UWG’s mass communications department is hosting its first ever Careers and Connections: Virtual Networking Event on Wednesday, April 14 and Thursday, April 15. The event will be organized in four separate meetings with one in the morning and one in the afternoon on both days to give students more opportunities to attend the panel discussions. Panelists include UWG alumni and media professionals from all over the country.
“Each panel will be unique and contain professionals from various backgrounds and different time zones,” said Kelly Williams, Assistant Professor and organizer of the event. “That’s the one advantage of doing all this online connecting and zooming is that it does open doors to people that we haven’t been able to engage with in a really long time.”
The virtual event gives current UWG students the opportunity to network with industry professionals despite the cancellation of Media Day this year due to COVID-19. Media Day is the largest annual event hosted by the mass communications department, where students can network with professionals, acquire internships and even find future jobs in their field. Starting next year the department hopes to use the virtual event to supplement Media Day and the two will coincide, according to Williams. By continuing the Careers and Connections: Virtual Networking Event in the future, UWG alumni professionals who are too far away to attend Media Day can still be on a virtual panel and provide industry insight to students.
“I’m excited about some alumni who are out in California who never get to make it back to Media Day, but now through this they can participate,” said Williams.
All of the communications concentrations will be represented across the panels, so students will be able to ask questions related to their particular field of study. There will be approximately 20-25 panelists total with four to six professionals sitting on each panel. Some of the panelists include McKenzie Benefield, On-Air Personality, Production Director and Promotions for Dick Broadcasting; Tristian Brown, Content Transmission Specialist for WarnerMedia; Patrick Snipes, Senior Video Editor for Complexity Gaming/G4TV/Square Enix and Charlotte Maumus Co-founder & CEO of memwris.
“There should be somebody from each industry at each panel,” said Williams. “If a student is in class and can’t make one then there’s still a chance in the other meetings that someone will connect with them.”
Although students and professors have been conducting the majority of meetings virtually during the pandemic, Williams said this is not just another typical online event.
“I know people might look at it and say ‘oh not another online event,” but we really are trying to make the best of the situation,” said Williams. “We’re saying if we’re going to be online, let’s go for some unique opportunity, so we do and we have filmmakers from different places in the United States and different PR professionals. We’re really trying to cast a wide net and make this an opportunity worth attending.”
Students of any major or concentration are welcome to attend, and registration for the event will be on the resource page that will launch early next week on the UWG website.The event will be beneficial for students preparing for their post-graduation careers according to Williams.
“We don’t want to just waste anybody’s time,” said Williams. “This will be to a student’s benefit to come, and even though you’re meeting professionals in this setting, you’re still making that connection, and there’s people with a lot of great experience.”