Grady InternViews: Ciera Walker

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

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

As a social media intern for ESPN, my daily duties include creating posts for engagement on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok based on what’s trending in sports. I work with my team to discover new viral content and create videos and graphics to share across social media platforms.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned so far is to volunteer for extra work outside of my regular duties and responsibilities. I’ve found that when I pitch in to help out with something or ask to help out on a particular project, that both my co-workers and managers are appreciative and take note of those gestures. It gives me the opportunity to connect with other individuals in the company that I might not typically work with and gain different perspectives on what this position totally encompasses. When I ask to help out, it shows that I’m serious about what I do and want to soak up as much experience from this role as possible.

How has this role helped you discover what you are passionate about?

This role has helped me discover what I’m passionate about by allowing me to see my own reactions to certain tasks given to me. When certain initiatives come up or campaigns take place, I find myself growing excited and almost giddy to work on the content that needs to be created. I know that I’m passionate by the response I have for the work that I’m doing. When I end an entire work day still energized and eager for what might come tomorrow, I know that’s only possible because of the passion that’s fueling me.

Earlier this year, Ciera was named a 2022 Disney UNCF Corporate Scholar. (Photo:submitted)
How will this role guide your future career path?

As I move forward in my career, I want to continue working in social media. This role has guided me towards that by preparing me for what a job in sports social media will look like. This position has shown me different sides of this industry that I had never recognized before and has pointed out the areas that I need to continue developing in order to truly excel in this field.

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

The advice that I would give to students looking to pursue similar opportunities is to always take the risk, because you never know what might come from it. Originally, I was skeptical about applying for this internship because I was worried that I wasn’t qualified enough for it. I thought maybe I hadn’t done enough or didn’t have enough experience to be considered. However, I took the risk, applied, and placed confidence in myself to know that I was capable of working in this role. Many students miss out on amazing opportunities because they count themselves out before ever trying. My advice is to never walk away from an opportunity because of a fear or doubt that you’re not enough.

Ciera is interning remotely with ESPN. (Photo:submitted)
What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?

My favorite part of the internship so far has been getting to create content for major sports events including the NBA Finals, the NBA Draft and the Title IX project. I love seeing the vision that the team creates come together and the reaction that fans have to the work that’s been done. It’s fun to see certain Instagram posts or TikTok vides pop up on my own social media accounts from ESPN that I worked on and created.

If you could describe your internship in only three words, what would they be?

Surreal, invigorating, dynamic

Grady InternViews: Caroline Parlantieri

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.

As a public relations communications intern, my responsibilities include monitoring and reporting on team coverage in new and traditional local and national news outlets, as well as maintaining and updating all media archives for press. I assist with the development of departmental publications including but not limited to press releases, media advisories, game notes and media guides. I leverage existing media relationships and cultivate new contacts within the industry and local market media and pitch compelling and creative storylines to the media.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?

The most valuable lesson I have learned with Nashville SC is the impact I have as an individual working for a specific team. The impact goes far beyond the organization and its fan base. Because I am employed by a team instead of an outside publication, my work reaches countless people through different media outlets as opposed to a specific publication. This emphasizes the importance of credibility across all areas in communications.

How have the classes you’ve taken at Grady prepared you for this internship?

Along with the UGA Sports Communications staff, Grady has prepared me tremendously for this internship. The hands-on experiences I’ve had in my public relations and sports media classes helped groom my writing skills, my awareness of newsworthiness and my ability to produce quality content under tight deadlines. I have learned far more from Grady that has prepared me for this experience, but those are among the most important.

The relationships I have created with my Grady professors and other staff members have guided me through this process immensely. Their experience, expertise, advice, guidance and encouragement have prepared me and allowed me to thrive.

What qualities or qualifications do you have that you believe made you stand out in the process of getting this internship?

The qualifications that made me standout were based on my experiences working in the UGA Sports Communications department. My delegated game day tasks and duties at Georgia are very similar to my assignments for Nashville SC. This provided me with the proper knowledge, familiarity and qualifications to operate media relations with another organization.

Caroline pictured at Geodis Park, the stadium in Nashville, TN home to the Nashville Soccer Club. (Photo:submitted)
What advice would you give to other current sports media students?

It is important to get involved in sports any way that you can if that is your desired industry. You might think you want to pursue a specific path, but you never know what else is out there until you give it a chance. For example, my knowledge of professional soccer prior to this summer was very little compared to that of other sports. However, I have already gained invaluable knowledge and increased my skillsets remarkably within a short period of time. Having knowledge of multiple areas is a great way to market yourself. There are countless opportunities to get involved in sports at UGA, within the Athens community and sports media program; therefore, you shouldn’t limit yourself.

Grady InternViews: Jack Casey

Graphic which says Jack Casey, Hometown: Marietta Georgia, Title: Visual journalist, Company: The Oglethorpe Echo, Location: Oglethorpe County, GeorgiaThis is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I’m doing an internship through Grady with the Oglethorpe Echo. It’s a newspaper that covers all of Oglethorpe County, a county east of Athens. I’m a visual journalist, so I take photos and videos to go alongside stories, that are both printed in the paper and put on our website.

How will this role guide your future career path?

Somewhere in my career, I really just want to be able to document life around me and create stories from that. With the Echo and the small town stories you find in Oglethorpe County, this internship is perfect for that.

How have the classes you’ve taken at Grady prepared you for this internship?

Even though I am majoring in Entertainment and Media Studies, the sports media program really has prepared me best for this internship. The classes I’ve taken through it so far have taught me skills including how to communicate with sources, how to work with fast-paced deadlines, and then a little bit of camera work here and there. I feel like those classes I’ve taken so far through the sports media certificate have really prepared me the best.

How has this role helped you discover what you are passionate about?

I’ve known for a while – if not forever – that visual journalism and visual media have been my passion. This internship has allowed me to really take that passion of the real world and run with it. The Echo isn’t a newspaper where you’re learning as things go – it’s the real deal. You’re making a paper weekly and uploading articles to the website. As a digital journalist, that’s just music to my ears. I get to see photos and videos that I produce in real works, and it really pays off.

student holds up camera to take photo
Jack’s role as a visual journalist includes taking photos and videos that accompany stories for the Oglethorpe Echo. (Photo:submitted)
What advice would you give to students who are looking to pursue similar opportunities? 

My advice would be to take advantage of whatever opportunities come your way. Apply to things, talk to people and get experience. You’ll find that wherever you end up, you’ll get experience that is maybe a little outside of your comfort zone or something that you didn’t initially sign up to do while you were there – which is a good thing. I’m a visual journalist for the Echo, but I’ve already written an article. It’s that kind of experience – that isn’t what you’re necessarily there to do – that’s actually a good thing, and you’ll benefit from it.

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.