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WICT Program Gives CCI Students Apprenticeship Opportunities


Twenty-three female students are wrapping up a year-long mentorship with Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) including two students who had the chance to work as interns at Scripps Networks Interactive.

This was the first year that the WICT Atlanta Chapter and the College of Communication and Information (CCI) offered the mentoring program to CCI seniors. The students were paired with female telecommunications professionals, many of whom work at Scripps Networks Interactive.

“During this first year, UT mentees had opportunities to interact directly with their mentors,” said Melissa Sykes, vice president of content diversity with Scripps Networks Interactive who coordinates the mentoring program. “They work on both general career development and receive guidance and insight into job-seeking skills, strategies and techniques.”Sanders

In January, midway through her mentoring program, CCI student Karli Sanders, an advertising major, was offered an internship at She spent the past five months working with’s Core Team, which is responsible for planning, scheduling and promoting content.

“As an intern, I split my time between editorial work, like writing the ‘Design Happens’ blog and creating articles, and online programming,” Sanders said. “My supervisors recently offered me a job as a contractor after my internship ends so I can stay with the company — a dream come true.”


WoodsEmily Woods, CCI senior majoring in public relations, began an internship at Scripps Networks Interactive in DIY Network’s press department in August 2009.

Woods’ boss, Brandii Toby-Leon, director of DIY Network’s press and public relations department, also serves as her mentor through the WICT program.

Woods said she values her time with Toby-Leon and tries to soak up all the knowledge that her mentor can bestow.

“This has opened my eyes to what a 9-to-5 job will be like,” Woods said, who is applying for jobs right now. “It’s a great way to ease into the professional world and a great place to learn what it is like to be a professional.”

Toby-Leon, who is also on the board of the WICT-Atlanta Chapter as the director of communications, said she thinks the mentoring program has been a great benefit to Scripps and to the university.

“I think it’s wonderful that … we have such a great university in our back yard and, in reverse, that the university has our company here to work with,” she said.

The WICT Atlanta Chapter is currently recruiting for the 2010-2011 class of mentees. The organization also is adding additional experiences and benefits to enrich the program.

For more information on the program, contact Sam Swan at