During the last week of September, I found myself at D.B.A. Barbecue here in Atlanta with my colleagues. This dinner was to commemorate the fantastic week we had at Turner. As you may know, this school year, I have the privilege of interning with Turner in the sector of Talent Acquisitions. At this gathering, all of the recruiters for Turner were in town in Atlanta for a slew of seminars, workshops, and lessons.
As I sat there at the dinner table, I looked around and saw Ben Hill, our VP of Talent Management, My supervisor Marny who is the director of recruiting and the manager that found me, Christine. All of these individuals have the power to find people from all over and put them in jobs. I felt good knowing that I had all of these people in my network and that they could help me get a job after I graduate from Morehouse. To capture this excellent dinner, I took a picture with some of my colleagues and posted it on Instagram. After I had posted this picture, I started to get LinkedIn messages, Facebook messages and text messages from people asking me to help them get “in” the media industry. This was when I realized that I had made it.
Due to my experiences with FOX Studios, The Tonight Show, BET and Turner, I feel like I’m finally in this elite club of being in the media industry. I understand what an honor this is and how many of my peers would love to be in the position I’m in. Getting to this very early part of my career hasn’t been easy, but I’ve learned a lot. I believe it is important that I share my lessons with the intention of helping others start their careers. With that said, here are my
Four Keys To Working In the Media Industry
1. Find Something Else To Do
I know this sounds very counterintuitive to your goal but hear me out. You know when someone has a crush on you and they continually become obsessed with you, call you regularly and never leave you alone? It’s a turn-off, isn’t it? The media industry is the same way. Recruiters and hiring managers hate it when someone constantly sends their resume over and over begging to them for a job. Don’t be that person. Try to find something else to do. I didn’t become an intern at the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon because I constantly begged for someone to give me a chance. I got that opportunity because I created the Beyonce Resume Tips video and it caught the eye of a recruiter at NBC.
With that said, find something that you can do right now. Whether it’s a YouTube channel, a blog, or short films. Taking the initiative to create on your own is very attractive and shows industry people that you are a self-starter. It also will help you hone your craft as you work on projects in leisure.
2. Relationships are always key.
I’ve said this before; you can be the most talented, intelligent or creative person ever. If no one knows who you are that sets you at a significant disadvantage to those who know people. There are so many people with jobs with average GPA’s, standard skill sets and less ambition with fantastic jobs merely because they know someone. Aim to be someone who has talent and an impressive network. Get on LinkedIn, attend career fairs, reach out to industry people on Twitter. When you create genuinely, authentic relationships with people, it greatly enhances your chances of finding work. Everyone knows someone, so always treat people right because you never know where your next opportunity might come from.
3. Be Willing to Relocate
Certain cities and states have more opportunities than others. I have always wanted to work in the entertainment industry, and because of that interest, I had to move to Atlanta instead of staying in Columbus, OH. Being in Atlanta where there are so many shows being shot and produced has afforded me way more opportunities than I would have had in Columbus. When you decide where exactly you want to work it is imperative that you do the research to learn where the position is located and that you aim to live in that city. For example, if I said I wanted to be a Production Assistant for the Wendy Williams Show. It’s up to me to research that the Wendy Williams show is in New York City and be open to living there if I’m not already.
4. Follow Through
This is the most important key of all. I have said this before but will say this again. When you catch the eye of someone in your industry, and they give you his or her contact info or some instruction of how to follow up, follow through. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ll tell someone I’m willing to work with them, mentor them and help them achieve their goals and they don’t follow up with me. No one owes you anything in life.
Whenever an opportunity to work with someone who can help you get to where you want to go comes along follow up with them and seize the opportunity. Make sure your primary e-mail accounts are sent to your phone with Push alerts. Make sure you get alerts on Twitter when you get a DM. I would even suggest subscribing to a recruiter’s tweets online, so you know when they are online. There are so many opportunities that many of us let slip under our nose because we were too lazy to send that follow-up email or call that recruiter on the phone. Don’t be that person. Always remember to follow through.
Thank you so much for reading this blog I hope you found it helpful and insightful. If you ever have any questions feel free to reach out and I wish you best in your career.