Zon D'Amour, senior at Howard University and President of Howard University's Endustry Power Players Organization (also known as EPP) took part in a two-day trip to New York City to have Question and Answer sessions with executives from a few of the most prominent entertainment companies in the country.
EPP was founded in 2003 by Howard students that were also college representatives for record labels. At that time, the structure of the music industry was very different than it is now, and the organization was known mostly for having major label artists visit the campus for shows and autograph signings. As the music industry began to change, EPP's focus became less on concerts and more about teaching students what goes on behind the scenes of the entertainment industry.
EPP's mission is to ensure that students have the tools (resume, business cards, portfolio, elevator pitch, etc.) and opportunities to experience any and all facets of the entertainment industry. EPP membership consists of students that want to be in fashion, journalism, film, TV, music, public relations, and entertainment law. They hold bi-weekly meetings with guest speakers who offer members countless volunteering and internship opportunities. They also hold monthly panels where sutdents can have hands-on training with tasks like media, videography, photography, logistics, etc.
The companies present for the trip were Blue Flame Marketing (Sean "P.Diddy" Combs' Company), THE SOURCE Magazine, VIBE Magazine, NBC Universal and New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts. The participants were invited to attend a special taping of BET's 106 & Park, and NBC conducted one-on-one interviews with the students.
"As a member of the executive board, I was expecting our small group to have a fun time learning to navigate the city together. I am not that familiar with New York; however, thanks to GPS on our cell phones and Google we were able to operate the city without a problem. I really enjoyed the first stop on our trip when we visited Blue Flame Marketing. To me, it was like being inside of Diddy's empire and meeting people who have a similar work ethic as Mr. Combs. The knowledge that the speakers gave us was wonderful and I now understand why Blue Flame is such a desired place to work."
- Martiea Anderson, Historian for Endustry Power Players (EPP)
I was expecting a few hiccups in the trip as with any other trip. I was expecting that not all the companies would take us too seriously because we are college students and they wouldn't understand our sense of professionalism and pro-activeness. Honestly, I didn't think we would be able to pull it together, but thanks to our amazing President, Zon, and a more than willing Executive Board, the trip was a major success.
- Ostyn McCarty, Secretarty for EPP
The President of the EPP, Zon D'Amour closed with saying, "Last years' trip and this years' trip has yielded so many great stories and testimonies of internship placements, new networks and mentorships gained from participating. It's an absolute blessing to have these extremely busy professionals welcome the tour and informational sessions with open arms. This industry is defintitely tough and requires hard work, but there are great people in executive positions that are open to reaching back and teaching the next generation."