You’ve been with BET Networks for almost 25 years. Can you talk to us about your Senior Vice President position?
Kim Lewis: I am Senior Vice President of West Coast and Mid West Sales. Essentially I am responsible for all things advertising. My goal as a SVP is to really focus on winning sales strategies and driving sales results, as well as client relationships and overall business development.
Like most college students you started as an intern and then build your way up. How important is interning and building connections amongst the field of interest?
Kim Lewis: It’s about the targeted alignment, being very strategic in what you want to do, and understand that you may have to do some exploring. When I started as an intern, I worked for an amazing sales manager and in a two-year-span she taught me so much. Those are the type of people and things you need to help build your foundation and your brand.
Taking a grass root approach to your experience, allows you to propel faster. If it means interning, talking to another corporation or doing some sort of out-reach, do it! So at the end of the day, you can find exactly what you want to do and the road map that lays ahead, that’s why there’s a saying “people pave the way.”
Another thing is that I would also encourage high school students to do the same before entering college, because when I was in high school, I didn’t work at your local fast food restaurant. My first job at sixteen was working at an insurance broker, and that helped me to learn how to work with people in corporate America, which then lead me to working for an Ad agency, a radio station and so forth. So once I graduated high school, I not only had built up a solid resume, but I was ready to take on bigger tasks in college.
What are some steps to take in college and post-college to create and achieve a successful fulfilling career?
Kim Lewis: It definitely was my determination and my focus. I also think that I stood firmly by stepping up, speaking up, and showing up. What I mean by that is that I stepped up and took on any opportunity that came my way. Speaking up, when I had questions, and using my voice when I needed to, and lastly, showing up, you’re your own walking billboard. You have to show up professionally. You want people to engage with you, but you also have to show what you have to offer and that you can get the work done.