Alcorn State University (ASU) Senior Mass Communications major, Joy Thornton, was chosen to attend the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) National Geographic Media Immersive Internship Program this Summer in Washington, DC.
Each day Thornton and her fellow interns were given a schedule to follow. Throughout the Program, she met with National Geographic executives such as Courteney Monroe, President, National Geographic Global Television Networks, David Miller, Executive Vice President and General Manager, National Geographic Media, Krista Strahan, Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), National Geographic Society, Nathan Lump, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic Magazine, Mekdela Daniel, Content Coordinator and DEI, National Geographic Partners, and Reagan Graney, Business Affairs and Operations Coordinator. She was able to ask each individual questions pertaining to their specific skill set and see how it was germane with her future interest with the company. Thornton states, “A major part of my experience was coming up with our cumulative project which we had to present at the end of the Program. They also gave us access to unreleased projects and screenings.”
The National Geographic Media Immersive Internship Program is very competitive and its goal is to offer a “diverse range of dynamic internships that are designed to offer a well-rounded experience.” “I really enjoyed being around other HBCU students from different parts of the country. My internship gave me a chance to share my pride for Alcorn by serving as a good representative of the student body and the Mass Communications Department,” stated Thornton.
While at National Geographic, Thornton met several mentors that helped her acclimate through her internship smoothly. “The woman who spearheaded this program is Karen Greenfield. She definitely left a mark on me because of her dedication and follow-through that she shows for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She made us all feel welcome, made sure we had everything that we needed and made plans to make it even better for next year’s interns,” said Thornton. Her next mentor, Lauren Jackson, made her experience a great one. She helped Thornton with her project and always made sure she was safe and doing well and last but not least, Thornton’s group mentors, Daniel and Graney, kept the interns all together and made sure they were always going to the right meeting rooms and coordinated their meals and breaks.
“My main takeaway from this internship is that everyone deserves a seat at the table. I believe that anyone from anywhere can do anything. Taking a chance on an opportunity is not enough,” said Thornton.
(L-R) Lauren Jackson (mentor), Joy Thornton and Karen Greenfield (mentor)