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. 

Alumni Spotlight: Anthony Gallegos, Mr. Reinvention–Part 1

Anthony Gallegos

Anthony Gallegos’ career path has consisted of unexpected events that forced him to reevaluate his plans, make new goals and remain resilient.

Anthony arrived at Temple University in 1998 from Irvington, N.J. with a lifelong love of music. Almost immediately, he began to immerse himself in radio by interning at WRTI-FM, a public radio station on Temple’s campus. “I started board operating and producing different shows my first semester at the radio station.” He would continue to build his skills in the radio industry through internships at commercial and hip-hop stations in Philadelphia.

A fellow Temple student informed Anthony about the T. Howard Foundation’s Internship Program in 2001. He applied, and was accepted into the Foundation’s Final Talent Pool. Shortly thereafter, Anthony was placed in an internship at Pegasus Communications in Philadelphia. His Pegasus responsibilities exposed him to the full process of producing advertisements, from pitching clients to the actual production of ads, which sparked his interest in television. He discovered that he could combine the audio production skills he acquired in radio with the visual components of television.

After completing the transformative internship at Pegasus, Anthony returned to Temple to complete his final year of college. Although he wasn’t a college graduate yet, Anthony already had an impressive résumé featuring several internships and had made contacts in Philadelphia’s large media industry.

Anthony’s transition from college to career, however, was not as smooth as he anticipated. The terrorist attack of 9/11 occured two weeks into his senior year, and as a result, many companies suffered and people lost jobs. Pegasus’s parent company was sold and the company no longer exists. “All hell broke loose in our country and the connections with my internships disappeared,” he recalled. “All of my contacts in the industry were gone.”

Anthony, along with many others, was job hunting in a tough economy and could not find work in the media industry. After graduating from Temple in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, he moved home to New Jersey and took the first job he could find—a customer service representative position at a credit card company. It only took three months on that job before Anthony decided he had to follow his passion and return to the media industry.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Anthony Gallegos’s story in navigating the vast media industry.

Question: What would you do if you lost touch with the majority of your career contacts at the time of your job search? Reply in the comments section!