Featured Student Friday – Dorian Parks

Dorian Parks is a Digital Media Innovation student at Texas State University

You may have seen this SJMC student wandering the halls of Old Main throughout the semester, or perhaps sitting beside you in class. Or just maybe you have checked out the website Geeks of Color to peruse the latest coverage of the ‘geek’ world. Well, this summer, Dorian Parks has traded the hills of San Marcos for Los Angeles and the halls of Old Main for the entertainment giant, STARZ.

The Television Academy Foundation’s Internship Program provides 50 undergraduate and graduate students with internships in various media production fields. According to their website, host companies include ABC, CBS, HBO, Disney, NBC, and Warner Bros., to name a few. Needless to say, this eight-week program is beyond competitive and Dorian has proven his expertise and passion for digital media by obtaining this position.

Dorian has been preparing for an opportunity like this throughout his education as a Digital MediaInnovation major at Texas State University. Staying true to his mass communication frame of mind, Dorian recognizes that our communication is evolving every day.

“Digital media is the new way that we ingest information and I want to be a part of that digital revolution,” said Dorian in his video interview securing him the internship. The interview, produced and recorded by the creative extraordinaire himself, provides a look into the vast imagination that Dorian uses to fuel his enthusiasm for making and distributing his original content.

While at Texas State, Dorian commits his time to the website he founded called Geeks of Color, a blog-type feed that covers current news on all things ‘geek’ and promotes inclusion and diversity in the vast world of entertainment. Reviews, podcasts, gaming, and guest contributions can all be found within this impressive digital creation, demonstrating Dorian’s passion for media and communication. Not only does Dorian care about the infinite world of comics and popular culture, but his desire to bridge the gap of race and the entertainment industry is inspiring.

“I am so excited for this internship, I can’t wait to see what opportunities it leads to,” said Dorian.

The internship is scheduled to be starting this summer and we share Dorian’s excitement as we eagerly wait to see where this position takes him in the future. In the meantime, the folks in San Marcos can stay up to date on all things Dorian and geek on his website and social media platforms.

YouTube
Twitter
Instagram

Check out what Dorian is up to next; this SJMC student does not fail to impress!

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Twitter Takeover

Last week, alum and former Fundamentals of Digital Media (FDOM) Grad Assistant Randy Estevanes took over our Twitter account. He showed us and our followers what it’s like to work at a digital marketing firm.

Coffee might wake you up, but Red Bull gives you wings!

Always remember to proofread. It helps you iron out any unnecessary errors.

The SJMC also hires interns to assist in content creation and social media marketing. Learn more about it here.

Don’t forget to check out Esd & Associates when you’re looking for fall internships!

What better way to promote Goodwill on social media then with real authentic pictures!

Randy uses canva.com for its variety of design presentations, social media graphics and thousands of layouts.

Nice collage!

How awesome is it that Esd & Associates provides healthy snacks for them? #Winning

Knowing how to schedule post is an great tool to have under your belt!

Take note student: Google Adwords is a MAJOR asset!

Thank you again, Randy, for showing us your world. Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat! #Eat’emUp

SJMC senior Olivia Williams balances school, Greek life, and internship at GSD&M

OliviaWilliamsGSDMOlivia Williams is one busy Bobcat. In addition to her studies, the senior advertising major from Flower Mound, TX works evenings as a waitress at Texas Roadhouse, participates in sorority activities in Delta Zeta and interns at the GSD&M advertising agency in Austin.

Williams is a media intern at GSD&M and is involved in such accounts as RadioShack, Stainmaster and Whole Foods. On a typical day, Williams organizes requests made by media vendors, pulls reports for previous spending patterns of media campaigns or puts together blog posts to be reviewed by her clients in order to understand where and how to spend their advertising budgets.

“Every day is unique,” Williams said. “I also sit in a lot of meetings with vendors that are trying to have the agency buy their product or ad space for our clients – which sometimes includes yummy food.” Read more of this post

SJMC students intern, travel with Spurs Sports and Entertainment

by Cheyenne Meyer:

Fans of the San Antonio Spurs basketball team know the excitement of attending a game. Between the loud crowds, the pumped-up music, and simply seeing their favorite players in action is an experience fans sitting anywhere in the arena just don’t want to miss. Two SJMC students are experiencing the games from a whole new perspective. They’re seeing it courtside.

