Throughout the week of February 19th, 80 NBCUniversal employees joined 30 students from Minds Matter of New York City in 30 Rock for the inaugural Comcast NBCUnites Media Fellows program. The Media Fellows program is a four-day mentoring program that provides employees the opportunity to mentor students and help brainstorm creative solutions to NBCUniversal case studies. The program concludes with students formally presenting their best ideas to an audience of NBCU executives. The program will run this summer in Los Angeles.
During the four days, Minds Matter students were able to connect with a wide range of employees across NBCUniversal. Students were paired up in teams of three and would be working on one of two case studies: ideas for marketing the new Kelly Clarkson show or concepts for a new show on Snapchat. The program kicked off with a simulated START orientation facilitated by our very own Talent Lab staff, which exposed Minds Matter students to the breadth and depth of NBCUniversal businesses. Following orientation, colleagues from NBC Entertainment and Audience Development presented case studies and participated in a Q&A with the teams of students assigned to their case. On each day of the program, additional volunteers participated as Lunch Buddies and Session Mentors. Lunch Buddies spent their lunch hour with the students and shared stories about their college, career, and cultural experiences. Session Mentors helped the students brainstorm ideas for the case study and offered helpful feedback during the presentation development process. The final day of the program culminated in Minds Matter students presenting their case study solutions to an audience of NBCUniversal employees and a closing celebration for all students and volunteers, complete with cupcakes and a photo booth. According to Executive Director of Minds Matter, Erika Halstead, the students were immediately inspired by the program, “"After the first day, I was talking to one of our students and we were walking to the elevator. And he says to me, 'I wanna work here.' I think already they're seeing possibilities."
The program helped students enhanced their problem solving skills and they walked away from the program excited about potentially pursuing careers in the media industry. Avaneque Pennant, a Media Fellows student, remarked, “"I applied to be a media fellow because I understood that, as a media conglomerate, NBC had the power to encourage civil discourse amongst all Americans. And I wanted to understand how NBCU utilized that power. And I have definitely understood that more as I here today. So far, I understand that NBCU makes it their mission to provide the information and the access to all Americans."
NBCUniversal employees also enjoyed the opportunity to share their own unique talents, skills, and experiences with Minds Matter students and appreciated how much impact Minds Matters makes in building stronger communities where we work As Unni Nair, Senior Director of Technology at NBCU said, "I feel privileged to have a fantastic job, and work with really smart people at NBC. And I'd love to help. Share some of that privilege, some of that mentoring, some of that opportunity, especially with students, who may not have those privileges growing up."