Former Fellow Spotlight, July 2018: Joann Park & John Sadler
July 26, 2018
Former Fellow Spotlight, Aug + Sep 2018: Andrea MacRae & Omar Wilson
September 5, 2018

Former Fellow Spotlight

July 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 asked 2018 IRTS alumna Alyssa Garza to reflect on her experiences this past summer. Alyssa is the inaugural “Fellows’ Fellow;” her IRTS Summer Fellowship was entirely funded by donations from previous IRTS Summer Fellowship alumni.

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

Alyssa Garza, 2018

First IRTS Summer Fellow sponsored by Former Fellows

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!

-Alyssa Garza, ’18


Alyssa (far left) onstage at the 2018 IRTS Newsmaker Breakfast introducing herself alongside her 2018 IRTS peers

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

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