Taylor Hair and Avery Schneider currently intern for Spurs Sports and Entertainment. Schneider has been with the group since last year, and Hair joined the team in August. Larry Carlson, senior lecturer, said these internships were made possible by Mike Kickirillo, the director of broadcasting for the Spurs and SJMC alum (class of ’88).

Photo provided by Texas State SJMC

Mike Kickirillo, SJMC Alum – Photo provided by Texas State SJMC

“Over the years, [Kickirillo] has utilized many of my students as interns,” Carlson said. “A number of them now work for him as producers, etc. Thanks to him, we have a great pipeline from our School of Journalism to the Spurs’ organization. And Mike, just like the players, has collected five NBA championship rings during his time with the Spurs.”

Hair and Schneider recently had the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles and San Francisco to work on the broadcast of the Spurs’ games against the Clippers and Warriors. Hair, a senior electronic media major from Lubbock, explained their duties as interns.

“Avery and I have numerous responsibilities on game days and non-game days,” he said, “from making sure equipment is on the truck, setting up the broadcast desk, writing credentials, logging videos, and even thinking up a trivia question to use during the broadcast.”

Read more of this post

Alexandra Pernice, SJMC senior and USA Wrestling intern

Growing up both playing and watching her younger sister play sports, senior public relations major Alexandra Pernice of Plano always had a passion for athletics. Today, she is able to combine her love of sports with her educational concentration by serving as an intern for USA Wrestling in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Interning with USOC

USA Wrestling, a non-governing body with the United State Olympic Committee, enlisted Pernice to work as its communications intern. It is her responsibility to write and report everything about the sport.

Pernice, a senior public relations major, is currently interning with the United States Olympic Committee at USA Wrestling.

Pernice, a senior public relations major, is currently interning with the United States Olympic Committee at USA Wrestling.

“Daily, I create releases for updates on rankings and news concerning wrestling and the community,” she said. “I write feature stories about wrestlers from each style (freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman), as well as general feature pieces. I also work on updating our website and tracking our activity on Google Analytics to ensure our productivity.”

Pernice stumbled upon the internship opportunity during her junior year at Texas State. Though she initially declined the position, she re-applied this year was offered the internship a second time. A highly coveted position, each USOC internship position has upwards of 200 applicants each semester.

A History of Sports Involvement

While Pernice competed in softball, volleyball, track and cross country throughout high school, it was her younger sister’s wrestling career that helped her to understand the ins and outs of the sport.

“Being related to wrestlers makes you a part of the wrestling community,” she said, “so it was easier to fit in here at USA Wrestling.”

Read more of this post

Bobcat Promotions team back from New York

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MIDTOWN — Lighting up the town in midtown Manhattan. Photo by Paige Vaughn

by Chuck Kaufman:

Senior executives and staff members with Bobcat Promotions recently returned from the group’s first professional development tour to New York City. They returned to Texas enriched with industry knowledge from the world’s media capital and fun experiences that took advantage of both their senses and pocketbooks.

Most of the 14 participants called the five-day visit, Jan. 5-10, a “trip of a lifetime,” an experience that will have an impact on them forever in many ways.

“Maybe in a few years I’ll move to New York,” said Erika Hauer, who is looking to start her career.

Senior Emily Kellar, BPR’s financial manager, said, “Before this trip, I definitely had tunnel vision. I think that approach would have limited my opportunities if I didn’t learn from this trip to broaden my horizon.”

Dominique Mercado, another senior and BPR’s web director, said, “I’m already looking to apply for internships in New York after graduation.”

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Texas State logo lights up CitiField, home of the New York Mets. Photo by Morgan Moritz

Visiting Firms
The students and BPR adviser, Chuck Kaufman, met with a wide range of public relations organizations, from large firms Burson-Marsteller and OgilvyPR to niche firm Boneau Bryan-Brown, Inc., New York’s largest firm focused on theater productions. They also learned about sports public relations by visiting CitiField and New York Mets communications and marketing officials. The students gained insight into international media relations at the United Nations; and learned about issues facing a museum that attracts a world audience, the recently opened 9/11 Memorial Museum.

