Journalism Jobs Conference Aims to Put Students to Work

Recent graduates return to discuss careers, make connections and offer advice

OXFORD, Miss. – Journalism students interested in making industry connections and getting a jump-start on the post-graduation job search will want to mark their calendars for the School of Journalism and New Media‘s 2020 Jobs Conference at the University of Mississippi.

The event, set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 30) in Farley Hall and the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics, is a good place to start for students looking for job opportunities.

It’s an opportunity for graduating seniors to meet industry professionals and hiring managers and launch their job search, said Mark Burson, adjunct instructor of integrated marketing communications who is leading the conference.

“Alumni from both worlds of IMC and journalism will be available to answer questions, seek advice, review resumes and portfolios, and, most importantly, network,” he said. “Seniors will get a firsthand look at the types of jobs they can expect to secure with a degree from the j-school.”

Participants will learn skills ranging from what to say/not to say in a hiring interview to tips for being successful from day one, he said.

“At the very least, students will take away a dozen business cards of successful industry professionals who all share something in common with these seniors: a degree from Ole Miss,” Burson said. “Our hope at the conclusion of the day is that these seniors will be well on their way to completing their transition from student to professional.” 

Ellen Meacham, another adjunct instructor who helped organize the conference, said it should be a fun and valuable event for students.

“It will be a day of panel discussions about finding that first job, networking, succeeding on the job and other good advice, with (fairly) recent graduates, as well as opportunities for students to have one-on-one conversations with them, too,” she said. “We have reached out to all of our grads and put together a list of participants from those who responded, trying to bring in as many varied backgrounds as we could.”

School administrators hope to make the conference an annual event, or possibly hold it each semester, Meacham said. Businesses represented at the conference by former students include Northeast Mississippi Health Systems, Wye Communications, Fruit of the Loom, Gannett News, WTVA-9 and WMC-5.

Ryan Rigney, global communications lead of the League of Legends franchise, is a 2014 graduate who will be part of the event. He also will be the first speaker of the spring semester at the School of Journalism and New Media at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 29) in the Overby auditorium before participating in the conference Thursday.

Tickets are not required for the event. For assistance related to a disability, contact Sarah Griffith at 662-915-7146 or For more information about the school’s journalism or IMC programs, visit