UWG’s Department of Mass Communications hosted Careers and Connections on April 14 and 15 to virtually connect students to professionals in the media industry.
The Department of Mass Communications had to postpone their annual Media Day because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, hosting a virtual networking event was the most efficient way for students to connect with professionals in the media industry.
“Careers and Connections was not a replacement for Media Day,” said Assistant Professor and organizer of the event, Kelly Williams. “But postponing Media Day due to COVID-19 did create this hole in our programming so we decided to fill it.”
There were 19 panelists that attended Careers and Connections. Their occupations ranged from filmmaking, producing, on-air radio talent, PR professionals, broadcasters, entrepreneurs and content creators. All four concentrations in the Mass Communications Department had representation on the panel.
“We were very intentional about trying to get a good cross-section of media industry representation,” said Williams. “That way all of our students could see where their futures may take them.
“For an event that was slated to talk about careers and making connections we wanted to make sure all of our students across the concentrations could identify with a professional on the panel,” continued Williams. “Therefore, our planning committee worked with the faculty and concentrations to collect names of successful alumni and friends for the students.”
The Careers and Connections panelists were eager to participate in the event because it gave them the opportunity to give students advice and insight of the media industry.
“It was an honor to participate in UWG’s Careers and Connections event,” said WGXA News’ Senior Producer, Gabrielle Nelloms. “As a student I was grateful enough to witness Media Day and the panel of professionals. It inspired me to see former students who attended UWG to go and achieve their dreams in the Mass Communications field.
“It fueled motivation inside me to work hard my last couple of years in college so I could get a job in my field,” continued Nelloms. “Now being an adult and participating as a professional has come full circle because I am able to provide students with advice so they can achieve their goals like me.”
The Department of Mass Communications had a total of 32 students attend the event over the two days, with many of the students attending multiple panels. Williams was elated and pleased with the outcome of the event so much that she is already planning ideas on how to grow the event in the future.
“I was very happy with launching this new event,” said Williams. “Although these events always make me anxious, the payoff was great.
“I have several ideas on how to grow this event,” continued Williams. “One idea I have is to have a Careers and Connections Workshop and invite alumni and professionals to come and teach a specific skill set to our students that they learned on the job or through their time in the media industry.”