THF Alumna Jordan Budget Scores Diverse Experiences at NBA

Jordan Budget was a 2014 T. Howard Foundation intern at Showtime Networks. She is currently part of the rotational NBA Associate Program in New York. Jordan received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Global Studies in 2015 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Jordan Budget (right) attends the 2016 THF MEN event hosted by at NBA headquarters. Also pictured: Preston Chin (THF  ’12, ’13), Partnership Solutions, NBA, and LaShika Howard, THF Senior Manager, Career & Alumni Services

NBA Associates Experience Four Departments
As an NBA Associate, I rotate through four different departments with four different responsibilities. My third rotation was in the partnerships department, and my responsibilities included identifying new partners with which the NBA could to do deals, what would be included in the contracts and establishing why the new relationships are important.

THF Internship at Showtime Created Networking Opportunities
I interned at Showtime Networks, and the best part was connecting with other THF interns and alumni to learn their experiences. I was also excited to have been assigned a mentor through THF’s Internship Program.

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Jordan participates in a networking exercise as a THF intern at the 2014 Summer Intern Orientation.

THF taught me about the importance of networking and getting to know people in the media and entertainment industry. The networking skills I learned from THF Summer Intern Orientation have benefited me in the long run, and has helped open doors for me at the NBA.

Be Willing to Learn in New Positions
The most important thing for someone new to the industry is to be honest. At the entry level, it’s important to enter a company with a willingness to learn. Be upfront with yourself and with other people about your experience (what you know and what you don’t know); managers will appreciate that and provide opportunities for you to learn and grow.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is telling people that I work for the NBA. I find that my family is proud of me, not just for the professional position I’m in, but the fact that I’m a woman in a male-dominated company. I’m proud that I can sit at the table and be respected.

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Jordan (second from right) connects with other THF alumni and media industry decision makers at THF’s 2015 Diversity Awards Dinner.

Career Goals Often Change
When speaking with younger people, I often find that they have a dream job in mind. In my internship at Showtime, and now working at the NBA, I find that no one came out of college with a complete, clear career path and went straight there. Many of them worked their way around to gain different experiences before setting long-term goals.

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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.

T. Howard Foundation “Squads Up” With 80 New Interns at Media Boot Camp

Nearly 80 minority college students from top institutions across the country joined together for the T. Howard Foundation’s Summer Intern Orientation last week 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.

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DAY ONE
Jamie Washington, M. Div., Ph.D., President and Founder, Washington Consulting Group, opened the annual 2 ½ day orientation by having the students leave their seats and their comfort zones to speak with at least five students they had never met. Each student then chose a partner—again, someone they didn’t know— to answer the question: What do you see in your day-to-day interactions on campus or at your internship that necessitates conversations about diversity and identity?

“You have to be ready to show up and engage in diversity in an authentic way.”—Jamie Washington, Washington Consulting Group

After taking their first professional headshots, the students participated in a human resources session. Suzie Araujo, Senior Manager, Talent Management at Discovery Communications and Tiffany Lan, Human Resources Generalist at AMC Networks advised the students in scenarios on how to appropriately turn down a job offer, handle inappropriate/offensive comments made by a colleague, ask for a potential endorsement for a position they’re interested in pursuing, how to best work on team projects and cross-generational collaboration.

The interns learned about employee resource groups—also known as diversity councils and affinity groups—where employees of marginalized identities can find communities and build connections. Led by Jamie Riley, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Students & Director, LEAD Center, University of California, Berkeley and Alethea Spencer, Media Operations professional, Discovery Communications & Lead Co-Chair, Asian Cultural Alliance, the interns were urged to participate in such groups at their internship host companies that foster a culture of inclusion.

Day One closed with an engaging panel discussion on networking, led by Reynaldo Casas, Entertainment and Media Professional; Mercy Chikowore, Communications Manager, Washington Area Women’s Foundation; Howie Hodges, Vice President, External Affairs, Time Warner Cable; and Claritza Jiménez, Digital Video Editor, The Washington Post.
The panelists provided interns with realistic expectations of networking relationships by sharing their own real-world experiences. Highlights and advice from the panel included the importance of:

  • Developing long-term relationships with professionals. It is not enough to simply exchange business cards with someone in order to land a job. Build quality relationships through networking.
  • Networking with peers and supervisors rather than having the sole goal of meeting executives. Build networks across—not just up.
  • Defining the objective of their internships and approach the opportunities with a clear strategy. Take deliberate steps to make most of the summer experiences.

DAY TWO
Sabrina Garba, Founder & CEO of the Glass Ladder Group, kicked off Day Two of Summer Intern Orientation. Though the orientation serves as a media industry boot camp, the information she provided is critical for young professionals entering the workforce in any industry.

Garba kept it real with the students regarding business communication and personal presentation. She highlighted the generational shifts that workplaces in all industries are experiencing—that interns will work with up to four different generations and four different communications styles.

“Always be authentic, but always show up at your best for the company you’re working for.” —Sabrina Garba, Founder & CEO, Glass Ladder Group

The media industry is one that is constantly changing, and Michelle Rice, Executive Vice President, Content Distribution and Marketing at TV One, explained the current state of the media industry and how it is impacting employees and consumers at all levels. The traditional TV model has been disrupted, and 50 percent of consumers now binge watch their favorite programs. Networks are using content to create experiences and change the game.

Christine Creighton, an instructor with Speakeasy, conducted an interactive presentation on how to effectively speak in public settings and deliver powerful, authentic and clear presentations.

UC Berkeley’s Jamie Riley, Ph.D. returned for Day Two to facilitate a discussion with interns on workplace gender inequities. Luis Clemens, Senior Editor for Diversity, NPR, also shared lessons and insights he learned from a long career in journalism. The students engaged in conversations that explored our gender binary system (masculinity vs. femininity, male vs. female), increasing overall self-awareness.

A highlight of each Summer Intern Orientation is for current THF interns to interact with THF alumni who leveraged their internships to gain full-time employment in the media industry, and how THF assisted them in doing so. This year’s alumni panel included Kelsey Howell (THF ’10), Marketing Strategy Manager, Discovery Communications; Soon Kwon (THF ’05), Writer/Producer, Showtime Networks; Brandon Putnam (THF ’12), Marketing Specialist, Monumental Sports & Entertainment; and Lamar Smith (THF ’11, ‘12), Associate Producer, Discovery Communications.

Day Two ended with a reception for students to continue practicing their newly acquired networking techniques with media industry professionals and THF alumni.

DAY THREE
On the final day of orientation, the students broke the ice with each other by highlighting one person in the group of 80 who they didn’t know prior to attending orientation. They introduced that person, sharing one thing they learned about him or her and something they admire and respect.

Following the icebreaker, the students participated in a discussion about their first steps toward to financial independence, led by Michael McGowen of Mylestone Plans.

The THF summer experience is not all work and no play. At the end of the final morning, the interns broke off into groups based on their internships city (NYC, Atlanta, DC, Philadelphia and Los Angeles). The individual groups elected social chairpersons from each city to plan activities in which the T. Howard Foundation interns could participate together over the summer.

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

T. Howard Foundation Diversity Partners (Nielsen, Grey, MSG Networks, NPR and Reuters) sponsored this year’s Summer Intern Orientation.

Top Reasons to Apply to THF’s Internship Program

If you’re 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.

Danielle Reed

Danielle Reed (THF ’15) interned with Time Warner Cable News. She is a senior at Syracuse University.

I was selected last year to be a T. Howard Foundation intern with Time Warner Cable News in Syracuse, N.Y. Each day for three months, I felt like a real reporter and newsroom assistant. During my internship in summer 2015, I executed two different jobs in the newsroom: multimedia journalist and administrative assistant.

