Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Association of black journalist hosts media networking event

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Dan Presson, Director of Career Services, chats with a Southeast student, giving advice on networking.
Photo by Dakayla Duckworth

Southeast Missouri Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists gathered at Johnson Hall Auditorium Monday, Sept. 28, to connect with professionals and learn new skills.

Guest speaker Tayler Davis, KFVS news reporter, said networking starts with a simple question.

“You can meet someone and ask a question as simple as what beauty shop do you go to, and that person may be the person to lead you to that person,” Davis said. ”I would not be where I am today if I didn’t ask questions.”

Students had the opportunity to ask questions throughout the event in hopes to build connections and lead them down the path of networking.

Southeast provides several opportunities for students to get involved on campus, and ABJ members highly encourage students of all ethnicities to join them.

Dan Presson, director of career services, said there are many ways for students to get involved, regardless of their grade level. It’s a way to take steps closer to being in their desired career field.

“If you really take your college years seriously, it really builds up to what will become an incredible resume,” Presson said. “You have to present yourself well so that you can stand on those experiences.”

Guest speakers highly encouraged students to attend conference meetings, explaining how beneficial the events could be for one’s life.

“Ask for business cards so that you are able to reach out and put a little note in their head reminding them of your name. You always want to make sure you drop your name in their life every once in a while, like one of their posts, or even respond to something they post just to put yourself out there in front of them,” Presson said.

Davis said it is important to maintain high confidence despite the obstacles students may face in their field of choice.

“Knowing how overwhelming a job fair or conference meeting can be, you should always keep your confidence high, and never put a time limit on anything,” Davis said.

Social media is the great equalizer of networking, being that it’s possible to reach out to anyone. The process may take longer, but that’s why it’s also critical to appear at panels and school.

“I’m sure everyone knew I wanted to be on TV graduating out of college, but everything happens for a reason,'' said Karis Gamble, digital content producer for Fox 2 KPLR 11 News. “Networking with my professors was a huge stepping stone for me. Since I’ve started my new profession, I’ve done mostly writing. I don’t like to do it, but it’s important because it's teaching me things that I never thought I would need.”

NABJ plans to host a Virtual Regional Joint Conference & Career Fair Saturday, Nov. 21.

Members encourage those interested to visit their Facebook page (National Association of Black Journalists) for more information.