Q&A: Xia Coleman
- Name: Xia Coleman
- Age: 25
- Hometown: Akron, Ohio
- Position: Event Marketing Intern
- Company: San Francisco 49ers
In 2012, Xia Coleman graduated from the College of Media & Communication with a master’s degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis in sports and media. Coleman entered the graduate program with a background in journalism, entrepreneurship, video production and media analysis. As a graduate student, she assisted professors with course management and research.
Coleman built an extensive amount of experience through a number of internships during her collegiate career. After graduating, she obtained the position of communications intern for Glass House Communications in Oakland, CA. While at Glass House, Coleman worked on public relations assignments for clients.
She now holds the position of event marketing intern for the San Francisco 49ers.
What advice can you share with students who are looking for internships?
Network, network, network. It can be a little scary to put yourself out there and reach out to someone you may not know; so start with the people you do know. You never know who your friends, family and professors may know. Utilize job boards, but don’t limit your search to there. Go directly to company websites; some companies don’t post on job boards. Last but not least, use social media! Tons of companies post opportunities directly to their social media sites. Of course, using social media means you need to keep your profile and content professional.
What role did social media play in your internships?
Social media has had a huge role in helping me find internships. I’ve found several internship contests, jobs, and direct contact information for hiring managers through social media.
In past internships, I used social media everyday- we used it to host promotional contests, research information about clients, and engage with customers. I’ve also had to use my personal account to make social media posts for a company before. If I didn’t keep a professional profile, things could have went terribly wrong for the company.
Can you highlight a few internships you have obtained and how social media played a role in your positions?
I have so many internships, but a few of my favorites were:
Global Spectrum/Colonial Life Arena - marketing Intern. I worked on event marketing plans for all shows, concerts, and special events such as Eric Church concert, WWE, and The Maybach Music Group Tour, to name a few. This internship was my favorite. I loved the fact that the internship was so hands on. This made me feel like I was a part of the staff. I utilized professional social media monitoring software, HootSuite, to promote and engage with fans.
Big Ten Network - I was a communications intern for the BTN at The Ohio State University. I did everything from assisting with press conferences to filming and editing game clips.
Palestra.net - I wrote, filmed, and edited sports stories as a sports reporter. Any videos that were made were posted online to the public.
What skills would you recommend students have in order to obtain a job or internship in communications?
Social media has become so important in just about every industry. If you can learn the ins and outs of new media, then you can do just about anything. Become an excellent writer! You will write and write a lot in almost any job position you receive. Reports, emails, press releases – these are things you’ll never stop doing so get good at it. If possible, learn some graphic design and web design. These skills aren’t things everyone in the communications field knows how to do, so if you can learn some basic skills in each area you’ll set yourself apart from the crowd. I’ve had to use both skills at various internships even though these skills weren’t required for the job. Having enough skills to do the job when needed is a plus.
How did the College of Media & Communication Graduate Program prepare you for the professional world?
The graduate program provided me portfolio material for just about every internship or job that I have obtained. I have had the opportunity to put together public relations and marketing plans, social media campaigns, and do web and graphic design, which are all skills I learned from the program. There have often been times where I have witnessed other interns and staff members not know how to do some of the things I learned from the program. I suggest that all students to take coursework seriously because you will see the same type of work on the job.