In the Spotlight: Taris Pittman '20
Leah Schmerl
Taris Pittman

As a dedicated athlete, Taris Pittman '20, a Communication Arts major focusing on advertising and public relations, is used to putting in hard work on the volleyball court. She'll start her fourth year on the SFC women's team this fall.

But this summer, Taris is seeing another side of sports entirely. The Washington, DC-native is interning with MediaCom, a global brand-building communications company, in its Sports and Entertainment unit.

Star athletes are now among the clients who turn to MediaCom to help them grow their personal brands and shape their public personas. The company receives regular acclaim for creating communications strategies for some of the world's most recognized brands including Reebok, adidas, Mars and Hilton.

Taris recently shared how she landed her internship and what she's working on this summer.

Tell me a little more about MediaCom. You're working in its New York headquarters in the World Trade Center.

The Sports and Entertainment department, where I work, is fairly new to the company.

Mediacom is known for representing brands, but now we represent people too. Small companies, entertainers and professional athletes have been added to the list of clients.

What does your department do specifically?

The department partners the clients with one of the 250 brands already represented through the company and its partnering companies.

How did you get the internship?

I got this internship through Antonevia [Ocho-Coultes, who heads up] SFC Innovate.

I stayed in contact with Antonevia after finding out what SFC Innovate does. I submitted my resume to her and she connected me with MediaCom. She met with me and taught me a lot in a short period of time to prepare me for the internship.

Any highlights from your internship so far?

I have been lucky enough to intern with [MediaCom Head of Sports & Entertainment] Charles Smith who used to play in the NBA and who has become my mentor over this short period of time. I have gotten the chance to sit in on important meetings and give feedback. I listen in on important conference calls and provide my insight when necessary...I have learned so much and I am excited to see what's next.

What else is in store for you this summer?

We are currently working with [an active NBA player] helping him to reshape his strategy on social media in order to receive brand partnerships. We are planning an event for him at NASDAQ which kicks off this [month].

How does this internship fit with your career goals?

Hopefully upon graduation they [MediaCom] will hire me! I am extremely happy and lucky to be here.