Comm Arts Presents: MMJ for a Day

Chelsea Davis

With graduation around the corner, it is expected to see job fairs and conferences all around Georgia Southern’s campus. On Friday and Saturday, the communications arts department will be holding their annual MMJ conference. This conference is designed for students who are interested in reporting, writing script, videography, photography, online journalism and public relations.

The goal is to give students a hands-on experience in the field they wish to pursue and the chance to experience the everyday life of a MMJ student.

Person in-charge

Dean Cummings, Ph.D., a professor in the communications arts department, orchestrated this conference last year, and it turned out to be a success.

This department connected with WJBF-TV, an ABC-affiliated television station located in Augusta, Georgia, which is a station for the Southeastern Georgia’s Coastal Empire. With multi-media journalism being the focus of the conference many students from different fields came out to the conference.

“This is the second year we are doing it. We are trying to make it a tradition. We were going to do it twice this year, but that is still up for discussion. We are definitely doing it this weekend, and we have some of the same people coming back like news director Katherine Wideman, news reporter Stefany Bornman, and we added news anchor Brad Means this year,” Cummings said.

This conference has a huge impact at Georgia Southern, because some of the anchors and reporters that are coming down from WJBF-TV happen to be GS Alumni.

“Stefany Bornman graduated in 2015 and she got a job in Augusta as an assistant producer. She has been out in the field for about two years and has been doing real well, and that is the model you want to see if you are trying to get a assistant producer job,” Cummings said.

Student expectations

With a former GS student from the communications arts department attending the conference, many students participate with hope of being successful after graduation.

Some students attend with hope of obtaining an internship, some attend to add to their personal portfolio, and some attend to get hands on experience. Although the conference is designed to help students, some students were unsure of what to expect.

“Last year, I learned that time is the enemy. You have to remember that you have a deadline that you must meet and finding different sources for your story is not always easy,” Danyelle Gaines, senior journalism major said.

Gaines attended last year’s event and claimed to be intimidated at first, but ended up finding the experience meaningful.

“In the end, it was a great experience. I enjoyed getting a feel of how it would be working for a news station,” Gaines said.

With most students having a wonderful experience last year, the word has spread and many will be attending this upcoming weekend. Students are eager to experience the field they are going into while some will be attending to have an even better experience.

“I think it’s a great experience and opportunity for journalists to see what it’ll be like in the field once we graduate,” Damien Henderson, senior journalism major, said.

Kierah Highsmith, senior journalism major, encourages people to attend the event to gain experience in the field.

“I’m definitely attending this year and I encourage other students to go. It’s a great opportunity for me to show what I can do as an MMJ student, which I plan on excelling at,” Highsmith said.

Open for everyone

Although this conference is catered to students who are in the majors of MMJ, MMFP, and PR it does not exclude anyone who wants to come experience the event for themselves.

“It is for any student that wants to give it a shot. To try what it is like to be a MMJ. It is a difficult job, you have to shoot, you have to write, and you have to edit. Anyone that wants to try, they can do it,” Cummings said.

The Communications Arts department encourages all students to come out to MMJ for a Day this weekend and experience what the life of a MMJ feels like. To sign up, students should be sure to go to Sanford Hall and write your information outside of Room 3019. Expect refreshments, hands on experience and more.

Highsmith said,“I think it’s important that students attend events like this because it can open doors with internships, or even a job if someone does very well. It gives you a close work experience and it can help students determine if they want to pursue something in that field or not.”