#ProfilesOfTenacity: Eduardo Morales

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study? 

I have lived and worked in Athens for the past 15 years and met and made many good friends at Grady College during my time in the Classic City. While I have worked in journalism for 30 years, I never did study it at a collegiate level, but since I work in communications at UGA, I decided there was no better place to get training in that field than at Grady. 

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you? 

For a journalist, it means forging on despite disparate odds and chasing every lead that can lead to the truth. One of the best scenes in my favorite movie, “All the President’s Men,” is when Redford and Hoffman, playing Woodward and Bernstein, go through thousands of index cards to find the answer to a question that will only lead them to another question. It’s the essence of being a journalist.

What has been your proudest moment in the past year? 

Being the husband to the greatest woman I ever met, and the father to a daughter and son I would do anything for.

What was the hardest part about adjusting to COVID-19 in your life as a student and early career professional? 

I think it’s the uncertainty of it all – there’s no real sense of what’s to come, and the pandemic has affected everyone in different ways. It feels like we are all disconnected, and I’m not sure how we get a true sense of community back. 

What are you passionate about? 

Fairness and equity. There’s a certain amount of injustice that gets swept aside or disregarded, and it infuriates me. I try my best, in a small way, to make sure everyone has a chance to reach their potential and excel. 

Who is your professional hero? 

When I was a kid I read the Miami Herald sports pages every day, and the sports editor at the time was a seasoned newspaper veteran named Edwin Pope. He wrote clever columns that always made me laugh, and it was his writing that made me want to go into sports writing, which I did for 12 years. It wasn’t until I moved to Athens that I discovered Edwin Pope was born in Athens, received his journalism degree at Grady College and began his career at the Athens Banner-Herald, where I once served as editor in chief. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor/mentor/family member? 

Being the first to report is only meaningful if you get it right.  

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why? 

I don’t know if it’s my favorite app, but the Fitbit app is the one I go to most often. I’m a bit addicted to reaching my goal of 10,000 steps a day and do a constant check to see where I am as the day progresses. 

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

That I have a paralyzed vocal cord, which has made me incapable of yelling. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why? 

On the fifth floor at the Main Library – you can sit and study in quiet while getting a fabulous view of campus. 

Grady InternViews: Matthew Brown

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 work as a communications intern for Nike Inc. The team I report to is Nike’s North America Comms Employee experience. Regularly, the internship is done in Beaverton, OR, but because of COVID-19, I’m Zooming in from my apartment in Athens, GA.

To start my day, I’ll chime in on NikeUnited’s Black Employee network morning kickoff. It’s called “Wake Up with BEN.” The meeting features notable Black employees from Nike and it’ll spotlight one of Nike’s major cities: NYC, LA, Beaverton, Portland, St. Louis, Boston, Memphis or Atlanta. The panel will discuss current events and the meeting is open to all employees at Nike, not just its Black counterparts.

Following that, I’ll have a touch base with my Nike manager discussing my tasks for the day. I had three main things on my agenda as an intern: personal project, intern combine (group project) and connection meetings. So, my manager would help advise me as to who would be best to network for my connection meetings. Oftentimes, these were employees who have been at Nike for years with tons of job experience and advice. Other times they were people in areas whose work I’d be interested in: sports media and sports marketing.

Following meetings with my manager, I’d attend my Nike NA (North America) Employee Comms meeting to discuss updates, planning and new features for Nike’s “North America: Now” newsletter. We collaborated with other teams to effectively compose a newsletter with stories and corporate updates so it can be a “one-stop-shop” for our employees.

After that, I would meet with other interns from different industry cohorts of Nike to work on our project, called our Nike intern combine. Everything at the company was competitive, so the group project competition was nothing short of that either. The five of us plus our Nike Supervisor helped create a business proposal that would envision a partnership between Nike and UberEats to save Nike Athletes and members time in the kitchen, giving them more time for sport or rest and recovery. The prompt was to help Nike address ways to help increase Nike membership accounts while connecting and partnering with another company.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

My biggest challenge was trying to balance football, summer classes and my internship. I learned the value of organization and rest and recovery to better my performance. No matter how hard you work or how organized you are, if you do not prioritize some time for your body and mind to rest, you will not operate at peak performance. And I am happy to say that I learned the lesson from Nike and my team. They were always willing to share advice and drop gems as to how to be successful when balancing life and work.

What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?

I’ve learned how to operate and function in the corporate world. I learned that regardless of your age or job position, it’s best to communicate with your co-workers and your superiors as another peer. Despite the southern etiquette, there is no need to say “yes sir” and “no ma’am” in the workplace. You will gain more respect without it.

I’ve also learned what I want to do and what I do not want to do. I’ve grown fond of working with a team that issues individual tasks that contribute to a bigger project at the end. It’s just something about that “teamwork-feeling” that made me happy to work with Nike. Projects are more fun when you work with an energized and passionate team. That’s something I want to be a part of. 

Lastly, my confidence in myself has grown. I’ve left good impressions on people who have seen interns come and go, but I know they will remember my name and how I presented myself. I constantly looked for ways as to how I could help the team address a “hole,” seeking an opportunity to help the project grow or have a greater reach.

What is the most memorable experience you have had during your internship?

Brown said his most memorable experience is from a group project presentation involving Nike & UberEats. (Graphic: submitted)

My most memorable experience was writing a video pitch for my NA Comms team. The pitch’s purpose was to help lead the appropriate production agency to create a video that will help energize and spotlight the Nike employee experience of employees in our major North American locations. After I presented it to my core team, it was time to pitch it to creative agencies who would then consult their teams and come back to us with a game plan as to how to fulfill the vision of our idea. So in a way, I was kind of a director of what this “hype video” was to be for our Nike cohort, which consists of over a hundred thousand employees. I was able to critique and give feedback to these creative agencies, sharing what I did and did not like in terms of the team’s vision for the video. It was a cool experience.

