Headshot of Alyssa Garza, 2018 alumna featured in August 2018 newsletter
Former Fellow Spotlight, July 2018: Inaugural Fellows’ Fellow Reflects
July 26, 2018
Former Fellow Spotlight, Oct + Nov 2018: Daniel Haack, Tershone Phillips, & Graham Taylor
November 21, 2018

Former Fellow Spotlight

August + September 2018 Newsletter

The IRTS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that develops future leaders and promotes diversity in the media industry. Our cornerstone program is the IRTS Summer Fellowship Program, often referred to as a “media boot camp.”

On a semi-regular basis, we send out a newsletter for IRTS Summer Fellowship program alumni. In each newsletter, we profile some of our alumni in the Former Fellow Spotlight section.

This edition, we caught up with 2005 alumna Andrea MacRae and 2016 alum Omar Wilson.

For a full listing of the alumni profiled in our Former Fellow Spotlight, please click here.

Andrea MacRae
Current Occupation: Director, Campus to Career & Internal Mobility, Viacom
IRTS Summer Fellow Year: 2005
IRTS Summer Internship: MTV Networks (mtvU)

Explain your “IRTS Impact”
IRTS impacted so many aspects of my life. It brought me to an amazing city where I had no connections and gave me an instant professional network which profoundly impacted my career path. I haven’t left New York since my 2005 summer fellowship ended!

What was a big milestone for you?
After transitioning my career from Production to Human Resources – Campus to Career, I was able to partner with IRTS to place Fellows into the Viacom Summer Internship Program. It has been extremely rewarding to be a small part of the program that brought me to NYC and helped me blaze my own path.

What was your first thought arriving in NYC for the fellowship?
I remember feeling overwhelmed and excited all in one. I had to pinch myself multiple times to remind myself that this dream was a reality! Going through it with a cohort helped foster a sense of community from day 1. I feel fortunate that I had a group of friends to share my mixed emotions with.

What’s something IRTS alumni should do when visiting NYC?
My favorite thing to do in NYC is see a Broadway show. Wicked, my all-time fav, I saw for the first time during my Fellowship by winning their lottery system! If you’re lucky enough to win, you’ll have an unbelievable up-close experience at an extremely discounted price!

Something interesting you’re working on?
Working on Viacom’s Campus to Career Programs allow me to help students and recent graduates develop their career paths. It’s an extremely rewarding job because I not only help cultivate talent but I also get to support Viacom’s business by pipelining the best and the brightest within.

What show are you most excited for this fall?
Shameless Plug: Jersey Shore: Family Vacation is back for season 2 on MTV! I’m also super excited to watch the new season of This is Us.

Advice in one sentence:
Know that it’s not only ok but it’s also exciting to change your mind, go in a different direction, and discover a new passion at any point in your story!

Omar Wilson
Current Occupation: Global Marketing Solutions, Sports, Facebook
IRTS Summer Fellow Year: 2016
IRTS Summer Internship: CBS Television Station Sales

Explain your “IRTS Impact”
The IRTS impact is exposing young professionals to a vast array of opportunities within media that expand your perspective of your career goals and the types of roles that you can occupy. From the frequent speaker series, company visits, and informational interviews; IRTS demystifies the barriers of entering the media industry while also providing Fellows with the self-confidence to go out and achieve it.

Remember that time when?
The first night of the IRTS Fellowship, after moving into our NYU dorms, my roommate Malik Johnson checked Twitter and discovered that Kanye West was doing a pop-up concert (for Life of Pablo) at Webster Hall, which was three blocks from our place. I remember taking off running down the street at 1am to join the crowds of fans, who were all trying to get inside. We stayed out until 3am partying and hoping to get in. Though the Fire Marshall shut the entire event down, it was a great way to connect with my roommate, be a part of a cultural event, and start off an unforgettable summer.

What was your first thought arriving in NYC for the fellowship?
I remember being so excited about spending nine weeks in New York and really taking advantage of the city, and the opportunity with IRTS. I had previously completed an internship in NYC, back in 2014, but due to cost, I had to commute from New Jersey. With the IRTS Fellowship, I was proud to able to get a taste of what it would be like being a New Yorker, and building relationships with my peers, who also were interested in working in media.

Favorite thing about your current position?
Working with my favorite sports brands on their Digital Marketing campaigns! Within my role, I act as an Advertising Consultant to sports teams and leagues across the NBA, MLS, NFL, and USTA, to name a few. By building relationships across each client’s organization, I educate and train their marketing departments on Facebook’s suite of advertising solutions while also leveraging industry trends to help them achieve their business goals.

Something interesting you’re working on?
Helping create a new Facebook program to provide 70+ Minority small business owners education and skills to level-up their digital marketing efforts through Facebook Advertising.

What show are you most excited for this fall?
The Walking Dead

What’s a book you think everyone should read?
Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace, by Carla A. Harris

For a full listing of the alumni profiled in our Former Fellow Spotlight, please click here.

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