Since its inception in 1989, the Emma L. Bowen Foundation has been committed to creating a pipeline for youth that will grant them access to the media careers they desire.
Known as one of the top organizations that offers career opportunities for young professionals interested in media, the foundation provides salary internship programs to high school seniors and college students with a 3.0 GPA or above and provides matching scholarship funds for college expenses. BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the organizations CEO, Rahsaan Harris, to gain insight on what skills young people need today to have a successful career in media and what qualities youth should look for when scouting a great internship.
BlackEnterprise.com: What are the top skills young professionals should have when trying to break into the media business?
Harris: All young professionals should have great written and spoken communications skills, facility with technology, and familiarity with local and world events. These skills make candidates attractive and competitive regardless of the industry. These skills show the candidate is articulate, curious, and informed.
What’s the biggest misconception young professional have about working in media?
Many young professionals think that working in media is about being on television. Most jobs in media are behind the camera including production (that informs what goes on air), technology (that transmits the content), and media sales (that creates revenue to make it all possible).
What qualities should students look for when trying to find a great internship?
Students should look for internships that expose them to great mentors. Internships are about the skills a student can observe and learn by paying close attention to experienced professionals. Focus energy on shadowing experts at work so you know what behaviors to emulate and skills to hone. The relationships you form with mentors matter more than the projects you work on in an internship.
How does the Emma L. Bowen Foundation differ from other internship placement programs?
EBF fellows form a 4-year relationship with a media company, starting as high school seniors or college freshman and interning each summer throughout college until graduation. Fellows rotate to a different department each summer in order to hone skills with the goal of creating well-rounded professionals that can contribute to a company in a variety of ways. Our program also provides scholarship funds for college expenses that match the summer earnings of our fellows. Our program focuses exclusively on preparing minority youth for careers in the media industry. We have over 40 corporate sponsors that we partner with that are committed to our vision of enhancing diversity and inclusion within the media industry. The commitment our partner companies show to our fellows is unparalleled.
To learn more about the Emma L. Bowen Foundation and how you or a young person you know can benefit from their internship program visit the EmmaBowenFoundation.com.