What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?

 I’ll remember to take leaps and provide thought-out solutions and ideas that could contribute to a group’s project or mission. And when I succeed, I’ll remember to let that good feeling fuel my confidence to keep going.

Also, I remember to be intentional and to be present. Being an intern, you can be afraid to provide your opinion because you sometimes feel like a “fly on the wall.” But there is always something to contribute, no matter how big or small your role is. Leave your mark.

Grady InternViews: Caroline Kurzawa

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.A graphic explaining Kurzawa is a journalism major working as an intern in the integrated communications department for Enterprise Operations at Lockheed Martin in Washington, D.C.

I am an intern at Lockheed Martin. I am based out of the headquarters in Bethesda, M.D. but work remotely from Delta Hall in Washington, D.C.

I log on early because we work on a 10-hours-a-day schedule Monday-Thursday with each Friday off. I can see meetings and tasks come through in my inbox. I have worked on presentations, communications drafts and quality checks for other projects. I check in with my supervisor once a week to track my progress and discuss other projects I may be interested in.

How is your internship affecting the ideas you have about your future?

I have loved my experience so far, and it has confirmed that communications is the right field for me. Every day is different!

What has been your favorite part about living and working in DC?

The energy! There is always something to do and places to see. This is a great place for young professionals who want to be at the heart of public affairs.

When you look back on your internship 10 years from now, what part of your summer internship do you think you’ll remember most?

I know that my supervisors value my ideas and that I’m viewed as an important member of the team. My co-workers are kind and take the time to send projects my way when they know I’ll be interested. I’ll always be grateful my hiring manager gave me the chance to join the team.

Kurzawa in the doorway of Delta Hall
Kurzawa is a rising senior journalism major. (Photo: submitted)
What is the most valuable lesson or skill you have learned during your internship?

Communicate! It sounds kind of silly from a communications intern, but talk to your supervisors and your co-workers. Tell them how you’re doing, what you can do for the team and what you need from them.

What do you think made you stand out while applying for the job and what qualities do you have that are helping you succeed?

I think the Public Affairs Communications program catches the eye. It is different and specialized and people always want to hear more about it. In addition, I am personable and love to learn, which drives me as a self-motivated person. It is also critical to have strong communication and time management skills, especially as a remote worker.

How do you feel that the PAC certificate has prepared you for tackling the job?

The writing and strategic thinking skills I have learned through the PAC program made it much easier to start my position and anticipate what my supervisors were expecting of me.

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role, and what advice would you give them if they’re considering a PAC certificate?

Apply anyway. Not sure if you’ll get it? Apply anyway. Take the risk because the education you are receiving will support your goals. To students considering the PAC program: this program is one of a kind and will provide you with the kind of skills that employers in the public affairs realm need. Professor Watson brings his real world experience and knowledge to the classroom to prepare you for your future.


Grady InternViews: Megan Mittelhammer

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

A graphic explaining Mittelhammer is a journalism major working as a communications intern at the Georgia Governor's Office in Atlanta, GAA typical day will always start with coffee! I drive to the Capitol, where I compile news clips to send out to the office. We have a morning meeting and discuss what everyone is working on and what’s on tap for that week. I mostly work on proclamations and commendations (when the governor wants to proclaim a certain day or month, or recognize an individual for their contributions to the state). I also update the website, draft social media posts and work on press releases. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to draft remarks and video scripts for the governor, which is exciting. I’m lucky that I have another intern in the communications office who’s a UGA student. We have a ton of mutual connections, so we’ve become great friends.

How is it structured? Is it remote or in-person and what has that been like?

I’m fortunate to have found an in-person internship, and despite having to wake up early this summer, I’ve loved getting to be in the office and meet new people or just hang out at someone’s desk and chat. You can’t really do that over Zoom.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

I think writing remarks is the biggest challenge so far because I’m still learning the governor’s voice and how to write from his point of view. 

What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?
Mittelhammer in an orange shirt outside the capitol
Megan works in-person every day at the Gold Dome in downtown Atlanta. (Photo: submitted)

I feel like my confidence in my abilities has grown, especially over the past year. When I was offered the internship, that boosted my confidence tremendously. Most of my experience has come from writing for The Red & Black, but getting to put skills from my Public Affairs Communications classes into action has been rewarding.  

How do you feel that Grady has prepared you for tackling the job?

My classes and professors at Grady have done a great job preparing me for this internship. In my PAC class, we practice writing a variety of releases, briefs, etc. — a lot of things that I’m working on right now! And when I have to fact check information or craft social posts, I know I’m using skills from my journalism classes.

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role, and what advice would you give them if they’re considering a PAC certificate?

It’s all about connections! I knew some friends who did this same internship and encouraged me to apply, and my mentor was a huge help in so many aspects of the internship search process and acted as a knowledgeable resource. For new Grady students, start out networking among your cohort and professors, and definitely get involved with the UGA Mentor Program. Your list of connections will only grow from there.

If you’re thinking about any combination of writing and politics, definitely connect with a PAC student and apply to the PAC program!

What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?

The lessons I’ll take with me are to trust in my abilities as a writer and communicator, and to not be afraid to try new things. I take the initiative to ask for certain projects that I’ve never really done before, and it has paid off. I like serving and informing Georgians through this internship, and I’ll keep that in mind when I begin Newsource in the fall. I’ve been given a lot of responsibility and opportunities that I know are preparing me for my classes in the fall as well as life after college.