The IRTS Summer Fellowship
Up one level
Samantha Mayhew

Major: Psychology and Advertising
Minor: Spanish and International Studies
Hometown: Highland, MD

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about it from an email from the College of Communications.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Surprises, huge media conglomerates, avid startups, multi-million dollar budgets, unprecedented access, 33 fellows, 40 interns and New York City – sound like the description of a packed (albeit plotless) blockbuster movie? Add in a storyline and that was my summer. Over the past two months, through the IRTS (International Radio and Television) Fellowship Program, I was given a thorough introduction to the whirlwind that is the media Industry today. There were 33 fellows selected from a national pool of 1,300 aspiring media professionals. Ranging from rising seniors to graduate level professionals- we were brought into NYC to live together, intern at different giants within the media industry, and soak up as much information as possible. Media Boot Camp We started off our time in NYC with possibly the busiest week of my life. We visited 10 companies, spoke with hundreds of people, and received an influx of information that I’m still processing. Highlights included running into Macklemore at Spotify, taking in the amazing views of the Hudson River from Google’s conference room and introducing ourselves in front of 400 execs for the IRTS Newsmaker Breakfast at The Pierre. We even had the opportunity to sit in the live audience at Good Morning America and then speak with the anchors after the show. (Yes, I did get a selfie with Michael Strahan.) From Nielsen and Facebook to JPMorgan Chase- we checked it out. The last day we participated in a speed dating style, mock interview session at HBO, which while nerve wracking, after ten interviews, my ‘elevator pitch’ had never been better. GroupM With our first week over, it was time to start our full-time internships. The 33 fellows split ways and headed off to different companies. I interned in the Broadcast Media Department of GroupM. Through GroupM, I learned more about the behind the scenes processes for media and advertising than I was even aware existed. I started off going through ‘Broadcast Media School’ and from there assisted Media Buyers and Client Service Directors in my department. Each day was packed, but two major highlights were attending the Mets game while sitting in the NBC suite and visiting Bloomberg. Overall, my summer was spent dashing between the different GroupM offices for weekly “Intern Lunch and Learns,” shadowing my supervisors at meetings with representatives from Fox, NBC, etc., and competing in the “Battle of the Interns.” Battle of the Interns GroupM’s 40 interns were split into 8 teams and given the task of creating a $40 million yearlong media plan for a real client. My team worked closely with an advisor from the Metavision division of GroupM and spent hours poring over new research, old slide decks, budget sheets and more. The project culminated in a presentation to the client representative and several executives from within GroupM. The Indescribable IRTS Community Through all of this, the IRTS program continued to be a defining aspect of my summer. ‘Media Boot Camp’ week may have been over but the events continued. Each week we visited a new company, heard a new speaker, or partook in a different networking event- sometimes we would do all three. Once we even went lawn bowling. Another time an IRTS board member invited all 33 fellows for a barbecue at his house overlooking the Hudson River. We were also tasked with the goal of setting up at least six informational interviews with past fellows or members of the IRTS Board of Directors. I was constantly surprised by how willing everyone was to make time for an intern and the level of insight to their career advice. However, most important was the class of 2017 IRTS Summer Fellows. From helping edit my job applications to getting dinners after a grueling day- these were the people by my side during this incredible summer. Life isn’t always a group of energized people thrown together in a room intent upon being the best versions of themselves- but that’s what IRTS is. This group has raised my standards for what I expect from other people. Overflowing with activity, new places, and inspiring people- this summer dramatically shaped my future career path and is certainly one I will never forget.

This helped shape my desire to combine my passion and psychology into a future career.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This helped shape my desire to combine my passion and psychology into a future career. I was exposed to multiple companies and careers. I discovered jobs within the field that I was not previously aware existed. As I return for my senior year, I am going to approach my academics with a whole new perspective.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After graduation, I intend to work at a company within the media industry. I am currently most interested in media or advertising agencies. This summer made me aware of the industry from a far more holistic perspective.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely! I was continually stunned by how open and welcoming everyone involved with the IRTS Foundation was. I made connections this summer that I believe will continue to impact my life for years to come.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Paterno Fellows helped give me the confidence to pursue an opportunity like this. Moreover, the education I've received from the Paterno Fellows program has helped shape the way I interpret new information I've acquired this summer.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
Return to Top