Here’s to New Beginnings

University Communications intern Shelby Sansone shares her thoughts on experience with department

Shelby Sansone

Shelby Sansone

I have had a lot of amazing opportunities at the University of Mississippi. I worked at NewsWatch for most of my college career, I was a DJ for Rebel Radio and attended unique classes. However, I had an opportunity to work at University Communications my senior year, and it has been unlike any other experience I have ever had.

Once I graduate, I’m going to work at Fox 13 in Memphis as a multimedia journalist. I have always wanted to be in the news field, and never planned to go into public relations. So, people often ask why I worked for a college public relations department if I did not plan on going into that field. The reason is that it wasn’t a news station. By working at University Communications, I gained experiences outside of what I could receive at a news organization.

A big part of my job at Fox 13 will be shooting and editing video. After less than a semester as a student worker, my editing time was cut in half, I could understand what ISO and f-stop meant on a camera, and a major news station complimented my storytelling abilities.

In journalism classes, we are taught how to shoot and edit video, but it is our own responsibility to gain experience outside of the classroom. Usually, people get this experience once they graduate. However, I gained it before ever attaining my degree because of my time spent creating social media video, covering events and editing scholarship promotional videos. Nothing inspires someone to do great work like telling them that the entire university will see it on Instagram.

I also had legitimate deadlines. Although grades are vital, with this job, I didn’t just get points off my grade if I was late turning in a video. I had people at this university who counted on me for quality work. This made me more responsible and gave me real-world understandings.

I seriously have to thank every individual who works here and at the University of Mississippi for my very full resume. Even in the smallest of classrooms, there is still one teacher for 10 students. During my time at University Communications, I had at least three people around me at all times to help. I had one-on-one time with professional videographers, graphic designers and writers. Honestly, I probably walked out of Gerard Hall with at least one more thing on my resume per week. For example, by my second day of work, I added that I starred in a social media series and the ability to edit green screen video.

One day, I accidentally printed out my class project on the printer and an employee found it. The project was my creative resume for a journalism class. The next day, I was sitting with a professional graphic designer perfecting it. There are not many places that I would get opportunities like that. The employees here are not teachers, but they go beyond their job description to help students succeed.

I feel that the experience I gained at University Communications helped me to get my job straight out of college. All the experiences I have had since my freshman year of high school have led me to my successes, and communications is definitely an important one. Everything put together has given me the skills to advance far beyond what I thought I could while in school. If anyone gets the chance to work or intern at this department, take it. You’ll get real-world experiences that will make you valuable to employers and more knowledgeable for the future.