Amanda García, KLN '10, was recognized with a Community Builders Awards at the 2019 Cynopsis Top Women in Media Awards held in New York City. The awards, hosted by Cynopsis Media and sponsored by Turnkey Search, a talent recruitment firm, highlight trailblazing women in the media industry. García, the director of CBS Interactive Partnerships, believes that her time at Temple University and the faculty at Klein College of Media and Communication helped her gain the confidence to share her valuable industry insight with others.
García did not plan on working in the media industry when she began college. Instead, she believed that she would pursue an academic career in media and communication studies. However, Klein College faculty members Scott Gratson and Sherri Hope Culver encouraged the communication major to take classes that further informed her about the world of media and to apply for industry internships. After interning with Comcast during her junior year, García fell in love with the television business.
Due to the professional contacts García maintained through her experience at Comcast as well as a good deal of network mergers, García began her network television career with NBC News. She was equipped with values Klein College helped her develop, including dedication, drive and an inclination to embrace her coworkers. Working at NBC News made her realize that she needed an environment with more acceptance and diversity. Now at CBS Interactive, she feels like she is in an accepting environment, made particularly welcoming because her supervisor is a fellow Latina woman who mentors García in her position. Her current role requires her to lead the company's partnerships with major companies including Amazon, Samsung and Google.
"I think it's really important — particularly in media which is white male-dominated — I think it's really important for women, particularly women of color to be given a voice and to make decisions," she says.
A former colleague at NBC News nominated García for the Cynopsis award based on her commitment to guiding members of the media industry as well as those interested in entering it. García wants young professionals to be equipped with the right attitude to succeed in the business.
"I can't teach them excitement at something new," she says. "I can't teach them passion. I can't teach them enthusiasm. I also can't teach them adaptability. I think a lot of things like that are things that I look for — that anybody, particularly in the media industry looks for."
Gratson appreciated García's skill in interacting with others while she attended Temple.
"It has been a pleasure and honor to have known Amanda all of these years," he says. "She was instrumental in launching our college's work in New York City, and she has remained a staunch supporter of the communication studies program for ages. I cannot think of Amanda without recalling the neverending conversations that we would have in Manhattan, all of which were filled with laughter, joy, and incredible memories. She is an absolute gem of a human being, and beyond being a greatly successful alumna, she is a dear friend."
García acknowledges that the media industry needs more opportunities for diverse and qualified individuals to enter roles at large companies. Along with connecting others to her extensive network of professionals, she is happy to now be in a position to reach back and uplift others on similar trajectories to the one she chose as an undergraduate at Klein College.
"I think something that's instilled a lot just at Temple in general is that you give back to the community, you pay it forward," she says. "Once you're a Temple Owl, you're always a Temple Owl."