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Former Fellow Spotlight

Summer 2019 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 2016 alum Kyle James.

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

Kyle Daniel James
Current Occupation: Media Supervisor, MullenLowe Mediahub Global
IRTS Summer Fellow Year: 2016
IRTS Summer Internship: Havas Media

Explain your “IRTS Impact”
Impact then: The best media boot camp in existence. Bar none.

Impact now: A group of crazy talented/motivated people always there to chat/spitball/Kiki with whenever I need it. The group could so easily have become overly competitive or toxic as we all grew in our careers, but instead it’s an incredible network/support group that I can rely on to give solid advice/guidance whenever I need. I wouldn’t trade my IRTS fam for anything.

What was your first thought arriving in NYC for the Fellowship?
30 of us? Traveling together? ON THE SUBWAY?

Remember that time when…
(1)The Pulse shooting happened and some Fellows and I were able to attend the rally at Stonewall immediately after. Allowing me, and so many others, to grieve and start the healing process.

(2) On a lighter note, my birthday fell during the Fellowship but, instead of celebrating, I had to schedule an interview that day– in Ft. Lauderdale, FL… My plane got delayed on the way home but I ended up finding all the 2016 fellows (led by the incomparable Titi Tukes) waiting in my apartment on a work night until well past midnight just to wish me a happy birthday. I still have the video and every birthday when it comes up in my Timehop it puts me in tears, just like it did in 2016.

What was a big milestone for you?
Believing in myself & my values enough to convince my agency to let me spearhead a project in support of Issue 3 in Massachusetts last fall (in support of Trans Rights). How often do you get to inspire an entire state to label themselves as a “Masshole” as a good thing? https://www.massholesnotassholes.org/

What’s something the new class should do while in NYC this summer?
Find things that inspire/refresh you outside of what you’re required to do with IRTS. Whether it be musicals (*cough* Hadestown *cough*), Parks (Ft. Tryon Park in Inwood is constantly overlooked and worth the trek up), or riding the subway to explore new neighborhoods (Cobble Hill/Carrol Gardens y’all…); take the time to try new things and EXPLORE.

It’s one of the last times you’ll get to do so, without (as many) burdens, before entering the job force. I implore everyone to take full advantage so you have additional ways to recharge once the craziness of life hits ya! Believe me, it will.

Favorite thing about your current position?
No one thinks the exact same way and everyone’s personalities are so wildly different… and yet somehow we gel, things come together, and it makes our work better because of it! (sound familiar, IRTS?)

Something interesting you’re working on?
So much in my day to day that I can’t say, BUT! I just was a part of a group that led MullenLowe U.S.’s first ever Pride month celebrations. As someone who was told from a young age that by coming out I was throwing my career away, it was a pretty moving experience.

What’s a book you think everyone should read?
The Collected Poems of Sara Teasdale. Poems make for the best reading while commuting!

What show or movie were you excited for this summer?
I was excited for Avengers: Endgame. Hawkeye is back!💜

Advice in one sentence:
Run towards, not from, conflict; within it, you’ll find the opinions, data, and insights you need to forge an optimal resolution.

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

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