FUTURE MEDIA LEADER
ACCELERATOR SERIES

WHAT IS THE 2020 IRTS FUTURE MEDIA LEADER ACCELERATOR SERIES?

In response to COVID-19, IRTS created the Future Media Leader Accelerator Series (FMLAS), a 12-week, entirely virtual program designed to introduce 45 accomplished, diverse young professionals to both the media industry and the IRTS network.

WHAT DID PROGRAM ACCOMPLISH?

  • 40 Panel sessions
  • 78 Unique speakers 
  • 1800 Collective conferee hours
  • 96.7% Average engagement rate
  • A sense of community. 100% of participants reported a significant improvement to their mental health and well-being

A NEW IRTS EXPERIENCE

While we sincerely wish we could have welcomed yet another class of IRTS Summer Fellows to NYC,
abnormal times call for uncommon measures, and the 2020 Fellowship was cancelled.

 

As IRTS watched so many promising young professionals lose opportunities due to COVID-19,
we knew we had to create something to support the next generation of media leaders:

 

THE IRTS FUTURE MEDIA LEADER ACCELERATOR SERIES 

 A 12-week, entirely virtual program focused on:

 

(1) Providing conferees with a foundational knowledge of the media industry 

(2) Encouraging conferees to become active members of the diverse IRTS community

PROGRAM PILLARS

Preparing for the summer still left us all with a few questions… 

 

How do you bring the knowledge of today’s titans into the homes of tomorrow’s leaders?

How do you encourage personal growth without in-person connection?

Quite simply, how do you build a worthwhile community over wifi?

FMLAS Pillar 1. Minimalist cartoon of 3 professionals standing together1

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

LEARNING FROM LEADERS

Conferees learned about the media industry through meetings with IRTS's vast network of program alumni, Board Directors, and other top media professionals. Our conferees gained insights into how large companies operate, how to navigate those organizations, and how to identify the types of people & opportunities they should be investing their time in.

FMLAS Pillar 2. Minimalist cartoon of a lightbulb shining2

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

LEARNING FROM IRTS TEAM

Conferees worked one-on-one with the IRTS team to enhance their networking skills, resumes, email correspondence, LinkedIn/ portfolio, and explore their career interests. The IRTS team introduced conferees to new areas of the media industry, opportunities they may not have known existed, and individuals that will become lifelong mentors.

FMLAS Pillar 3. Minimalist cartoon of 4 puzzle pieces connecting3

COMMUNITY BUILDING

LEARNING FROM ONE ANOTHER

What sets IRTS apart, year after year, is its supportive, diverse community of peers. Throughout the entirety of FMLAS, IRTS provided conferees with opportunities to connect and engage with one another. We challenged our conferees to invest their time in getting to know one another; creating a supportive and fun community over the course of the program.

RESULTS

12 Weeks

11 Community building exercises

22% Of speakers were IRTS Board Directors

1800+ Collective conferee engagement hours

Countless 1-on-1 conversations

40 Panel sessions

78 Unique session speakers

60% Of speakers were IRTS alumni

96.7% Average conferee engagement rate

Strong sense of community

100% of participants reported a significant improvement to their mental health and well-being upon completion of the program

“IRTS welcomed us with open arms and gave us valuable insights into their world and never hesitated to help with whatever we needed. It truly is a family.”

"This program turned a time of stress and disappointment into an experience that I will always treasure. Not only did I learn about ALL areas of media, but I was able to make friends all over the country and meet professionals who genuinely cared about my career trajectory. IRTS is truly a place where everyone feels welcomed; I felt valued and important. I emerged from this program with a sense of confidence and direction. This is a community that will always be there for me."
Bailey C.
Drake University

“FMLAS was an incredible professional experience. It was great to be in an environment that fosters diversity and makes sure our voices are being heard.”

"What was so special about FMLAS was that for the first time, I felt that I was a part of a group that had the same passion and drive as me. My peers are my biggest supporters. I've learned so much more from FMLAS than from my college classes. This experience has made me truly think about where I want to be within the industry and as a person-- about what I can do to make an impact for others."
Atinuke A.
New Jersey Institute of Technology

“The FMLAS experience provided me access to an insider’s view of what it takes to succeed in the media industry.”

"FMLAS allowed me to learn about the media industry beyond the classroom and to make supportive connections with professionals, particularly my incredible FMLAS cohort. While this summer differed from my pre-COVID expectations, it empowered me to grow, taught me professional adaptability, provided me with lifelong connections, and left me excited about my future career in media."
Andrea I.
The University of Miami

This summer flew by. When it was wrapped, I didn’t anticipate having to grapple such an insurmountable feeling of growth and, most of all, gratitude.”

"With a pandemic and civil rights strife, IRTS pivoted with FMLAS, one of the media's most conscious efforts towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. IRTS kept its class of majority BIPOC conferees connected to industry leaders, and advocated for us in spaces we typically have difficulty accessing -- all while checking in with us mentally. Endlessly grateful the IRTS community for not forgetting about us. You consistently support important voices in the media industry. I look forward to making waves with my incredible cohort."
Lucky N.
University of Texas at Austin

“I’m really grateful I got to speak with professionals who look like me. I realized that what I’m doing now is paving the way for others who look like me to make it, as well.”