“We participated in history at the UN by attending the noon briefing on the day Islamic terrorists attacked and killed journalists at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris,” Kaufman said. “In fact, on a day filled with grim news, the conference began with Stephane Dujarric, director of communications for Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, welcoming a group of public relations students from Texas State University. We led the news of the day. You can watch the press conference on the UN website.

“The students who entered CitiField through the Mets dugout witnessed not only a snow-covered field but the scoreboard lit up with a welcome message and the Texas State logo. Very cool – the weather and the scoreboard.”

Learning From the Best
The United Nations experience and major PR firms made the biggest impression on the students. Dujarric joined the students at the end of the noon briefing for a 30-minute discussion.

Kellar was impressed with the way Dujarric skillfully handled a wide range of questions and managed pressing follow-up questions. “I loved when Stephane was discussing how he handles questions that he might not have the right answer at that moment and that he would get back to the reporter with an answer. I think it is very important in public relations, especially as we go on to represent businesses, to remember that, as he said, ‘It’s better to look stupid than to say something stupid.’ I will remember that forever.”

Kellar also learned greatly from presentations from employees at Ogilvy, particularly as they discussed their job searches. “I think it’s the ‘Go-get-‘em’ attitude that will get me furthest in my career, rather than shooting for what I think may feel more safe and practical,” she said. “I also found it really interesting how Mr. Burson, even at 93, is still in the office every day, being part of what goes on. It’s comforting to know that regardless of his status and how big his name might be, that he’s still making sure his company is doing its job.”

The Power of Internships
The Burson-Marsteller presentation involved five new employees, all of whom joined the company after their internships. Mercado said that they were all recently students. “It was nice to hear advice from people who were recent graduates and had vivid memories of the emotions they felt immediately after graduating college and entering the real PR world. It was reassuring.”

These were graduates whose careers began as interns, not as full-time employees. “I always assumed that after college the most important thing was to find a full-time career,” Mercado said. “After hearing that most entry-level employees in New York have had a variety of internships after graduating, I understand that there is still time after college to find what I really enjoy most.”

Working Together
From the large PR firms, particularly Burson, senior Morgan Moritz appreciated how “they emphasized working together as a team and the importance of having fun on the job. Also, I was struck by the perspective that no two days at work are completely the same; that you always have to be at the top of your game, and you always have to be prepared for everything.”

Senior Babie Spain learned the importance of research as it affects the various teams involved in public relations work. “One thing I learned from visiting the different PR firms was the relationship between different teams working on a project, and just how many different teams are needed to successfully follow through with a PR plan,” she said.

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9/11 MEMORIAL — An iced over fountain enhances a chilling experience at Ground Zero outside the 911 Memorial Museum. Photo by Paige Vaughn

Crisis Management
The visit to the 9/11 Museum was emotionally challenging as the overwhelming exhibition with twisted steel pieces from the collapsed World Trade Center and artifacts from the nearly 3,000 innocent workers and first responders opened up feelings that were untouched since elementary school days.

Anthony Guido, director of communications at the museum, described how he works in collaboration with so many different local, federal and international requests and issues. He witnesses a collision of emotions whether it involves family members of victims, world leaders or journalists from every corner of the world.

Kellar said, “Even in a museum setting there are crises. I’ve learned that in communications there is always someone who will be offended or interpret messages in a wrong way. For that reason, there must always be a plan for when miscommunication occurs.”

From Guido, Mercado learned that “tough work comes easy if you love what you do.”

Meeting Alumni
During the first evening in New York, the students met with 15 SJMC alumni from all sequences who are working in New York. Among those attending were Monica Apodaca with Ogilvy & Mather; Natalie Schorn with Talent Management at 247 Seven Inc.; Christopher Henry with the Brunswick Group; Albany Leunsmann at Rpr Marketing Communications; Gabe Carrillo with Viacom; Maira Garcia and Jacqueline Baylon with The New York Times; Adrienne Enderle, a freelance production assistant; and, among others, Amanda Gordon, a digital marketing and social media strategy consultant.

Spain learned from the alumni gathering the importance of networking.

Mercado added that she found the alumni to be extremely positive and encouraging as spring graduation approaches. “They are really rooting for you to succeed,” she said. “If you have the drive to do something, there are people out there who will help you reach your goals.”

Kellar worked with BPR alum and former executive director Chris Henry for a couple of years. “Honestly, it’s been really cool watching Chris grow as a person,” she said. “He has taught me to aim high and not be afraid of absolute change.”

