On Wednesday, January 30th, the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Tour stopped at Alcorn State University. They held a workshop at the Ray Johnson Auditorium in the Agriculture Extension Building from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.
The tour was presented by Media Girls of Los Angeles and Alcorn was the first official stop of the Tour. The HBCU Tour helps prepare college students for careers in their field of mass media, entertainment, marketing and public relations. During the Tour students were exposed to field based internships, scholarship opportunities, jobs, educational master’s classes and networking with executives.
DJ Bigg V from WIBT 97.9 FM in Greenville, Mississippi was the keynote speaker. He discussed with students about what it’s like to be a radio personality. During the presentation with the students Bigg V presented the Hustler at the Year award. The qualifications for the award was a student should possess a 2.5 grade point average or above, be a Mass Communications, Branding or Business major and be a Sophomore or above. The recipient of the award went to Jazmine Green, a Junior Mass Communications major. Green also received an academic scholarship for the Fall 2019 semester and also was granted an internship with DJ Bigg V.
During the event students were able to attend three different workshops. In attendance with DJ Bigg V was Kayla Thompson, a WTVA news reporter from Tupelo, Mississippi and Tonya Franklin, an entrepreneur and owner of MJS Virtual Collaborative Services. Each section represented radio, entrepreneurship and media where each presenter spoke about their field of expertise then answered questions that the students had.
Thompson gave students advice about what it’s like to work as a reporter and what they should do as students to prepare to get a job in the media field. “I did a lot of free work and I started my job pursuit early in my Junior year. I continued to do internships and I applied for about 100 jobs. One of the internships I did was at WAPT in Jackson, Mississippi and with that experience I landed the job at WTVA. I accepted the job offer May 2nd, graduated college May 4th and I moved to Tupelo on May 29th and started my job. What motivated me was God. If he puts something in your heart for you to do it’s going to happen. Lift yourself up and keep working,” Thompson said. Even though it may initially be hard to get a job in the media field, Thompson encouraged students not to give up and to do internships and begin to apply for jobs early.
Students in attendance were able to engage with representatives from The Natchez Democrat, WDAM Channel 7, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, and WIBT The Beat Mississippi. They were also able to apply for jobs and internships. Morgan Bailey, a Junior Mass Communications student stated, “I think the event was very good and informative. I received a lot of information that I could use not only in college but outside of college as well. Media Girls brought several diverse and talented individuals from different areas such as newspaper, radio, and entrepreneurship that we as students could all utilize.”