This week HCM had the extreme pleasure of interviewing the wonderful Gentrix Shenga! Gentrix is a senior as well as president of the Alliance for Women in Media club on campus. As her days at MSU come to an end, her future’s just getting started. She’s an ambitious young woman ready to take on the world. I now introduce to you, Gentrix Shenga!
Name: Gentrix Shanga
Hometown: Mount Olive, NJ
Major: Television and Digital Media/ Concentration in TV Production.
HCM: What are you involved in on campus?
GS: I’m the President for the Alliance for Women in Media. The club focuses on empowering women who are trying to go into the media field through different events and speakers. I’m also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars since freshman year.
HCM: How long have you been a member of Alliance for Women in Media?
GS: After my freshman year, I became more active my sophomore year. Sophomore year I was treasurer but became president junior year. This year we began developing even more with different events and volunteering. We’re trying to keep the program going after much of the current e-board graduates, since about 70% of us are seniors this year.
HCM: As president of Alliance for Women in Media, what are the goals for this year?
GS: Our goals are to retain members so we continue to have members for the following years as well as expanding and growing for this year. Another goal is to have the members take something out of the meetings and the club itself when they leave college. I want them to learn how to network better with each other, as well as people they meet. I just want to put us out there. I hope that it continues to grow.
HCM: How do you think representation of women in the media has changed as of today?
GS: I feel that we’re more of aware of women in the media, not just the news field but as well as television shows, film and other forms of media. Now we know that women in media are more diverse and taking on new leadership positions.
HCM: How important is it to you that young girls have a positive representation of women in media?
GS: So important. You need to instill certain characteristics in girls so that when they grow up they can know they can strive for any position that they like. If they want to be a camera operator, go ahead. If they want to be an executive producer, do it. It’s all about instilling those empowering characteristics in girls early on in life.
HCM: As a senior, what have you learned the most about yourself throughout college?
GS: I have learned how to be more confident in my abilities. Sometimes I may feel that I’m not equipped for a task or that it’s too much for me but when I execute it, it comes out amazing. I also learned how to get out of my shell. When I first started I was shy and wouldn’t talk to people. I learned to be more open. I’m feeling more comfortable. It’s like I had this person inside of me hidden since freshman year and really throughout the years; I’ve been learning how to become her but I’m still working on it. My friend told me that freshman year I used to be so “squared” personality wise. Now he tells me that since then I’ve rounded out. That’s also due to the network I’ve built personally and professionally.
HCM: Finish this sentence: “If I had known then, what I know now___________________”
GS: I wouldn’t be SO WORRIED! I feel that we’re always so worried about everything and we live in the moment with our stress. In the end, whatever we’re worried about ends up being a success and greater than our expectations.
HCM: What did you want to be growing up vs. what do you want to be now?
GS: Growing up I wanted to be a NY Times best-selling author writing fiction books. I loved reading. In the third grade, half way through the year, I read 100 books. As a reward my teacher bought me a pop (soda). I’ve always wanted to tell a story. With TV production, I still have the opportunity. Now I want to be an Emmy award winning producer.
HCM: Where do you see yourself in the future?
GS: In about four years or less I would love to be a producer for a television network, as long as I’m producing and telling a story. Later on in life, I’d like to be an executive for a TV Network or a production unit. After establishing myself, I’d like to create my own production company.
HCM: If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be?
GS: Wow, I can’t choose just one. I think it’s a tie between Mandarin and Arabic. The languages are so cool, especially how they’re written and the importance of each word to understanding each other.
HCM: What would you want people to remember you most by?
GS: I want people to remember me as a go-getter and a hustler. My motto is “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.” Don’t wish for things to be easy but rise up to the expectations. Gain more skills and more knowledge.
HCM: What is one piece of advice you have for our readers?
GS: To be fabulous. Be yourself and be genuine. Surround yourself with people who have a common mind set and don’t hold you back. You are the product of the five people you hang around. Hang out with people who bring out the fabulous in you. Stay true to yourself! In a world where people are on social media and hold up a façade they want others to believe, it’s rare to find people who are genuine. So, strive for greatness and be genuine.
And there you have it. Wise words from a fabulous girl. To get to know Gentrix even better and join the Alliance for Women in Media, attend a meeting at 5pm in Morehead Hall, downstairs in the Common Room. You can also follow the club on social media at:
Facebook: MSU’s Alliance for Women in Media
Remember, in the words of Gentrix, “Strive for greatness and be genuine.”