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Central Park. Photo by Paige Vaughn

Takeaways
Senior account executive Lemondia Hobbs said she is planning to move to New York after graduation. She found the alumni “super helpful and an important resource” for her. “I made a lot of great connections.”

Naturally, part of the education in New York involved soaking up the atmosphere, experiencing the vibe of the city.

The students shared a variety of highlights and anecdotes. Here they are . . . anonymously . . . only in New York:

  • “One crazy visual on the subway was watching a man who looked like Hagrid from Harry Potter walking through the cars singing for money.”
  • “After leaving Harlem late one night, I noticed a man waiting for the subway who was shuffling around talking to himself.”
  • “I’ll never forget looking up at John Lennon’s old apartment and thinking of all the lyrics he wrote that influenced my life.”
  • “While walking down the street, minding our own business, a man looked at us and said, ‘Use your powers for good, witches.’ He was totally serious and I was a little scared.”
  • “There was a guy carrying a guitar, a violin, a backpack and another bag. He was 50 years old and talking to himself under his breath. He sat down and pulled out a paperback book that was almost completely folded in half and torn to pieces, pages hanging out with part of the cover missing. I looked a little closer and as he pulled out his pencil to underline something, I noticed it was the Bible. Never have I seen a Bible in such terrible condition or someone more dedicated to scripture. I’m not religious but it was pretty inspiring.”
  • “I was looking from my hotel window at the fifth story of an office building across the street. I saw the figure of a man in his office. He was facing our hotel and, just for fun, I waved. To my surprise, he waved back. My travel companions proceeded to call him ‘my friend’ throughout the trip. A stranger I will always remember, HA.”

An Internship Bound to Happen

MacKenzie Smith

McKenzie Smith

McKenzie Smith grew up in New Braunfels, Texas, where weekly trips to the local waterpark, Schlitterbahn, were her favorite activity. As a teen, she spent her summers working as a lifeguard for the park, but eventually she knew she wanted to do more for the company.

After graduating high school, she decided to pursue a degree in public relations at Texas State University. Currently, She holds an internship with the water park where she is getting hands-on experience working with press releases, social media and updating their media website, “Schlitterbahn Newsroom”.

Her passion for the company and the field she works in keeps her motivated while she strives to better herself and the company. As a consecutive dean’s list recipient, Smith prides herself on her ability to quickly learn and adapt to every situation. She describes herself as being a hard working perfectionist with a strong focus on innovation, always trying to find new ways to reach her audiences. Smith can also be described as a “people person”, someone who has the ability to strike up and hold a conversation with anybody. She can also be described as strong-willed and independent as she held a job all four years of college to pay for her education.

“She [Smith] has been a determined and hardworking addition to the team,” said Winter Prosapio
, Corporate Director of Communications at Schlitterbahn. “She’s a leader, a person you can count on to solve any problem no matter how fast a deadline may be approaching.”

With graduation in May 2014, Smith is looking to take the skills she has acquired into her future career. With a strong passion, great work ethic and a desire for greatness, McKenzie Smith will be a great asset to any company.

A Tragedy in West, TX Affects a Texas State Student

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Kayla Urbanovsky in front of Old Main

By: Olivia Garcia — Kayla Urbanovsky scrolled through her Facebook feed on Feb. 17, 2013 and that evening, she noticed many statuses about a disturbance in her hometown of West, TX. A fertilizer plant had exploded, claiming 15 lives and damaging over 300 homes. Urbanovsky’s elementary and high school were destroyed, and luckily, her family and home were safe from the explosion. On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, she remembers how her hometown’s resilience changed her life.

“West is now known as the small town in Texas that exploded,” Urbanovsky said. “But I know it as my family of 2,800 people and the resilience of West, Texas and its people actually made me a better college student.”

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Kayla Urbanovsky at her internship

While attending Texas State University, Urbanovsky landed an internship at ChannelAustin where she puts her knowledge of electronic media to the test. She ran the teleprompter, setted up cameras and was the technical director of the control room. She was one of the top interns at ChannelAustin and felt more prepared for life after college.

Urbanovsky thanked her professors from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication for the support the Texas State University community gave her and West, TX during this tragedy.

