Danielle Brooks, 2016 IRTS Broadcast Sales Associate

Danielle Brooks, 2016

Sales Planner, Disney ABC Television Group

June 2018 Newsletter Profile

What was your first thought arriving in NYC for the fellowship?
When I arrived in NYC, I imagined something comparable to how cast on The Real World must feel. I was about to spend the entire summer with strangers. I knew that I would have a ton of fun, but I also knew that my world would never be the same again. I knew that the journey would truly be life-changing, and I was right.

Explain your “IRTS Impact”
Being a fellow means that you are a go-getter, an over-achiever, and a leader. Moving from a small media market to one of the largest in the world was very intimidating. IRTS gave me a greater sense of confidence. Before the fellows arrived, the organization’s leaders and alumni saw light and promise in each fellow. Each person I encountered was excited about my future. I remember reaching out to TJ Bowden during the application process for the class of 2016. We had never met before, but his excitement for me was like the excitement one would have for a family member graduating from college. He ensured me that the experience would change my life, and it did.

The IRTS impact now is even greater. The level of support we have for one another is unmatched. I have not witnessed a network as strong and as powerful as this one. Industry professionals have so much respect for the IRTS network. Yet, IRTS extends beyond the media industry. It is a professional resource as much as it is a personal resource. Because of IRTS, I have amazing friends who work at amazing companies in NYC and beyond. I met one of my closest friends in IRTS, and I will be in her wedding later this summer. Since the final day of the nine-week fellowship program, I have come to learn that being a fellow transcends nine weeks. The people, the memories, and the industry all mean much more to me than I could have imagined.

What’s something the 2018 class should do while in NYC this summer?
The 2018 class should share a meal together. Throughout the first week of the program, our group dined together. There is something very special about eating with a group of people. Figuring out the bill was a challenge in the beginning, but it didn’t take long for us to develop a system that worked every time — pass the bill to Akiah.

Favorite thing about your current position?
I enjoy hosting events for clients. I have had the opportunity to be a part of so many cool opportunities such as assisting with casting for the Bachelor, assisting guests at ABC’s 2017 upfront party and hosting clients at the GMA studio in Times Square for ABC’s annual New Year’s Eve party. The leaders at DATG know how to make work exciting for clients and for its talent.

Apart from hosting glamorous parties, I have an opportunity to serve many communities through Disney’s VoluntEARs program. I have had the opportunity to work with several non-profit organizations in New York. One of the most memorable experiences was participating in Disney’s partnership with KaBOOM! We helped the organization build a playground in the Bronx for young children. Helping that community brought so much joy.

What’s a book you think everyone should read?
Outliers: the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.

Advice in one sentence:
Never stop learning.

Headshot of Derek Wan, 2001 alum featured in June 2018 newsletter

Derek Wan, 2001

Senior Manager, Unscripted Originals & Acquisitions, Netflix

June 2018 Newsletter Profile

Advice in one sentence:
The most instrumental people in your career may be the Fellows in your class.

Explain your “IRTS Impact”
This is the summer to find your focus. The fellowship provides you the opportunity to explore every facet of the industry. In addition to the folks you meet at your internship, you will have access to a database of industry professionals who will give you advice, share their stories, and support you. Find time to connect with former fellows and others to learn about all the various positions out there. I landed at a cable network as a Production Assistant for my first job … I had offers in product placement, film production, and sales before I accepted the PA gig. I knew that TV production was where I wanted to be based on ~30 informational interviews I did during my fellowship with experts in every field. The one question that I always asked in each informational was – What does your day-to-day look like? From there, it helped me rule out what I didn’t want to do and helped me solidify and focus on what I was most passionate about. To this very day, I believe that having a clear defined focus has been instrumental to my career.

Remember that time when…
Joyce shared insights on how to tango with giants. During our Orientation Week, IRTS’s very own Joyce Tudryn gave a presentation titled, “Choreographing Your Career: How to Tap the Right Sources, Tango with Giants, and Waltz into a Job.” Even though I didn’t know what it meant at first, it was the single most impactful presentation of the summer. Once you identify your passion, the right amount of patience and persistence while networking will help you land the meaningful position that truly brings you joy. I imagine that Joyce has updated her lecture from 2001, but know that members from my class still talk about that speech … and it’s been 17 years since our Summer Fellowship! Get ready to tango!

Favorite thing about your current position?
The culture. You can find the Netflix culture deck online. If you have a moment to read it, you’ll know why.

What’s something the 2018 class should do while in NYC this summer?
If you have an opportunity, go to a Mets game as a group. Whether or not you are a baseball fan, it’s a fun excursion … figure out how to get there, enjoy one of America’s pastimes, and belt out “Take Me Out to the Ball Game!” It’s a bonding experience I will never forget with my class.

Headshot of Joann Park, 2013 alumna featured in July 2018 newsletter

Joann Park, 2013

Audience Intelligence Manager, Great Big Story

July 2018 Newsletter Profile

What was a big milestone for you?
My first job after college was at Viacom following the completion of the Summer Associates program. During my time there, Joyce and Lauren asked me if I could introduce Tom Dooley, the COO of Viacom at the time, at the Hall of Mentorship dinner. It was a huge honor and a full-circle moment for me. After my speech, I had a chance to sit down for an informational with Tom. There are only a few twenty-somethings who get to say they had a one-on-one with the COO of their company, and I have IRTS to thank for that opportunity.

