Grady InternViews: LJ Jackson
Grady InternViews: LJ Jackson
This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.
Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.
I am currently a digital and social media content intern for the New York Red Bulls, and I assist with content creation to all major New York Red Bull social media sites via video editing, photography, graphics and story production. I help plan content schedules to showcase player personalities, game highlights, brand activations and sponsorship sales. Most of my time is spent filming practice content and then editing reels and photos for the social pages. When I am not doing that, I am in collaborative meetings with the marketing and/or video teams.
I work from two locations. Red Bull Arena is the main office that is a short 10-minute ride across the Hudson River to Manhattan. This is where most of administration, marketing and content creators are located. This is also where the team hosts their home games. I also work from the practice facility located in Whippany, New Jersey. Most of our Instagram Reels and TikTok content is from practice, so I spend a considerable amount of time here as well.
What has been your most memorable experience so far?
The most memorable experience I have is working at Red Bull Arena for the friendly (scrimmage) against Barcelona. I grew up watching Lionel Messi, Neymar and Pedro. I never thought that I would have the opportunity to watch Barcelona in action, because of the distance and costliness of the matches. So, not only did I get to see them play in-person, but I had the chance to create content involving them. It was crazy how much of a full circle thing it was.
What’s the most challenging part of this position?
The biggest challenge has been finding effective ways to showcase all of the personalities we have on the team. The club has some great guys like Dru Yearwood, John Tolkin and Thomas Edwards. I want to represent them accurately to really allow the surrounding community to see that despite their incredible athletic ability, these guys are human and love to have fun on and off the pitch.
How has the certificate in sports media prepared you for this role?
The social media class that I took prepared me for this role exponentially. When assigned our team sports that we would be following for the semester, I was disappointed that I did not receive baseball, but in the long-term it was the best thing that could have happened for my career ending up with the soccer team. Running the Clarke Central boys soccer social media sites enhanced my knowledge of soccer and it taught me how to be anticipatory of plays that I could capture for content. Since the Red Bulls are a Major League Soccer organization, it’s easy to see the connection here.
What advice would you give to other sports media students?
Sometimes you just have to walk in the room and act like you own it. You may not know what to do, and that’s okay. You can figure out the logistics later, but don’t let anyone stop you from getting that perfect shot, the best angle for a video, and don’t be afraid to communicate with players. You may be nervous in approaching them, but I promise they are just as nervous approaching you as you are approaching them. Oftentimes we make the fear of rejection or having a negative interaction way worse in our heads than it actually is. Confidence will carry you however far you let it take you.