If I had to use one word to describe what the process is like for securing an internship in the media and entertainment industry, it would be: HARD. With so many people applying to internships via the online application portals of major media companies, it can feel like your resume can easily become lost in a black hole with thousands of other applications. Well, at least that’s how I felt. Luckily, being admitted into the T. Howard Foundation talent pool changed everything for me.
It was as if the T. Howard Foundation (THF) reached into that black hole of applications, pulled mine out, and placed it on the desks of hiring managers at dozens of prestigious media companies. In other words, THF acted as the liaison to make sure my application was actually seen. As a result, I secured multiple interviews at a number of top media companies, and ultimately received an offer for my first media internship in the Content Distribution & Marketing department at Scripps Networks Interactive in New York. Sure, anyone can apply to these internships on his or her own, but having THF advocate on your behalf makes a world of difference.
But T. Howard Foundation benefits don’t stop at securing internships in the media industry. Once I was chosen as an intern at Scripps Network, my experience as a THF intern versus the experience of a “regular” intern proved to be quite different. Starting with THF’s Summer Intern Orientation, the Foundation provided me with a network of fellow interns, a mentor working in the media industry and numerous other networking opportunities.
I suddenly found myself in a situation where my network of intern friends extended beyond the walls of Scripps Network, to a variety of top media companies throughout New York City and other major cities across the country. There was even a T. Howard Foundation New York Intern GroupMe where we planned social gatherings, shared our daily internship experiences and posted interesting opportunities.
As a THF intern in 2014, I was able to rejoin the talent pool in 2015 and was offered another internship at Viacom, working in the consumer marketing department for VH1.
The T. Howard Foundation opens doors for minority college students to be noticed in all aspects of the media industry. This type of opportunity creates job prospects for after graduation, leading to a fulfilling career in media.
Shayla Cole (THF ’14, ’15) is a senior marketing and operations management major at University of Pennsylvania. She is a fall intern at NBCUniversal in the ad sales department in New York, commuting from Philadelphia to the internship twice a week. Shayla is also a co-chair for THF’s Campus Ambassador Program, recruiting other students to apply to the Internship Program.