What was your first thought arriving in NYC for the fellowship?
My first week at my internship was on the sales floor during the upfronts. It was one of the most intense weeks of my life. Phones were constantly ringing, people were literally running from the printer to the meeting rooms. I immediately thought “well, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”

Something interesting you’re working on?
I love the spirit of collaboration at Great Big Story. Although my position is in the research realm, I got to pitch and develop a music series idea with a good friend in the Editorial department. We finished the pilot and we are now greenlit to make this a full-fledged series!

Advice in one sentence:
I have always found advice to be tricky. I have learned that in some cases, people don’t want you to be great. They want you to be like them. That being said…always do your best. Show, don’t tell.

Headshot of John Sadler, 1978 alum featured in July 2018 newsletter

John Sadler, 1978

Happily Retired. Former SVP & GM, ABC Television Network

July 2018 Newsletter Profile

Explain you “IRTS impact” 
It seems as though the phrase ‘changed my life’ is overused, but I must use it with regard to the IRTS. The IRTS summer experience altered the course of my professional life by exposing me to a seemingly endless number of business leaders and mentors willing to share their time and advice with a young college student. Those brief, but crucial meetings ignited my desire to attain a management level position in our business and gave me the confidence to persevere through the challenges we all experience on the way up.

In terms of my personal life, it is impossible for the IRTS to have been more impactful! I met my wife of 36 years, fellow intern Kerrie Malloy, through the summer program. Our two wonderful children have heard the story a few thousand times!

What was a big milestone for you?
The opportunity to lead ABC’s Western Division Network Sales Group was a major milestone in my career. The rich texture of the media and film community on the West Coast provided the ideal environment for my first upper management position. It was the moment that I had dreamed of during that summer of 1978, and I grabbed it and ran.

Remember that time when…
I bluffed the Audience Manager at the David Letterman Show into placing all 10 Fellows in front row seats. We were unceremoniously removed from the seats just before the show started, scolded, and placed in the back row. Hey, it almost worked!

What was your first thought arriving in NYC for the fellowship?
“Buckle up, it’s going to be a crazy ride!”

What’s something the 2018 class should do while in NYC this summer?
Experience every possible thing! The city, and the incredible people to which they will be exposed. They should ask way too many questions and not allow a single opportunity to pass them by. They will only have this set of circumstances once in their lifetime.

Favorite thing about your career?
The wonderful and amazing people that I had the opportunity to work with and call friends.

What’s something interesting you’re working on?
I am volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and the Special Olympics. I am humbled and inspired by every moment that I spend with these two organizations.

What show are you most excited about this Summer?
The World Cup!

What’s a book you think everyone should read?
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
10. Advice in one sentence: Exceed expectations.

Headshot of Alyssa Garza, 2018 alumna featured in August 2018 newsletter

Alyssa Garza, 2018

First IRTS Summer Fellow sponsored by Former Fellows

August + September 2018 Newsletter Profile

As the first IRTS Summer Fellow sponsored entirely through the efforts of our collective former fellow network, this month we asked Alyssa Garza to write a special piece about her summer fellowship experience.

For as long as I can remember, I have aspired to work in the media industry and live in New York City. As a young Latina who loved film, journalism and media, this was my American Dream. When I got the phone call to say I was accepted into IRTS I was exploding with excitement, but even then, I had no idea what I was in for. I can truly say this summer I was living my dream. Not many people get this opportunity, and one of the many lessons I learned this summer, was not to take it for granted.

I got to wake up in the greatest city every day, go to work with a smile on my face and be part of a community of people who are passionate about promoting positive change and innovative thinking through media –Who could ask for more? This experience gave me the confidence and inspiration to execute all my goals and exercise my craft, from starting a YouTube Channel, a blog, and going on informationals and photo-shoots. I was fueled to live life to my fullest potential and I have IRTS to thank for this.

Working as a production intern at TED taught me how valuable a positive work culture is to the quality of the content being produced. TED is a unique, huge family and when I arrived my team and the entire organization welcomed me with open arms; each team was more than willing to teach, work and converse with me. I realized I was there to learn and make meaningful connections more than anything else. I took advantage of all the advice everyone had to offer and the time people took to spare teaching me new skills and concepts and made the most of my time at TED.

I leave behind more than an internship in the city: I leave behind mentors who taught me more than I can ever repay them for, life-long friends who will be my colleagues one day, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Something we (the fellows) left each other with is saying “We’ll always have New York.” I know no matter what steps I take in my career, I will have my IRTS family and my TED family there to help and support me. In the same way, we’ll always have IRTS and we’ll always have each other in our careers and in life.

I can’t express how grateful I am for having had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thank you to the IRTS Foundation and to the Fellows, who–by contributing to my Fellowship–made the impossible possible and for the exposure to all facets of the media industry in New York City. I am incredibly thankful to TED Conferences for the ability to work with the production team and learn from each department to fully understand the all encompassing process of creating TED content. This was truly an inspirational summer and I cannot wait to take all the new knowledge and skills I have obtained and apply them in my future endeavors. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store, stay tuned!

Headshot of Andra MacRae, 2005 alumna featured in August 2018 newsletter

Andrea MacRae, 2005

Director, Campus to Career & Internal Mobility, Viacom

August + September 2018 Newsletter Profile

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 about coming up 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, a 2016 IRTS Broadcast Sales Associate & Featured Alum in August 2018 IRTS Alumni Newsletter

Omar Wilson, 2016

Global Marketing Solutions, Sports, Facebook

August + September 2018 Newsletter Profile

Explain you “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.

What’s 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 about this Summer?
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

Erin Torres (top left) with her 2017 peers at the 2017 Hall of Mentorship

COMING SOON

Check in next month to see our October Spotlight Alumni!

October 2018 Newsletter Profile

Check in next month to see our October Spotlight Alumni!

IRTS Foundation