March 17, 2014 9:33:15 PM
5 for 5 Student Spotlight: The Hip-Hop Professional wants you to meet Shemeeka Gentry (Grad Student NYU)
Q: What’s your major/area of interest and what school do you attend?
A: I am a Music Business graduate student at New York University.
Q: What are some of your current projects or activities that you are engaged in on campus? Also, have you completed any beneficial internships/summer programs?
A: Since I just graduated in December 2012, I have not been highly active in activities within my school. Currently, I am assisting my peers in establishing a concert for local artists. In addition, I am creating press kits and a marketing plan to assist an Australian artist with their transition into the United States. My previous activities in my undergraduate entail: Member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society/Member of Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, Event Coordinator for Students in Free Enterprise, Vice President of the Appointment and Confirmation in the Student Government Association. Collaborate with the President of ASU to help solve the problems occurring within the student body. Vice President of Administration and Chairperson of Community Service in Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Inc. (active since 2010), where I develop chapter reports and manage community service events on campus to enlighten students of the world around them.
I have volunteered at Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, Hungry Walk, and the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Georgia. I have participated in several community service functions such as the Campus Beautifications, Easter-egg hunts for the community, café clean-ups, and the Joy for Life Breast Cancer Walk. Furthermore, for the past three years, I volunteered in tutorial services for the children at New Beginnings Resource Center located in Alabama. Within this program, I prepared meals, tutored and mentored students in academics, organized lesson plans for students, coordinated the Big READ, and encouraged students to become future leaders of tomorrow.
I have truly been blessed with great internships in Atlanta and New York. In 2011, I was a Marketing and Research intern at WUVG Univision 34 Atlanta. The following year I interned as an Artist and Repertoire intern for the IXV Agency in Atlanta, Georgia. Last year I had the privilege of interning at BET Network for Music Programming and Talent.Currently, in New York I am having the time of my life interning at Sony Music Entertainment for International Marketing.
Q: How hard is it being a student and balancing the work you do towards your career goal?
A: Throughout the years filled with setbacks and mistakes, I have learned how to manage my academics, employment responsibilities, family, dreams, and personal life efficiently. Furthermore, I was still able to maintain a high grade point average and stay active in several organizations. I must admit that through it all, I had moments where I felt overwhelmed, but I used that emotion to my advantage. I enjoy challenges and obstacles placed in front of me because it provides a way to improve myself; growth opportunities. Normally, people will say that I am crazy for tackling several projects at once; however, I believe that everyone should embark on different journeys or improve in life to gain a different perspective and appreciation for working hard for your dreams.
Successful people did not achieve endeavors by being counterproductive or by having a poor quality work ethic. They worked all day every day to turn their dreams into a reality and that is what I am striving to achieve. I want to become a role-model and to inspire people to achieve anything their hearts desire. Hence, by balancing my priorities effectively, I was able to understand that a dream is worth more than sleep.
Q: Have you had any good mentors helping you along the way?
A: Mentors can serve as a catalyst to a young person’s success and as a representation of infinite possibilities. I was fortunate enough to have four outstanding mentors that encouraged and motivated me since undergrad. I was already in love with business, but certain aspects of it I truly disliked; however, Dr. Bell-Haynes was able to help me understand the need and want from it. Mrs. Smith assisted me with life problems and taught me the fundamental in business writing. Mr. Hardy and Mr. Muhammad were like father-figures to me because they taught me how to conquer my fears. All of my mentors have taught me the importance of learning within a classroom setting, including the knowledge I gained outside from seminars, training programs, and conferences. I can always look to them for advice about school and decisions about life. They are the reason of how I know what it means to be a grounded Black woman.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: In the next five years, I see myself working as a Music Executive, Director of Marketing, or Business Affairs at a Music Entertainment Company in which I can gain a career with an abundance of experience and exposure. I am passionate about creating innovative marketing strategies, introducing artists to a larger market, and observing their transition from an upcoming artist into an established artist. As becoming a part of a team, I plan to transition into a Chief Executive Officer position in the next ten years. Afterwards, I plan to take the knowledge gained as well as the experiences to establish my own entertainment company. I would like to have my business operating efficiently for at least ten years prior to establishing a non-profit performing arts center for adolescents. I strongly believe in the benefits of the arts when adolescents are exposed to it early in life. Therefore within these five years, I will be enhancing my skills and knowledge to prepare myself for the journey ahead.