My top 3 reasons for applying to the
T. Howard Foundation Internship Program:

  1. To break into the field and gain experience. The THF internship is what really helped me to gain my first real experience as a reporter in a news setting. Twice a week, I shadowed one of the station’s most experienced reporters on stories and learned how a news package is created from start to finish. This included pitching story ideas to watching it air live on the news at the top of the hour.Since the end of my internship, I’ve been motivated to continue to sharpen my skills and brand myself as a reporter. I am studying in Madrid this semester and have decided to continue packaging stories about current events and interesting people and places in Spain.Danielle Reed6
  1. To make connections and network with peers and hiring managers. THF connects you with other people, internships and jobs. We learned the importance of networking at the Summer Intern Orientation. Networking is vital because many full-time positions are based on who you know.The skills I developed at Time Warner Cable News and my summer project, creating my first professional reporter reel, were undoubtedly the reason I was offered an interview for a full-time reporting position one month after my internship ended. The company watched my reel on my YouTube. I couldn’t pursue the position because I don’t graduate until May, but I know that I am definitely on the right track.I also continue to network while currently studying abroad in Madrid, as the speakers at THF orientation encouraged all interns to do.
  1. The financial and emotional support. All THF interns are paid by their internship host companies. Also, the THF team offers support whenever interns need it, including encouragement, reminders and tips to stay on your toes and on top of your game.

Danielle Reed is a senior Spanish language and literature and African American studies double major at Syracuse University.

THF Reputation and Support Give Students an Upper Hand

If you’re 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.

Robyn Green

Robyn Green (THF ’15), a senior communications major at University of Michigan, interned with AMC Networks.

I figured if I was going to uproot my life and move for a job, it’d be nice to know at least a few people there. So for me, the T. Howard Foundation (THF) did more than just the surface of what you’d expect. There was never a time when I felt isolated in New York City or alone because of the support system of my peers.

When you’re a THF intern, your reputation precedes you. My boss immediately knew that I could return high quality work and that confidence in my ability only drove me to do more every day.

Summer Intern Orientation Teaches Key Career Components
Last summer, I interned with AMC Networks. I’d finally landed my first corporate internship and was determined to make it great. What I didn’t realize was the tremendous amount of work it would take to excel at my summer job. Thankfully, THF’s annual Summer Intern Orientation filled in some knowledge I was missing about networking, my cover letter and how to ace any interview. Even more so, much of this information is available online once you enter the THF’s talent pool.

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Several THF interns pose at the 2015 Summer Intern Orientation

In those three days at orientation, I met so many fantastic, brilliant and kind people. We have a strong network and still keep in touch. This is one of the best parts about THF—I spent a lot of time with the New York interns over the summer, but still kept in touch with the friends I made living in Atlanta, DC and Los Angeles.

T. Howard Foundation Widely Known Throughout Media Industry
The media and entertainment companies that hire THF interns are plentiful. They know each student is qualified, driven, eager to learn and excited to be there. Entry into the program can feel rigorous, but once in, your managers know that they can expect high quality work from you.

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THF AMC Networks interns with Rob Doodian (center), EVP of Human Resources and THF Board of Directors Chairman

A notable part of my summer experience was when the THF interns at AMC had lunch with an AMC executive and his team. Rob Doodian, Executive Vice President of Human Resources (and chairman of the THF Board of Directors) sat down with the five THF interns to ask how our internship was going, what we liked about the experience thus far, and if there was anything he could help us with. That lunch meant a great deal to me because it showed that people were looking out for us around the company and had our best interest in mind.

Ultimately with most things, the experience is what you make of it. I know how hard the THF staff works to make sure each student is happy, has the proper resources to succeed and a support network if they need it.

My summer experience was vastly improved by being a part of the T. Howard Foundation, and I encourage minority college students of any major to apply.

Robyn Green is a senior communications major with a minor in entrepreneurship at University of Michigan. She is helping to recruit the next class of THF interns as a campus ambassador.

 

 

2015 Summer Intern Orientation #THFMADE

The T. Howard Foundation welcomed 90 minority college students to the media and entertainment industry at Summer Intern Orientation, held June 1-3 in Silver Spring, Md. Representing 48 colleges and universities throughout the United States, the juniors, seniors and graduate students have been placed in internship positions at 34 media companies in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Atlanta and Charlotte. The theme for this year’s Summer Intern Orientation was MADE: Motivated, Aware & Determined to Excel, and media industry professionals facilitated interactive personal and professional development sessions, including:

Sessions were also presented on the current state of the media industry; leveraging your best self for a successful summer internship; human resources; business communication; creating your own career path; and effective networking techniques. THF alumni (and current industry employees) also offered tips for students to maximize their internships and prepare for careers in the industry. Special thanks for Grey Group for sponsoring this year’s Summer Intern Orientation as a Diversity Partner! View a slideshow below from the 2015 Summer Intern Orientation.

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Alumni Spotlight: Nkongho Beteck–Summer Internship Changed Career Goals

“This summer, I watched a CEO get hypnotized and a VP get a pie in the face, but along the way, I was able to have intimate meetings with senior leadership and complete the phases of an actual business plan to present to a company.

 I admit, at first I was not extremely excited about my internship position; I was envious of the other T. Howard interns who had positions at top media companies in New York. However, my eight weeks at SmartBrief showed me that an internship or job position, like life, TRULY is what you decide to make it, and I would not have traded this internship for any other.”

Nkongho Beteck I was born in Cameroon, and I now live in Salisbury, Md., and as a multiplatform journalism major at the University of Maryland, I always thought I wanted to be a female version of Woodward and Bernstein.

UMD Faculty Introduced T. Howard Foundation
The journalism school at University of Maryland is great because the faculty is constantly sending internship and employment opportunities, and that’s how I discovered T. Howard. I liked the fact that it is a designated program, which seems a little less intimidating.

During the T. Howard Internship Program interview process, I imagined interning in New York, because it’s the publishing capital. DC was my second choice, but it rose to the top because it’s closer to home and I could secure housing.

SmartBrief Culture Evident at First Meeting
After I was admitted to THF’s Final Talent Pool, I secured two interviews, including one at SmartBrief. When I went to SmartBrief’s office, the minute the assistant came up to me, I could already get a sense of how the work culture is. Shortly after my interview at SmartBrief, I was offered an internship in the content department.

SmartBrief is a news aggregator; they produce different newsletters for hyper-niche trade industries ranging from the confectioners sugar industry to the national retail industry. People working in particular industries can receive tailored newsletters just for those hyper-niche interests. That’s what made me fall in love with SmartBrief.

THF Intern Orientation Provided Opportunity to Meet Like-Minded Student Leaders
Before beginning my internship, I was really excited to meet the other interns at Summer Intern Orientation. Because THF interns are the “cream of the crop”—the go-getters at our universities—and to be in the room with other students who had similar mindsets was really fun, but also intimidating. It’s beneficial to be around people who have that mindset because you can pick and choose the characteristics you like in others, and that can end up making you a better leader.

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2014 SmartBrief Interns

SmartBrief is Team-Focused, Yet Workers are Autonomous
The number one thing that made my internship great was that I had to be self-motivated from day one. SmartBrief is an organization where people are not going to micromanage you. I liked having the independence to do different things.

When I first came into the content department, I completed my assignments, including writing newsletter briefs, and thought that I’d like to work in the product department, because I was interested in the fact that that department was creating a new website. I ended up meeting with some of the supervisors, who were happy to help me. It was great having the flexibility to go to different departments—but it was up to me. I had to be proactive to do something more; not that I didn’t love what I was doing, but I really wanted to maximize the short time I had there.

I was surprised that people who were in senior leadership roles at SmartBrief really cared about how I was doing as an intern, and where I could go in the industry. They often asked me for advice on connecting with millennials.

Experience Changed Career Goals
Before my T. Howard internship, I wanted to be a reporter and produce content. The problem now is that I want to do everything! I love writing and being a team player, and I realized that I can apply my talents to a number of different types of organizations.

I’m now interested in knowing how consumers receive information, why they share things, why they like things and how to get people to interact more with the news—that’s where I see myself working.

Now I have an idea of entrepreneurship. I’m leaning more toward diversity in the workplace and catering to different audiences. I’d love to own my own multicultural, millennial, multi-lingual agency in the DC area, because its so diverse.

THF Creates Opportunities for Growth
I have more confidence now. The T. Howard Foundation builds a platform of confidence, where everything is really in our hands, and we have to continue to lead as we do on campus. It doesn’t stop here.

The amount of confidence I gained this summer is invaluable, and continues to shape the person I am.

Nkongho Beteck is senior multiplatform journalism major at University of Maryland, and T. Howard alumna (’14).