Grady InternViews: LJ Jackson

 

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

black background graphic with red text that says "LJ Jackson, hometown: Acworth, Georiga, Major: journalism, title: digital/social media content intern, Company: New York Red Bulls, Location: Harrison, New Jersey, along with Grady College logo.

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.

student LJ is holding up a camera while in the Red Bulls Soccer Club arena
LJ holds up a camera. Part of his role as an intern is to create video content for the soccer club. (Photo: submitted)
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.

 

Grady InternViews: Alex Anteau

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

Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities.

I’m basically a full-time reporter. Because I’m an intern I don’t do a lot of breaking news or anything, but I write and report stories for the Athens Banner-Herald website.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?graphic which describes Alex Anteau. hometown is izhevsk, Russia. major is health and medical journalism (master's of arts), Alex's title is a reporting intern at the Athens Banner-Herald. The location of the internship is in Athens, GA although it is a hybrid role.

As a health reporter, I spend a lot of time talking to the people who are most involved and affected by the subject I’m writing about. This involves a combination of trauma-informed reporting and taking the time to establish trust with the person you’re interviewing. The most important lesson I’ve learned as I’ve stepped into my first full-time reporting role is that I need to schedule more time for these meetings. It is a huge privilege to have a stranger share a vulnerable and often difficult experience with you. It means a lot to me when I click with someone and have a conversation that goes longer than expected. However, it’s also super important to be mindful of time and respect the schedule of whoever you’re meeting with next.

What about this position has surprised you?

How much freedom I have in my reporting. It’s honestly been really amazing – I’ve had the opportunity to take a lot of initiative in this role. Most of the stories I cover are ones I’ve personally pitched and I’m really grateful for the trust my editors have given me in pursuing the leads I think are important.

What is a challenge or a benefit of working remotely?

The flexibility! My schedule heavily depends on my sources’ availability. Often folks are talking to me after work or on their days off, which means that my hours fall outside the traditional 9-5 office work day. I do love coming into the office for meetings and to talk to my coworkers, but it’s nice to not need to worry about carving out time on-site and to instead focus on getting to know the community and writing. I think the challenge is to not over-do it. In my experience office culture has a lot of built-in down time which you don’t necessarily have at home and I’m still learning to pace myself and not overbook my schedule.

What advice would you give to other students looking to pursue similar opportunities?

Be a self-starter. Get familiar with the beat you’re working in and practice writing and reporting in your downtime (if you haven’t been able to land a paid internship opportunity yet, I highly recommend becoming a Red & Black contributor and applying to staff roles). The more you do journalism, the more experience and clips you’ll have when it comes to apply, and, more importantly, the more you’ll get to know the subjects you are writing about and have insight and story ideas that others might not.

What has been your favorite part about the internship so far?
selfie of student Alex Anteau, working from home.
Alex works from a home office, as the internship is primarily remote. (Photo:submitted)

My coworkers and the projects I’ve been working on. In my first two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to start working on a wide variety of stories, from enterprise to breaking news, covering everything from local elections to neighborhood cats. My editors have given me incredible feedback that’s had a huge impact on how I report, and the other journalists at the Athens Banner-Herald have been gracious and kind and really open to collaborating on stories with me.