Empowering Tomorrow: America on Tech's Dynamic Partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal
Since 2017, Comcast NBCUniversal has been a proud partner of America on Tech (AOT). Focused on decreasing the racial wealth gap, AOT provides multiple program opportunities to increase equitable pathways for underestimated students. Located in Miami, New York and Los Angeles, AOT offers students in these communities a chance to discover their passion for technology while also opening doors to degrees and/or careers in their desired industry.
Comcast NBCUniversal employees engage and volunteer with AOT in a variety of ways. Every summer, AOT hosts a TECH360 Camp in each of their locations focused on teaching students web design and development. As part of the program, AOT students are connected with mentors from professional tech backgrounds to discuss career advice. This past year, more than 100 NBCUniversal employees volunteered their time to mentor students and offer their professional expertise.
Additionally, Comcast NBCUniversal hosts two – eight-week Fellowship programs focused on Cybersecurity and Data Science for AOT alumni and college students currently majoring or interested in exploring a career in Technology. The fellowships provide professional development skills through hands-on experience and facilitate valuable relationships with mentors. This year, over 60 AOT students were matched with about 20 NBCU employees.
Hear from Wafi Ishman, former AOT participant and current intern in Operations & Technology and Yanekee Douglas, NBCU Cybersecurity Fellowship mentor and Sr. Cyber Security Manager on their experience with America on Tech and how it helped them develop as professionals.
How did you get involved with America on Tech (AOT)?
I got involved with AOT during my Junior year of high school.
What program (Tech360, fellowship, etc) did you participate in?
The first program I participated in was Tech360 in Spring 2019. Since then, I have participated in Tech Flex Leaders, Data Science and Cybersecurity fellowships.
What skills has AOT helped you acquire?
Since the Tech360 program, AOT has helped me hone the necessary skills to thrive in the real world such as problem solving, public speaking, time management, and collaboration.
How did you hear about the NBCU internship opportunity?
I heard about the Media Tech Internship through AOT’s newsletter. During fall last year I was looking for summer 2023 internships and when I heard about NBCU’s internship program I didn’t hesitate to attend the info session and applied immediately after.
What excited you about the role?
What excited me about the role is the opportunity to work in a corporate environment full of challenges and new opportunities.
What have you learned from the internship so far?
The projects I worked on were fun and exciting and I learned about new data analysis/monitoring tools such as Splunk, and PowerBI.
What's your dream job?
After taking up projects in data analytics, my dream job is to be a data engineer.
How has both AOT and the NBCU internship prepared you for your future career/career success?
AOT’s data science fellowship gave me a foundational understanding on data science and analytics and the NBCU internship gave me the exposure to projects in data analytics that made me see data engineering as a long-term career path.
What is your role here at NBCUniversal?
I am a Cyber Security Manager on NBCU’s Business Area Information Security Officer (BAISO) team, currently working for the Ad Sales team.
How did you get involved with America on Tech?
I think I may have gotten involved by being nominated by someone on the Cyber leadership team.
Can you tell us about your experience volunteering with AOT?
I enjoyed it. I am always happy to transfer whatever knowledge I have in cyber security to others and the students were all very eager to learn about the Cloud environment and how to secure it.
How did you help guide Aaliyah (former AOT student) in her role?
As a manager to someone that is new to working in the IT space it was my goal to help her recognize why security is very important in our daily operations. We involved her in our daily tasks supporting our DTC business groups. She assisted on (1) tickets submitted to us requesting security consultations and (2) resolving security alerts for the cloud accounts used to deliver our DTC products.
What do you hope Aaliyah gained from her internship?
Hopefully, she recognizes that although the IT field is vast, NBCU is a place for her to learn and grow into a top-notch cyber security analyst.
Why do you believe programs like AOT are important?
Minority groups in underestimated communities typically are not always given an opportunity to get involved in internships, especially within the tech sector. AOT working as an advocate provides that opportunity. AOT interns are provided with the ability to stand out from the crowd and gain real-world experience from organizations, such as NBCU. I am all for it!!!
We’re proud to partner with America on Tech to support Wafi, Aaliyah, and many other students, through Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach tens of millions of people and help build a future of unlimited possibilities. By investing in programs and community partnerships across Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky, we’re working to advance economic mobility and open doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators.