Montez Flenoury: THF 2017 Rising Star

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Montez Flenoury at THF’s 2012 Summer Intern Orientation

Montez Flenoury first discovered the T. Howard Foundation’s Internship Program as a freshman at University of Georgia. Find out how THF was instrumental during his college years, and how he landed a full-time position as Associate Booking Producer for NBC’s The Today Show, and chosen as THF’s 2017 Rising Star.

We sat down with Montez at last month’s annual Diversity Awards Dinner, prior to his Rising Star speech.

I was a freshman, pre-journalism major at UGA and joined the National Association of Black Journalists on campus. I knew I had a serious interest in media, and a THF staff member visited campus to present to our group. I thought THF was something I’d be interested in, so I spoke with my career advisor and I applied. I went through the interview process and was selected for an internship. I was initially concerned because I didn’t have experience, but after the semester ended, I was selected for an internship in the sales operations department with Turner Network Sales in Atlanta.

At Turner Network Sales, my responsibilities included working on organization charts. I attended meetings and I met quite a few THF alumni who had become full-time employees. I worked on marketing projects and also attended a number of events.

Two THF Internships Provided Career Clarity

As a rising senior in 2012, I secured another internship with Cartoon Network. I had decided to major in public relations, and sought an internship where I could obtain PR experience, still in the media industry. Since Cartoon Network is part of the Turner family, I spoke with the THF team to see if my internship could be converted to a THF internship. Fusing Cartoon Network and THF, I was able to have a great second internship experience, coupled with the valuable information I received at Summer Intern Orientation.

In my Cartoon Network internship, I worked on a major project from original conception to completion as a true member of the team.

THF Interns are Their Own Network
The word “network” doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. As a THF intern, there are numerous opportunities to meet, connect and build relationships with a lot of different people. We tend, however, to underestimate the network we have with our THF class interns, in addition to meeting executives. The new THF interns are working in the media industry as well, and can be great resources now and in the future.

With THF, the resources are incredible, and I received a Scott Weiss Scholarship that helped me study abroad. The staff was always there to help me and connect me with others. The staff has so many partners in different business functions within the industry.

THF Alumni Status Opens Doors
Just before graduation from UGA, I attended the 2013 THF Diversity Awards Dinner in New York. I was in the process of interviewing for NBC’s page program at the time, and I spoke with an NBC executive at the dinner. I asked him for suggestions on how to get farther along in the interview process. I think this contact and others helped me to be selected for the page program. That was extremely instrumental to beginning my journey with NBCUniversal.

After working as an NBC page for a year, I became a production assistant for The Today Show. I later worked for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and now I’m back at The Today Show as an Associate Booking Producer. In my current role, I book guests that a team of producers wants to have on the show. These guests range from news guests to people from the world of politics and entertainment.

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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.