Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ESPN Hires Four Florida A&M University Broadcast Students

ESPN has hired four broadcast journalism students in the Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC). They are Danon Bell, Mark Washington, A’sia Horne-Smith and Serge Beaubrun.

Bell said he is thankful that FAMU provided the opportunity for him to interview with recruiters during the SJGC’s first ESPN Corporate Recruitment Day.

“I think the ESPN day was an awesome event,” said Bell. “The school did a great thing by bringing them here,” said Bell, who was offered a position with “The Worldwide Leader in Sports.”

The SJGC’s Office of Internship and Placement (OIP) sponsored the ESPN Corporate Recruitment Day. In addition to interviewing students for internships and jobs, eight ESPN executives held an open-session seminar for all SJGC students to hear about various opportunities with the ESPN family. Tony Valentino, ESPN manager of Technical Recruitments, who co-coordinated the event with Yanela Gordon, director of the SJGC OIP, said he was impressed by the caliber of students in the SJGC.

“It is obvious that the school takes the time to teach their students how to prepare for an interview and how important first impressions can be to an employer,” Valentino said. “Even the students who did not meet our needs at this time left me with a positive impression. Others we met may be hires or interns for the future.”

Bell, a Detroit native, was among 40 students who interviewed with one of five ESPN recruiters. He, along with Serge Beaubrun, accepted a full-time position with ESPN.

“I was already in talks with ESPN, but the chance of actually being able to speak with them face to face and interview with them really helped get things moving,” said Bell. “The same people I spoke to will now be my colleagues!”

FAMU seniors Mark Washington and A’sia Horne-Smith were offered spring internships. They will begin their internships on January 28, 2008.

“I feel excited and blessed to have the opportunity to work at ESPN this spring,” said Horne-Smith, who is from Deland, Fla. “This blessing is one of the reasons why I love FAMU. I'm often exposed to organizations and opportunities that I feel wouldn't have been offered at other universities.”

Horne-Smith will work as an editing intern for ESPN productions such as “SportsCenter.”

At least eight students were flown to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. for follow-up interviews. Several more are scheduled for second interviews during the 2008 spring semester.

"We are delighted that ESPN has made employment and internship offers to these students,” said Gordon. “These hires reflect the most recent example of ESPN's interest in our students. We applaud that and look forward to growing our relationship with ESPN."

Valentino further stated that he is impressed with FAMU’s commitment to preparing its students to be competitive in the mass media industry.

“The opening of the new facilities at the SJGC shows FAMU's commitment to moving their students into the future of broadcasting and journalistic excellence,” said Valentino, who added that developing relationships with colleges and universities is key to ESPN’s success. “This is only the beginning of better things to come for FAMU and ESPN. We can learn a lot from each other.”

About ESPN, Inc.

ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports, is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 50 business entities. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

FAMU’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication

The Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication was founded in 1982. Its Division of Journalism was the first journalism program at a historically black university to be nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. It offers four journalism sequences: newspaper, magazine production, broadcast (television and radio) and public relations. The Accrediting Council on Collegiate Graphic Communication accredited the Division of Graphic Communication in 2002. It offers four major tracks: graphic design, printing production, printing management and photography.

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