Social Media Specialist, James

Hey Gator NBSers!! My name is James Torrez, an upcoming UF Sophomore, and here’s my summer story:

This summer I was extremely worried I’d be staying at home, doing practically nothing. I am now at home, in lovely West Palm Beach, Florida with a content mind. I had always felt an internship during my freshman year/before my sophomore year would be a great start to my career and keep me one step ahead in terms of experiences. Several applications and surveys were submitted, but I was very unlucky. I was hoping for an internship with WPLG in Ft. Lauderdale, but it unfortunately did not work out. Major bummer. Days into the month of June I felt very unproductive and began planning ways to enhance my resume for the upcoming semesters. All of a sudden, opportunities began to pour in.

I currently work part time at home and in Gainesville at Plato’s Closet, a retail franchise specializing in recycling gently used clothing and accessories. My home store in Boynton Beach, where I was recently promoted to a Shift Manager, had expressed their social media management was approaching a low, and they were not getting the reviews nor the time to make posts as often as they’d like.  My ideal future career would involve a life in radio production/management, which correlates strongly with social media management nowadays, so I hopped on this chance for basic experience. Talk about perfect timing.

I discussed with the owners my potential and qualifications. In one meeting, they named me their “Social Media Specialist”. I now manage their Instagram and Facebook accounts, and created a Twitter handle as an attempt to reach a wider audience, making promotional posts daily and receiving much better feedback from customers. The posts are photographs of trendy merchandise in front of a built set with black or white backdrops (Consider me a fashionist-o).

Many ideas came from “Social Media Journalism” a class taught by the dynamic duo of the CJC: Professors Mike Foley and Steve Johnson. Their tips on how to apply social media tools to firms and business have come in very handy for this position, so I’d like to make a shout out to the prominent pair.

Coming back to Gainesville in the fall, I look to have a possible internship with The Sky 97.3, a talk-radio station under Entercom market suggested by another notable CJC figure Jerry Butler (last shoutout!). I had received a call early June from Program Director Nick Allen, who is looking to create a team of production interns in the fall. This would be one of the first classes of interns from UF for Entercom since their merge last fall. I expect to meet with him soon…..hoping for the best….wish me luck, fellow Gators! I hope you are all enjoying your summers and are ready for a new upcoming year!!

Check out some of my examples from our Instagram page!

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-James Torrez

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Kickin’ it with Alyssa

Hey fellow NBS-ers!

This summer, I’m back home in sunny, sandy Sarasota, but the beach is not where I’m kickin’ it (forewarning: I’m writing this late on a Sunday night and I’m replaying Kanye West’s new record, so forgive me if my brain gets weird.)

I’m currently interning for Cox Media Group in St. Pete, working with six different radio stations. In the month that I have been working there, I have experienced new things and learned various aspects of the radio industry and the promotions area. While many of my days are spent calling contest winners and doing other office duties, there are also those days where bands come into our in-office studio and perform. Sure, it’s part of the promotional aspect of the station, but all of the employees are invited to watch – and it’s seriously awesome. In less than a week, we had a boy band (Midnight Red) and an indie alt-rock group (The Dirty Heads) come in for acoustic performances – and it was all great. (Mixing boy bands and alt-rock is basically like watching my iPod come to life before my eyes, so I was so into it.)

Working on the promotions side has also allowed me to move from the cubicle to off-site events. So far, I’ve worked at a fishing competition for our hard rock station and tabled for a Ke$ha/Pitbull concert (the amount of glitter there was astounding – no, really.) Coming up, we are (supposedly) going to start doing contests for Justin Timberlake tickets that incorporate a cutout of JT himself. Trust me when I say I’m fully prepared to go all out for this one.

Surprisingly, a lot of the people in the office are either from Gainesville or know people in Gainesville to get in contact with for other communications opportunities. These have been some of the most interesting and helpful networking experiences I’ve ever had. Just the other day, I went to the program director’s office for our alt-rock station (who I had subsequently grown up listening to, because this was my go-to station, of course) and I discovered he, too, was a Gator. Color me (pleasantly) surprised! After accepting his offer to set up a time to talk all things programming, I was hit with that oh-so-cliché but oh-so-true realization: the Gator Nation is seriously (like, s e r i o u s l y) everywhere.

More than just gaining experience, though, I feel like I have continued to invigorate my love for music. Call me cliché (or at least tell me to quit waxing poetic – but gently, please, it’s late), I’m one of those people who is all about performance. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the record I listen to on Spotify that will get me to the show, but I give major props to an artist that can either replicate that studio sound or make it sound even better.

Alongside my internship, I’m taking a summer class (Principles of Marketing, holla!), writing for College Magazine (where I’m covering all sorts of fun stuff, including my own trials and tribulations in The Intern Diaries – read on here!) and spending time with friends and family. I’m enjoying my time off and relaxing before warping into the hyperspeed that (I am predicting) is my junior year. But despite all of the loveliness that comes with being at home, I am looking forward to getting back to Gainesville and catching up with all of you!

I hope all of your summers are equally as awesome so far and, to follow suit, feel free to follow @HeyHolcomb (or @AlyssaOnTheAir for strictly music news) – I’m always open to sharing thoughts on all things entertainment and general nerdery.

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-Alyssa Holcomb

Stay in Gainesville with Connor Hachey…

So I’m Connor Hachey, the NBS Director of Communications for the upcoming school year, and this summer I’ve been hard at work getting stuff done here in Gainesville! Here’s what I’ve been up to! :

If I could liken my summer semester, up to this point, to anything in the world, it would be a whirlwind. Essentially, I’m exhausted. However I wouldn’t have planned it any other way. I’m not jet setting around the world like I’d prefer or living it up as an intern in NY/LA/Tokyo/London/Wherever.

Quite uninterestingly, I’m in Gainesville, taking classes (and experiencing an unfortunate sense of Déjà vu due to doing the same exact thing last summer…) while working at Shands, maintaining involvement within UF’s division of multimedia properties and interning at WCJB TV-20.

Although I’ve only made it halfway through Summer A, that daunting feeling of “biting off more than I can chew” has already settled in. My Summer A/C class schedule is atrocious: Anthropology of Religion (I needed a diversity credit…), Financial Accounting (for my minor and the absolute epitome of difficulty/bane of my existence), and Principles of Management (also for my minor and a breeze so far). I wish I had a good answer as to why I decided to take summer classes again, but unfortunately I don’t. Maybe I’m too far in debt anyway to care? I’d like to say that I’m planning on graduating early and leaving to pursue my dream job as a screenwriter in LA or trekking out to Morocco to work on a “Game of Thrones” script treatment for season 4, because I’m that important…but yeah, let’s just go with the debt thing.

Otherwise, I’ve had an incredible time working on various projects with Rock104.com, ESPN 850, WRUF, WUFT, and WCJB TV-20. At the beginning of the summer, I reached an important personal and professional milestone and produced, edited and aired an interview with a quasi-famous musician: Ben Taylor. He is the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon (…basically rock and roll royalty) and the opportunity was presented to me through my involvement with Rock104.com. I was nervous, as I’m sure Ben could tell during our phone conversation, because I hadn’t ever conversed with a “famous” person before (except for the time I had a run in with Selena Gomez while working at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando…but that’s another story.)  I put in a lot of work and it paid off; it’s a great piece of material that I can use in my portfolio and I got the personal satisfaction of being re-tweeted a couple of times by Ben (or whoever runs his social media accounts.)

In addition, I’m continuing to write album reviews for the Rock104.com Rock Blog and voice track for the online broadcast (check me out everyday from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM on Rock104.com if you want to hear some awesome hosting skills.)

Recently I’ve also started producing and running master controls for ESPN 850; I’ve produced for Larry Vettel, Steve Russell as well as the “Cheapseats” program and it has been a wonderful learning experience. Now, I’ve run programs for the 89.1 Radio Reading Service (which I’m continuing to do this summer) and not even that could have aided in preparation for ESPN. There was a huge learning curve with running that audio board because you have to monitor the show, send commercials out at the right time, take phone calls, prepare for Sports Updates, and the list goes on. The process is still a bit tricky, but I’m getting the hang of it. Therefore, come next Fall, I’m expecting to completely dominate so, I guess we’ll see how that goes…

In addition to producing for ESPN radio, I also was given the opportunity to produce WUFT morning news cut-ins for WRUF TV 6. So far it’s been a really enjoyable experience because I’m able to flex my Adobe Premier Pro skills and curate a news program with events that I personally find newsworthy (and that the news director approves.) I’m not on the Telecommunications – News track, I’m in production, so I’m really appreciative of the experience and satisfaction I’m gaining from putting together these cut-ins.  Producing for television and radio is completely different, despite the fact that the job titles are the same.

Also, I started my internship WCJB TV-20 a couple of weeks ago; it’s definitely one of the most educationally enriching experiences I’ve had/am having this summer. I’ve been shadowing the weekend producer of the 6:00 P.M and 11:00 P.M newscast and I’m able to see the complexities and differences of producing a half-hour long show as opposed to the two minute cut-ins I’ve been creating; it’s great to have this insight because it definitely helps in creating new perspectives on how a program comes together, aside from the actual “production” perspective I’m used to.

In regards to the production side of newscasts, I’m going to be Technical Directing for the Summer B WUFT First at 5 program as well! I’m currently in training because I’ve only had experience running Compix and Audio, but I was able to TD a couple of blocks for the show last week and everything seems to be going smoothly so far; Hopefully I can keep it up.

Conclusively, this summer has turned out to be one of the most frantic times of my college career, but how can I complain? I’m getting amazing experience in all aspects of the telecomm industry and inching closer to my ultimate goal. God only knows how I’m able to coordinate everything with work, but somehow I’m able to pull through. I think it’s important to work hard now while I’m in college and keep my hopes and dreams in focus. I don’t necessarily want to produce radio, or news, or interview celebrities, but any and all experience has a place on my resume. There aren’t a lot of opportunities around UF for screenwriting, so I’ve found that I have to make my own.

Also, my birthday is coming up on June 18th…coincidently the same day Kanye West is dropping his new album…I’d like to think he planned it that way.

The Fall semester is already coming up on the horizon and I’m looking forward to all the awesome stuff we have planned for NBS! Since Ben Bornstein plugged his twitter account in his post I feel I should too. It’s @ConnorHachey and I’m entertaining, I swear! Don’t let the low follower number fool you!

Talk sports with Ben

Your GatorNBS Secretary, Ben Bornstein, is spending his summer writing for an online sports website. I wanted to share what he has been up to!

“My name is Ben Bornstein and I like sports. I like watching sports, writing about sports, and playing sports (mostly basketball). I currently work for ESPN Radio 850 WRUF, Gamedayr.com, and NBC Sports Radio. I work in different capacities with each entity, but they all have one common denominator; sports. I am a rising senior and this summer is going to get very interesting! You can follow me on Twitter @THE_BOOMSTEIN if you want to see my daily rants and raves. I’m also reachable by email at bbornstein@ufl.edu.”

Here are links to two articles he has written so far:

‘Awarding some of the “lesser-known” NBA awards’

‘The official NBS All-Hair Team for 2012-13: Players with the best ‘dos’

‘Karl Malone would choose LeBron James over Michael Jordan as teammate’

‘Gator v. Gator: UF sharpshooters face off in Finals’

Great job, Ben and Go Gators!

Xoxo- Your GatorNBS President, Lauren 🙂

Travel with Carla to Germany!

Summer is a great time for students to take classes, intern, relax, or even study abroad. Your GatorNBS Education Chair is traveling around Germany as we speak! Carla has a started a blog that I wanted to share with everyone.

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Here’s an excerpt from her blog explaining:

     “This summer I will be going to Berlin, Germany for a 2 week documentary photojournalism trip with about 20 other students from the UF College of Journalism and Communications. I’ll be taking photographs, interviewing a particular subject in Berlin, and making a Soundslide project. I created this blog to record and share my adventure in Germany’s capital city.”

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Follow Carla as she travels through Europe and if you’re doing something this summer that you’d like to share with GatorNBS, shoot an email to GatorNBS@gmail.com!

Happy traveling, Carla! Go Gators.

Xoxo- Your GatorNBS President, Lauren 🙂