“This turned my world upside down but was a blessing in disguise for myself and for the people of West,” says Urbanovsky. “I was inspired to be the best person I could be and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication helped me thrive to be that person.”

Urbanovsky graduated May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication – Electronic Media. Urbanovsky hopes to work on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and to continue to help rebuild her hometown and promises to keep her resilient attitude throughout her career.

Being the Voice of Texas State University

By Shannon Bailie

Photo by: Paige Vaughn Photography

Photo by Paige Vaughn Photography

Mindy Green, a public relations alumna, interned for the Office of University Marketing at Texas State University last spring as a student social media worker. Mindy gained valuable PR experience through a variety of duties including: managing the content for Texas State’s social media sites (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), writing for the Texas State blog and editing marketing materials.

“I love[d] it,” said Green. “It [was] great to kind of be the voice of a brand, essentially. I become the voice of Texas State when I’m tweeting as Texas State.”

Mindy has also promoted Texas State’s KTSW radio for more than two years including running the KTSW social media sites.

“Having done the social media for KTSW I knew what it was like to be the voice of another brand,” said Green. “Everything I wrote was read by thousands of people, so it helped me pay attention to detail. That really helped when they were considering me for the position of student social media worker for the Office of University Marketing.”

In the spring of 2013, one of Green’s friends heard about a student social media position opening up in May.

“My friend who knows my personality and skills thought of me immediately as a good candidate for this position,” said Green. “So I emailed the supervisor, and she requested my resume with two writing samples, and I got called in for an interview and found out weeks after that I got the position.”

Audrey Webb, writer, editor and supervisor for the Office of University Marketing, said, “It impressed me that the stress of an interview did nothing to suppress Mindy’s personality. She projected maturity, competency and energy and did it all with a smile.“

For Green, her internship was not just for school credit, it was to gain out-of-class experience that would prepare her for a PR career.

“It’s one thing sitting in class and talking about the professional world,” said Green. “It’s another to actually be in that environment and see how things are done and how things are run more clearly.”

According to Webb, an internship helps you understand that everyone you work with relies on you, and that your work is significant and meaningful to a wide range of people.

“I’ve seen her confidence grow through the way she tackles unfamiliar situations,” said Webb. “She knows she can face new challenges because she’s had the opportunity to confront them during her internship.”

Green’s advice for other School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) students looking for an internship is to join the media organizations provided on campus, use social media, reach out to professors and fellow students and to get involved in SJMC events and activities.

“Don’t be afraid to just really put yourself out there.” Mindy said.

SJMC Student Learns the Ropes of the Performing Arts Industry

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Horton (far right) having a meeting with fellow Long Center interns

By: Colin Ashby

Alexandria Horton is one student who has used her performing arts experience into landing her dream job.

Horton is currently a junior at Texas State University majoring in mass communication-public relations with a minor in media studies.

As her internship at The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin comes to a close, she has already found her next position. This summer, Horton works as an intern for the New York Musical Theatre Festival in New York City.

“I had been planning on getting a New York City internship for over a year. It’s great to see that my work has paid off,” said Horton.

Last fall, at the start of her junior year at Texas State, Horton was starting out at a new internship with The Long Center. She had developed a thorough understanding of performing arts and the public relations industry through her internship duties working as a marketing intern.

Horton had always loved the variety of things within the performing arts. Growing up, she would spend her spare time attending theatre shows, visiting art events and watching musicals. Coming to Texas State, she was unsure of what career path to pick until a professor offered advice.

“My Introduction to Public Relations professor Bruce Smith said ‘To have a great job, one should marry their career with their passion,’” said Horton.

At the end of the summer, Horton decided to fill out an application for an internship at The Long Center in Austin, Texas. She knew the Long Center would be a great way to get experience in the performing arts and public relations industries. A few days after a phone interview, she got the position as a marketing intern.

Working at the Long Center gave her the confidence to achieve anything in the workplace, she said. A typical day at her internship involves doing anything from managing marketing to helping out with the finance or development department.

“There is never a moment where there is nothing to do,” she said. “I always find something to work on.”

As for her spending the summer in New York City, Horton said she will experience all the Big Apple has to offer. She plans to move there after her graduation in May 2015.

“Gaining experience at the Long Center has given me the confidence to follow my career dreams,” she said.