What We Learned at the 1stFive Intern Reception -- Dora Grote

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Cover image for  article: What We Learned at the 1stFive Intern Reception -- Dora Grote

On July 23 more than 300 members of the 1stFive community filled the offices of OMD North America headquarters for the organization's second annual summer intern reception, hosted by OMD CEO U.S.A. Monica Karo. The event kicked off with a keynote from Kay Koplovitz, Founder of USA Network and Chairman of Springboard Enterprises, followed by breakout sessions led by David Moore, Chairman of Xaxis and President of WPP Digital; Anne Hubert, Senior Vice President of Scratch at Viacom; Katherine Shappley, Head of U.S. Agency at Facebook, and 1stFive contributor Sydney Fulkerson, Marketing Manager at IMC and author of "The Coffee Run."

In Part One of this five-part series, attendee Dora Grote reports on her conversation with Kay Koplovitz. (The two are pictured above.) 

Like conductors lead orchestras, mentors lead your career. And what better person to express the importance of mentors than Kay Koplovitz, the first female founder and president of a TV network? Koplovitz worked her way up to where she is today through the help of a mentor. "You want a mentor who wants to make sure you get to the right chairs on the way up the corporate ladder," she said. 

To find that mentor, Koplovitz advised to find a person you admire, someone whose career you'd like to follow. She advised to develop a solid relationship, but not to make it a one-way street. In today's digital world, young professionals have just as much to share as established professionals.

When I spoke with her personally about becoming a female entrepreneur in media, she suggested learning all facets of the industry, including distribution, sales, revenue and marketing. According to Koplovitz, women have both the curiosity and the skill but "the frontier that hasn't been cracked by most women is ownership." She also suggested that recent college grads hold onto connections made at internships, follow up and use those contacts to leverage job opportunities.

This summer, I've recognized the value of having several personal sponsors and building relationships with them. From connecting me with contacts to being my cheerleaders, they're invested in my success. In fact, my sponsors are the reason I'm able to stay in New York City, as they have offered to host me for a few weeks while I launch my career.

During those few weeks, I hope another slice of Koplovitz's advice will come into play: It is important to have a serendipitous moment. "When you have curiosity, you're learning," Koplovitz said. "You let yourself out of the box and you go and expose yourself to lots of new ideas and people. You never know when you're going to have your serendipitous moment." That moment usually leads to success and innovation, anchored by creativity.

Dora Grote is a multi-faceted journalist with experience in online, magazine, TV, and print. She recently graduated from the University of Iowa Schoolof Journalism & Mass Communication with honors and top of her class. This summer, she is an IRTS fellow and field producer intern at WCBS-TV. Drop her a note at dora.e.grote@gmail.com

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