to understand that “Your junior year is the one where you need to have an internship,” I found myself scrambling to secure valuable work experience for the summer. I had attended numerous careers fairs, workshops, on-campus interviews and mixers. You name it—I was there.

My scramble for employment for summer 2015 landed me two interviews with two different companies, both of which sent me emails stating that they were “pursuing other applicants.” Just great. Thankfully, along the way, I met with an alumnus of the T. Howard Foundation at the Atlanta University Center Consortium Career Fair, and he encouraged me to apply to the Internship Program.

At first, I was pretty skeptical. It sounded almost too good to be true. But I researched the organization and I liked everything I read. THF takes their selection process seriously and only chooses those students who prove that they are the most motivated and bright, and have potential to be hired in the media industry. Everything lined up with what the alumnus from the career fair told me. An organization whose mission is to increase minority presence in the media and entertainment industry was just what I needed!

L to R: THF '15 alumni and Morehouse College students Jillan Anderson, Miles Armstrong and Terrance Daye met up at a THF recruitment event.

L to R: THF ’15 alumni and Morehouse College students Jillan Anderson, Miles Armstrong and Terrance Daye met up at a THF recruitment event.

Fast forward a semester—I had applied and was selected to THF’s talent pool. A couple months later, I received a call from a THF staff member and was told that Turner Network Sales had an internship position, and my previous experiences fit the description. The position sounded a little more formal than I would have liked, but I decided to have an open mind and have my resume sent over.

After I interviewed with Turner Network Sales, I felt good and thought that I might actually be offered the internship. The next day, I received another call from a THF staff member saying that Turner Network Sales had offered me a position as a summer intern in the marketing activation department. I was very happy and so were my parents. Everything was looking up.

The connections and partnerships that THF has forged in the media and entertainment industry are immense. At times, there is a disconnect between the companies where students are eager to intern and the actual applicants. Sending in a resume is always possible, but it can be easy for your resume to get lost among the 10,000 other resumes a company receives.

THF bridges that gap and gives students a chance to succeed while interning at major media companies. Because of THF, I gained media industry experience, formed relationships with industry executives and got an in-depth grasp of how the industry operates—all in one summer.

Miles Armstrong is a senior Business Administration major at Morehouse College. 

Two THF Media Internships Provided Career Clarity

If you’re a minority college student interested in launching a career in any business function of the media industry, apply to the T. Howard Foundation Internship Program. The final deadline is December 1.

Cameron Gamble

Cameron Gamble (THF ’14, ’15)

Entering my sophomore year as a double English and Political Science major at Georgetown University, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do as a career. I changed my major and I felt as if my life goals and plans had suddenly taken a turn. That was until my friend and T. Howard Foundation (THF) Internship Program alumna Danyel Semple (THF ’13, ’14) told me about THF and how it helped to shape and mold her career goals.

THF Submits Prepared and Motivated Students for Internship Interviews
I immediately researched the Internship Program and instantly knew THF was something I wanted to be apart of. I went through the application process and the phone interview, and I was selected for THF’s talent pool. I was both anxious and nervous, because I knew admission into the talent pool did not guarantee a summer internship. As I finished my last final of sophomore year, I received a phone call from Turner Network Sales’ contract administration department offering me an internship for summer 2014 in Atlanta, my hometown. I was ecstatic, but even more, I was thankful for the T. Howard Foundation for submitting me for this opportunity.

Experience Expanded Beyond One Department
Working in Turner Network Sales’ contract administration department was both challenging and analytical. Twice weekly, my team met with the legal department to discuss contracts that were coming to a close and whether Turner was going to renew them. Sitting at the table with corporate lawyers and updating the contract database for the department was a hands-on opportunity that many interns do not receive.

I was ultimately responsible for the management of 50 contracts, which required close textual reading and multitasking. I conducted research and created a national sub-distribution spreadsheet, which reflected large cable companies and their relationships with small receivers. This project became a direct key for both the corporate lawyers and the contract administration department.

When I left Turner Network Sales at the end of the summer, I realized that I developed so many transferrable skills such as communicating in the work environment, dressing professionally, solving problems as a team, and most importantly, networking. I could not have asked for a better experience or a better program in the T. Howard Foundation to provide me with such an amazing internship.

CameronGambleTHF Alumni Eligible to Reapply for Second Internship
Following my 2014 THF internship at Turner Network Sales, I immediately knew I wanted to complete another internship in the media and entertainment industry. But this time I had my eyes set on the working in New York. Because THF works with major media companies based in the city, I reapplied to the Internship Program.

Once again I waited and opportunity knocked; I was offered a 2015 summer internship at iHeartMedia. A THF Internship Program alumnus worked for iHeartMedia, and arranged for the company to be a new THF partner.

At iHeartMedia, I assisted the event and venue partnerships department with national event ideation and execution, as well as aided in sponsorship sales for the iHeartRadio Music Festival, which is the company’s largest national tentpole event.

The T. Howard Foundation granted me the vision and opportunity to achieve professional workplace experience in an industry that is both challenging and competitive.

I am thankful to THF for providing me with mentors who guided me along the way when things got tough, and provided me with insight with each step. Despite what I receive in the classroom at Georgetown, the T. Howard Foundation has provided me with two years of expansive knowledge that pertains to networking, how to present myself in the workplace and more importantly how to be a #THFBOSS (Building Outstanding Skills for Success).

Cameron Gamble is a senior double major in English and Political Science at Georgetown University.