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10 April 2013

Alumna climbs ladder to VP of MTV Networks

University of Miami alumna Michelle Alberty’s journey to MTV began with a karaoke night in Miami.

“We set up a karaoke night at a local bar and had to promote it all throughout Miami to fundraise for our trip to a major advertising conference in New York City, where we were exposed to some of the best ad agencies in the country,” she said.

At UM, Alberty served as the president of the Ad Club, where she was able to develop her advertising and leadership skills. Alberty used her experiences at UM, like the karaoke night initiative, to build the right career in television production.

Since graduating in 1993, Alberty has climbed the ranks at MTV Networks Latin America to become the vice president of production management and executive in charge of production. She has worked there for 16 years. Alberty’s responsibilities include financial and budget tracking, working with creative teams in original productions and promotions, and strategizing with the different brand heads of Viacom. Viacom’s media properties target Hispanics through their channels: VH1, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV channels.

“My favorite part of my job is working with producers, seeing that creative idea come to life, and being a part of that collaborative and creative process,” she said. “I love being a part of the media industry.”

Alberty leads various production management teams located in Mexico City, Mexico; São Paulo, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. In addition to these teams, she is involved in the creation of long-form novellas and short-form, on-air promotions, like MTV’s globally popular “Unplugged” series.

From her beginnings at UM to running the operational logistics and financials of Viacom’s channels in Latin America, she has never forgotten what tools UM gave her to succeed.

“UM helped build my confidence by giving me a lot of hands-on experience to know what it was like to work,” she said. “They prepared me to be a confident leader and gave me the experience to feel comfortable in the ‘real world.’”

As a double major in advertising and psychology with a minor in marketing, Alberty began her journey with the intention of working in the advertising world. She landed an internship at the Beber Silverstein Group, an advertising firm. But the experience only led her to become interested in the world of television production.

A broadcast producer recommended Alberty to intern at Filmworks, a commercial production company, the next summer. She did, and the company hired her right after her graduation from UM.

After years of working in commercial and music video production, Alberty was then hired as a production manager for MTV Networks Latin America’s on-air promotions and special productions.

“I was a good communicator and loved planning,” Alberty said. “They saw my skills, and I quickly moved up to director of production and eventually the vice-president position.”

Alberty advises students that real-world experience is the best way for students to get ahead and decide their post-graduate lives.

“Definitely get your feet wet in a professional environment by interning every summer,” Alberty said. “Intern in different companies in related fields to learn more and divert a little bit. I diverted, and I’m happy.”