“The part that I enjoy most about this program is how much everyone involved cares about our growth and success. From the internship itself to our time with Leadership Triangle, everyone is super invested in what we are doing and making sure that we gain as much as possible from the program.”
– Emerging Leaders Intern Kyndall Ray
For the past 4 months, 10 students from NC Central University have been interning in Capitol Broadcasting divisions through the inaugural Emerging Leaders Program. A partnership between CBC and Leadership Triangle, the program combines hands on learning in departments aligned to their interests along with workshops led by LT coaches. The program will culminate with a graduation ceremony on December 16. In the final weeks leading up to that conclusion, Capcom is profiling the individual outstanding students.
Kyndall Ray is interning with American Tobacco in the Communications and Marketing departments. Ray is a junior at NC Central, pursuing a major in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.
ATC Events & Property Experience Director Valerie Ward has served as Ray’s CBC mentor and is impressed that the college student is already contributing her own ideas for marketing American Tobacco.
“Kyndall has been a delight to work with,” said Ward. “Extremely communicative and diligent in her work, she embraced her marketing role by taking full control of our social media. It was her idea to start a ‘Reels’ section on our Instagram page and these creative videos have gotten a ton of views. She is also working on documentation how to create a Reel to cross-train me on continuing her legacy.”
Ray dove into the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural class of Emerging Leaders interns.
“I changed my major to Business Administration with a Marketing Concentration from Biomedical Science at the end of my sophomore year,” she explained. “I felt like I was behind because I was starting off with the intro business classes instead of hopping into my concentration like the rest of the people in my class. When I got the email from the School of Business with this opportunity, I was excited to be able to gain marketing experience during the semester while I was taking my other business classes. I also saw that I would be able to gain leadership experience during the program, so I was excited to be able to grow in multiple aspects.”
Being selected for the program was a real boost to her confidence, both in herself and in her new path.
“I felt amazing!” she said of being selected as an Emerging Leader. “I had major impostor syndrome, so finding out that CBC, American Tobacco Campus, and Leadership Triangle felt that I was qualified enough to handle this position really made me feel like I made the right decision in changing directions with my career.”
Ward hit the ground running with Ray, training her on a variety of events and projects.
“Kyndall also worked with me as part of the 18th Annual American Tobacco Tower Lighting team,” said Ward. “She oversaw the Luminaria production in collaboration with Cristo Rey High School and participated in the pre-show meetings staging. She is currently working on a project with Durham Magazine to run a contest to boost our social media ‘likes’.”
Ward has worked to impart lessons she has learned through her many years in the industry.
“First thing, despite the months planning, things don’t always go as planned,” said Ward. “As we worked on events, I tried to point out real life business problems such as: How do you post a photo of an event when the attendance is low? What marketing assets could ATC use to help the client boost attendance in the future? What was the attendee experience like and how can that be improved?”
Ward continued, “We also talked about careers as a whole such as taking advantage of all opportunities that come your way as they could be a steppingstone to your dream job. And, once you get that dream job…the importance of starting to save for your retirement.”
Ray says she is taking a great deal of knowledge away from her time at American Tobacco.
“I’ve been able to learn a lot about what all goes into planning and executing a large event,” she said. “I was able to sit in on planning meetings with partner organizations, learn about coordinating with sponsors, and learn about event marketing in general.”
Ward sees great value in Emerging Leaders Program and what it can do for both the interns and for the future workforce for CBC and other companies
“For CBC this program is a great opportunity to find new talent,” she said. “I’ve already heard of some interns being offered jobs, so in its first year the program has paid off for both the host organization and the intern. As for the future workforce, the leadership skills learned during their internship will transfer both to business and community opportunities. Our interns now have mentors and resources they can lean on as they start their career journey.”
Ray also sees much benefit in the program.
“I would definitely recommend this program to others,” she said. “You are able to gain a lot of real-world experience in whichever field you are in as well as well as hands on leadership training. The leadership training is very useful in both your professional and personal life.”
Overall, the experience has been a win for Ward.
“It was so nice to have an extra set of hands to get the job done!” she said. “It’s hard to work an event and documents/post at the same time. Kyndall was helpful in keeping our social posts timely. She also created a portfolio of images we can use in the future when posting about our restaurants or things to do on the property.”
Ward concluded, “Kyndall was always open to the opportunity to learn more. She has a great career in front of her and it was my privilege to guide her for a few short months.”
Thanks to ATC’s Valerie Ward & to Kyndall Ray for these Capcom photos.
Check out the previous Emerging Leaders Profiles: