OHIO students and alumni prove the power of persistence
Scripps College of Communication graduate Ken Klein shares news about Scripps students, alumni and faculty via social media. Here is his recap of January 2023..
If Jack Cowman’s internship position at NFL Films was inside a studio in Mount Laurel, NJ, how did he also get to work a game at an NFL field?
“I had dreamed of getting to work on the field some day,” said Cowman, a 2022 Ohio University graduate who majored in integrated media. “On the second or third day of my internship, I went to the field operations department and asked for any opportunities to work a Bengals game. Through persistence, they soon said yes.”
Cowman said “running up and down the sidelines” with his former Scripps instructor Evan Shaw, who now works for NFL Films, was a dream come true.
“It was surreal,” he said.
At NFL Films, senior producer Todd Schmidt said Cowman “is the picture of persistence.”
Coast to coast, Scripps College of Communication interns and alumni continually prove the positive power of persistence:
- How did a 2002 OHIO graduate now working for Amazon Studios combine field experience and studio experience?
- How did an OHIO intern at NBC4 Columbus get credentials to cover the Peach Bowl in Atlanta?
- How did an OHIO senior get production credit on a big-time podcast?
- How did an OHIO intern get approval to photograph events in the White House?
- How did yet another OHIO intern crack the Hollywood job market?
Like Cowman at NFL Films, they asked, pushed, and said what they wanted.
Persistent does not mean obnoxious. At NFL Films and in most other professional settings, constructive persistence is admired. Supervisors, an ambitious lot, typically respect ambition themselves.
Consider these real-life examples of Ohio University students and alumni saying what they wanted and then receiving opportunities:
Moving up, by getting out of the office
Marissa Thompson (Media Arts and Studies, 2002) has an Emmy nomination for “Undercover Boss” at CBS and an impressive list of other show credits. She now is an executive at Amazon Studios for unscripted creative development. Thompson explains that it is essential to tell colleagues and supervisors what you’re curious about and what you want.
“When I was a story associate producer working in post-production, I was curious about how things worked in the field. I expressed my desire for field experience,” said OHIO graduate Marissa Thompson, who is an Emmy-nominated executive now working for Amazon Studios.
In her line of work, many producers work in the field or in post-production studios.
“When I was a story associate producer working in post-production, I was curious about how things worked in the field. I expressed my desire for field experience,” she said.
Gaining experience in both settings expanded her job options. Why did Thompson get assigned to field experience when others did not?
“Because they hadn’t told anyone or expressed that curiosity,” she said. “So the lesson is that the squeaky wheel gets the oil.”
Covering the Peach Bowl
When Ohio State University played the University of Georgia in the 2022 Peach Bowl, the NBC station in Columbus sent a crew to Atlanta to cover the college football playoff game (not a typical intern gig).
“I asked if they could send in a credential request for me,” said senior broadcast journalism major Joe Collins, an intern at NBC4 Columbus. “And they did.”
Merit also played a role in that decision (Collins was a solid intern).
Podcast production credit
At NYU Stern School of Business, Scott Galloway is a professor of marketing, best-selling author, speaker, entrepreneur and host of the “Prof G Pod,” a popular podcast.
The podcast closed the year recapping the best insights of 2022, a 41-minute episode produced and scripted by Ohio University journalism senior Adonis Fryer, who got production credit.
How did the intern from Shaker Heights connect with high-profile marketing professor Galloway in New York? Through social media.
“I got lucky seeing it on Twitter,” said Fryer, who answered the online pitch for an internship.
The President, Marine One and the White House
Junior photojournalism major Emily Hanna interned at C-SPAN in fall 2022, where she met the spouse of legendary New York Times photographer Doug Mills.
Hanna emailed Mills, asking if she could shadow Mills at the White House.
“Doug took me to the White House a few times, where I got to photograph the President's dinner with Department of Defense leaders, Marine One, and his speech on junk fees,” Hanna said. “I also built connections with a few White House photographers.”
Hanna’s advice: reach out, and keep reaching out.
Cracking the Hollywood job market (in a pandemic)
In Hollywood, 2020 graduate Nick Ruhenkamp works for The Late Late Show with James Corden.
In the fall of 2019, Ruhenkamp, who double-majored in communication studies and integrated media, was an intern in Los Angeles at 1iota Productions (an audience coordination company). He asked to shadow the talent department, where he met his current boss.
“I was able to get emails and stay in contact during Covid when I was back in Ohio,” Ruhenkamp recalls. “Asking for the shadowing experience helped me get in contact with the right people, which allowed me to ask about potential positions.”
When a position opened at The Late Late Show, his contacts in Los Angeles “were good to include me in the interview process.”
The act of asking can be daunting at times, but it is worth it. Scripps interns and alumni are learning about the power of persistence and how to effectively ask for what they want to help them reach their career goals.