By Paul A. Holston
The 5th Annual Howardwood program, designed to link Howard University students with careers in entertainment, kicked off with “The CBS Entertainment Internship Workshop,” hosted by guest instructor Whitney Davis, manager of entertainment diversity at CBS Corporation, in Blackburn Digital Auditorium October 16.
The workshop included a variety of topics that included the basis of CBS entertainment diversity, importance of internships and the basics of networking. Davis also interacted with the audience through resume critiques and mock interview exercises.
As a manager in entertainment diversity, Davis maintains close, working relationships with major ethic, coalition groups to create more opportunities at CBS for actors, writers, directors and talent in those communities.
“I want to ensure that our programming really reflects the world that we live in…that’s why we exist,” Davis said.
During the workshop, Davis showed a video from her boss, Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, Entertainment Diversity & Communications Executive for CBS, as well as a fellow Howard Alumni, that brought a message to the audience about the importance of diversity.
“CBS is definitely a diverse corporation, from the bottom to the top and everywhere in between,” she said in the video. “The importance of diversity in the world that we live in is that you want to make sure as broadcasters, that we represent the audience…”
Although Davis faced many challenges before being in her current position, she highlighted the importance of finding people who wanted to see her dreams come true.
Davis said, “I was always able to see the bigger picture…and knew that ultimately I wanted to get into a more management role so that I could learn from the bad managers that I had and be a better person for my team. The most important thing is to find a mentor.”
Tarah Massey, a graduating senior public relations major, said that she would take the many helpful tips from the workshop with her once she graduates, especially networking.
“Network…build you network, create a network, and make sure your network knows you,” she said. “Although you meet someone and you keep in contact, it doesn’t stop there and neither does the work. That is what I will definitely leave with.”
Davis concluded with telling the students to contact her and her department at anytime if they had any questions, concerns, or desired their resumes to be reviewed.
“I’m super open, so shoot me an email or give me a call even better…I prefer phone calls,” she said with a smile.