SJGC grad finds niche at Cartoon Network

Melanie Mitchell, Monique Mitchell and Melissa Mitchell
Photo submitted by Monique Mitchell

Monique Mitchell is proof that hard work pays off.

Mitchell, a publicist at the Cartoon Network, got her start at Florida A&M.

As a third-generation Rattler, Mitchell always knew that FAMU would be her home. The Rattler spirit was embedded in her blood early on, as she remembers traveling to homecoming from Miami every year with her family, never missing one since she was 4 years old. This laid the foundation for an unwavering passion for her alma mater and motivation to take FAMU with her wherever she goes.

Before graduating in the fall of 2010, Mitchell was a top broadcast journalism student in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication and heavily involved in extracurricular activities as a student leader. She served as the president of Presidential Ambassadors, Secretary of State for the Student Government Association, an anchor for FAMU TV-20, and writer and editor for both The FAMUAN and Journey Magazine.

Mitchell is one of three sisters who have attended FAMU and made their own individual marks on campus. Her older sister, IT specialist and artist Melissa Mitchell, laid the groundwork for her many years before; and Monique passed the torch to her younger sister, marketing specialist and comedienne Melanie Mitchell, when she arrived on the highest of seven hills. This dynamic trio is dedicated to building on a legacy that their father laid down for them when he enrolled as one of FAMU’s first journalism students and WANM 90.5 radio hosts in the 70s.

“When I was in school I was always a superstar. Everything I said I wanted to do, I did. But when I graduated and couldn’t land a job, I thought my dreams of working in television would never come true,” said Mitchell.

In 2011, she applied to over 100 jobs and didn’t get any a call back. Being without a job left her depressed, financially strained and hopeless.

Monique Mitchell
Photo submitted by Monique Mitchell

“Part of my depression came from me not being kind to myself and not giving myself room to grow,” she said.

But all of that changed a few months later when she moved to New York City and took a job as a page in the NBC Universal Page Program, a 12-month fellowship for recent grads interested in the entertainment and television business. Mitchell had various assignments at different places within NBC Universal including the Oxygen Network, “Today,” “Saturday Night Live” and more, helping to kick-start her seven-year career in network television. She transitioned from wanting to be in front of the camera to a boss behind the scenes.

Fast forward a few years and you’ll find her in Atlanta, working as a publicist at Cartoon Network. She’s been there for five years promoting animated series and immersive digital spaces.

“Confidence is the one thing that will take you far in your career,” said Mitchell.

She proudly notes that FAMU taught her how to be resilient and exude a spirit of excellence. Hence her seamlessly pivoting her career from broadcasting to public relations at a TV network. This is one of the things she likes to share with students whenever she is invited back to speak during FAMU’s homecoming, as she did earlier this month during “Grads Are Back.” “Confidence is one of the main ingredients for success,” she said. “FAMU taught me how to believe in myself, be authentic and to just stay true to who I am.”

One of the greatest lessons she’s learned since working in television is to always be a team player and learn the power of strategy.

By day she is a PR professional and by night she is juggling many hats as a publicist and communications director for both her sisters, a graduate student at Kennesaw State University pursuing a master of business administration and host and producer of her own podcast, “One Mo’ Minute.” Needless to say, Mitchell is a busy woman.

“It was great having older sisters attend FAMU before me because there were people that were looking out for me because I even got there. I came to FAMU with a support system just from the relationships Monique made,” said youngest sister Melanie Mitchell.

As she leans toward the future and looks ahead she still remembers being a little girl reading Essence magazine, hoping she could change the world and that still stands true. Even with all of her accomplishments, she’s still got her eyes on landing her dream job.

“You can have a plan all day long, but if it is not God’s plan then it really doesn’t matter,” she said.