HBO Max, Food Network internships prepared mass communication major to advocate for diversity in media
Maya Hill ’22 graduated from Towson University this spring with some of the best-known networks and streaming services already on her resume.
An Honors College student who graduated with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and minor in marketing, Hill has been creating media content since childhood when she and her brother put together music videos. In high school, she launched her own YouTube channel.
“At the time, a lot of the influencers or people that were on the platform didn't really look like me,” recalls Hill, who continues to produce videos of her daily life as a college student. “Starting my own channel was a way to be that representation. I was like, ‘I don't see anybody else, so I'll just be that person.’”
Since then, she has grown her audience to 8,000 subscribers and more than 400,000 views, attracting sponsorships and paid brand partnerships to her social media accounts.
Hill was accepted into the T. Howard Foundation’s Internship Program during her sophomore year at TU. The Silver Spring, Maryland-based foundation connects students with networking, mentorship, professional development, scholarships and paid internship opportunities to increase diversity in the media and entertainment industry.
In summer 2021, Hill worked virtually as a digital convergence intern for Food Network, part of Discovery Communications, where her work included creating and uploading photo galleries and GIFs for shows like “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Chopped” as well as recipe collections for chefs like Michael Symon.
In fall 2021, Hill worked for Warner Media as a direct-to-consumer communications intern for HBO Max, where she created presentation decks, tracked coverage and wrote press releases. She also had the opportunity to work with the streaming service’s multicultural marketing team. “I was the go-to person for help on any projects, which was really fun,” Hill says. “It’s been a really cool experience.” This spring, Hill transitioned into marketing as a design program marketing intern with HBO Max.
Hill plans to pursue a career in multicultural marketing within media entertainment, most likely for TV or streaming services.
“I really want to make sure different audiences are being represented well and to reach those audiences through different experiential marketing initiatives,” she says.
A New Jersey native, Hill chose TU because of its high-quality programs and student resources and individual mentorship opportunities. She was especially interested in the Honors College experience and the strong programs in communications and marketing. “I didn't want to feel like a number in the classroom, and I'm really able to have relationships with my professors here,” she says.
As the vice president of networking for the TU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, Hill developed a close relationship with Diane Meyers, the chapter’s faculty adviser and a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication. “I’ve gotten to know her, and she’s always been a huge help when it comes to advice about my professional goals,” Hill says.
When she arrived at TU, Hill jumped into the many opportunities to get involved on campus, serving as a resident assistant (RA) in Glen Tower B and then Tubman House. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. She also worked as a social media assistant for Towson University Admissions and has continued her YouTube channel.
How did she do it all? “Everything I'm involved in, I really love,” Hill says. “I love being an RA. I love putting on programming for my residents and connecting with them. I love my sorority and being able to put on programs to educate the Towson community on different Black issues. It really just comes down to being passionate about what I'm doing. If you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work.”
Although she entered TU as a sports management major, getting involved inside and outside the classroom allowed her to discover her personal strengths and passions. By her sophomore year, she declared a mass communication major.
Hill advises her peers to use their time at TU to explore their interests. “These four years are transformative,” she says. “The person I am today is not who came in as a freshman, but that's a good thing. I learned not to be so hard on [myself] when it comes to change and just embrace it.”