Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the 4th annual 1stFive Summer Intern Experience hosted at Horizon Media, spearheaded by MediaVillage.com and sponsored by Turner and Horizon. I met with some of the best and brightest leaders in the industry and had the opportunity to network with my peers -- summer interns in media and advertising.
The 1stFive Summer Intern Experience event began with a panel, moderated by Jack Myers, Founder, 1stFive.org and Publisher, MediaVilliage.com, featuring Otto Bell, VP and Group Creative Director, Courageous; Mollie Rosen, EVP, Agency Relations and Membership, 4A's; Donna Speciale, President, Turner Ad Sales; Eileen Benwitt, EVP, Chief Talent Officer, Horizon Media; and Donnie Williams, EVP, Chief Digital Officer, Horizon Media.
Hearing about their experiences made me even more eager to enter the industry. They spoke about their excitement for the next crop of young talent to join their companies, and it truly showed, as they all took time out of their hectic schedules to advise, teach and engage with us for four hours. A common theme across all the speakers was that Gen-Z brings a wildly different perspective to the table, one they want to learn from.
The interns then split into smaller breakout sessions led by industry leaders, where I got to meet with Sally Eannone, VP, Brand Sales, Viacom and Jill MacVicar, Associate Director of HR, Meredith. I found this to be one of the most valuable parts of the event. Sally, Jill, and my peers were very candid about working in advertising and media. I considered my own future in the industry, and felt comfortable sharing my personal experiences with the group. I spoke about how I'd gained a better understanding of what I want to do after college by reaching out to various senior leaders at Horizon to hear about their experiences, as well as taking on a role I was interested in, but not specifically working in, during the summer-long intern project.
When discussing the topic of diversity in the industry, and how we felt about what we were seeing in the leadership where we worked, I was impressed at how honest everyone was; hearing responses from my peers made me both proud and disheartened about the future of our industry in terms of diversity. I left the session feeling inspired and aware of the changes that will need to take place as I grow my own career in the industry.
The event ended with a happy hour on Horizon's outdoor terrace. I met more Horizon employees and networked with people from a range of companies across the media industry. I introduced myself to several industry leaders and fellow interns who are about to join the workforce with me, and we plan to stay in touch.
And of course, when I got home, I penned numerous thank you notes and LinkedIn requests. I feel very grateful for this incredible, eye-opening experience, and hope to all meet up again next year.
Contributor: Emily Holzberg, (pictured at top) Corporate Communications Summer Intern at Horizon Media. She hails from New York and currently attends school at UW-Madison, majoring in Strategic Communications.
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