This week, students, professors and media professionals will gather for the annual event known as Media Day. On this day, students are encouraged to communicate with experienced figures already established in their field. Casey Nichols, a University of West Georgia alumnus, says this is an opportunity that could catapult any aspiring student.
Casey Nichols graduated from the University of West Georgia in 2006, and since his tenure Nichols has named been to the Alumni Association’s first “30 Under 30” list. Nichols was involved in a long list of student organizations including Student Government Association, Student Activities Council, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Interfraternity Council and University Ambassadors.
While he was incredibly motivated during his time at UWG, and in his senior year completed an internship with WSB-TV in Atlanta, GA, Nichols understood that the most important dimension of networking is experience.
Immediately after graduating, Nichols was offered a position as a photojournalist at WCIV-TV (ABC Affiliate) in Charleston, SC.
After a few months of working in Charleston, Nichols won the 2006 Broadcasters Award from the South Carolina Associated Press for Environmental Reporting. Nichols took initiative in his role and was responsible for covering events including a 2007 tragedy in a warehouse fire that killed nine City of Charleston Firefighters.
So for the ambitious scholar, the correct approach for Media Day is to communicate. Although this is common sense, most attendees will be in passive attendance, and even for the more prepared students this will still be a new experience.
“Regardless of what students may know there will always be something more to gain from Media Day,” Nichols said.
In addition to his successful career, Nichols is also a volunteer mentor for ‘Join Up’, a program through Cox Media Group for local university students majoring in communications to learn more about the media industry. This is an important component that Nichols encourages when giving advice to aspiring media practitioners.
Today, Nichols is still just as motivated as he was when he was a West Georgia Wolf. In 2013 he was presented with an Emmy Award for his breaking news coverage. He also currently serves on the UWG Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Nichols will deliver the keynote speech at this week’s Media Day event, and offers specific advice for students who will be attending.
“Media Day is a great opportunity, not only to learn about the industry, but to Network with professionals,” said Nichols. “Media Day brings everything to the students’ doorstep. It couldn’t be more of a win/win for students interested in Mass Communications. So, network. Meet as many professionals as possible, the resources available at UWG’s Media Day could be the game changer on a career.”