IRTS (International Radio and Television Society), founded in 1939, is a non-profit charitable organization that develops future leaders and advances multi-cultural employee recruitment and retention for the media, advertising and marketing communities. The highly competitive IRTS Summer Fellowship Program places 30 college students into host companies annually, with 90% continuing their careers in our business. MediaVillage’s 1stFive.org is pleased to share some of their stories as we approach the June 9 IRTS Media Forecasting panel, where this year’s Fellows will be introduced. The panel, moderated by IRTS Chairman Jack Myers, features GroupM’s Rino Scanzoni, Havas Media’s Lori Hiltz, Starcom’s Amanda Richman, Magna Global’s Dani Benowitz and Horizon Media’s Donnie Williams. For more information and to register, look here.
Current Company: Senior Manager, Business Insights at Simulmedia, Inc.
IRTS Summer Fellow Year: 2012
IRTS Summer Internship: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Has the IRTS Summer Fellowship shaped your experience in the media industry? If so, how?
The IRTS Summer Fellowship was the most influential experience in my development as a media professional. IRTS showed us the complete behind-the-scenes world of media most people don’t know exist. In addition to our full-time internships, IRTS gave us a glimpse inside various companies and allowed us the opportunity to learn from experts in each field. The mentorship and network IRTS provided helped me navigate the industry and identify how I could contribute and grow within the field as I started my career in media.
In your opinion, why is there a need for an organization such as IRTS?
IRTS provides quality and diverse talent to the media industry, fostering the best minds and giving aspiring professionals the tools to launch their careers. Many talented young professionals shy away from media because of the notorious unpaid internships and low entry-level salaries, flocking instead to tech and finance. IRTS gives students a chance to follow their passions, develop their personal network and build meaningful relationships with a like-minded, ambitious community of friends and mentors.
How did your IRTS summer internship shape your current career placement?
I’ve been entranced by the media industry ever since my first internship. Prior to starting my career, most of my internships had been in creative, marketing or publicity. Toward the end of my senior year, I became increasingly involved with technology and analytics. I embarked on the Fellowship with an open mind, eager to learn. IRTS helped me discover new ways I could apply my interests to the industry and gave me the opportunity to meet with industry leaders such as Dave Morgan. I started exploring careers that incorporate a balance of marketing, technology and data. The next season, I joined Dave’s company, Simulmedia, a company that is bringing audience targeting and ROI metrics to TV.
What is your fondest moment as an IRTS Summer Fellow?
Never before have I been part of such an incredible group of diverse, ambitious and passionate individuals. While we were all interested in different parts of the industry, the thing that tied us together was our drive to succeed. My fondest memory is probably our last night together as a group in New York City. We finished packing our bags and gathered together, talking about our aspirations for the future one last time. Thinking back to that night, and seeing where everyone is today … I have so much love and respect for everyone and am so proud to have been part of such an amazing group.
Support the IRTS Foundation’s mission to “Build Future Media Leaders” by attending the IRTS Media Buyers Newsmaker Breakfast on June 9, sponsored by Active International, CBS Corporation, Comcast-NBCUniversal, DISH Media Sales, Disney-ABC, Facebook, Google/YouTube, Nielsen, Sony and more.