What’s Next? Journalism and IMC graduates tell us their next career moves

Many of our University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduates are embarking on new adventures in jobs or internships. Here are some of our most recent updates about grads who are taking on the #RealWorldRightNow.

Gulfport native Thomas Lee, a University of Mississippi graduate, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in International Conflict and Cooperation and Arabic with a minor in Spanish. He is now an IMC graduate student.

He said he decided to shift to IMC for graduate studies because he has always had a passion for language, culture, and graphic design. He has been working as an intern at BBDO (short for Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn, a merger between two companies), one of the largest advertising agency networks in the world with more than 15,000 people in 289 agencies across 81 countries.

Lee said his best advice to other journalism and IMC students is to “always have an open mind and apply, apply, apply.”

“I went on a massive LinkedIn internship hunt and got hundreds of rejection emails, but it’s important to not get discouraged,” he said. “ . . . I truly believe that I would not have been in this position if I did not put myself out there – you never know what can happen if you do.”

Crick holds her diploma while wearing her cap and gown at graduation.

Greenwood native Micah Crick22, started working remotely as an account management intern at BBDO Atlanta before moving there to continue working for the company.

“I found the job by deciding I wanted to work for one of BBDO’s offices,” said Crick, who was originally assigned to an account management team working on competitive research and providing support before she was promoted to business affairs coordinator. Now, she assists business managers in the Business Affairs Department.

The recent UM graduate, who studied integrated marketing communications with a specialization in visual design and a minor in general business, felt like she wasn’t involved in campus activities until her senior year of college. Then, she decided to say “yes” to everything she could. That led to new opportunities, including work with BBDO.

Crick became the visuals editor for The Daily Mississippian her senior year, sold advertising for HottyToddy.com, was involved with the National Student Advertising Competition with Instructional Associate Professor Chris Sparks’ campaign class, and she interned for Parents of College Students/662 Marketing.

The graphic features people climbing a ladder and reads: Our grads tell us What's Next?

Liz Corbus graduated from Ole Miss in 2017. The IMC graduate now works at TikTok.

After graduation, Corbus was employed as a digital account coordinator at Warner Media. That led to her current job as a client solutions manager at TikTok for their Beauty and Personal Care Department. She works directly with mid-market beauty advertisers to grow their brand identity through marketing efforts using the TikTok platform.

Liz Corbus

“Month over month, I’m responsible for making sure that clients meet their key performance indicators (KPI),” said Corbus, “but ultimately, we want them to grow their business using TikTok. My day-to-day includes a lot of creative best practices.

“A lot of people are still trying to figure out how advertising works on TikTok because they think it’s apples-to-apples like Instagram or Facebook. But, creativity is the number one driver of success on TikTok. So, if you don’t have the resources or the creative strategy to run ads on TikTok, it’s gonna be a little bit harder.”

Daniel Payne

Daniel Payne graduated in 2020 with a journalism degree and started his career as a reporter for The Desoto Times-Tribune. He said his experience as editor-in-chief for The Daily Mississippian taught him a lot about what was to come in his professional career.

“The Mississippian was maybe the most important part of my education at UM,” Payne said. “Every aspect of that work showed me what a newsroom was all about and gave me a taste of what a career in journalism would actually be like. It confirmed my love for journalism.

“There’s no replacing planning, writing, and editing stories that will have real impact, even if it is just in the university or Oxford. I wasn’t sure if I was up to the challenges that came with all that, but I am so thankful for everyone who encouraged me to go for it. There really isn’t a workday that I don’t use what I learned at The Mississippian.”

Payne landed his first job at The Desoto Times-Tribune, then a full-time fellowship with POLITICO. He is now a full-time reporter at POLITICO after completing his fellowship there.

Natalie Pruitt

Natalie Pruitt graduated with an IMC degree in 2021. After going through the arduous process of job hunting, Pruitt finally landed her current job with FleishmanHillard (FH) as an assistant account executive, but she said her job is more like that of an assistant designer.

“I still can’t believe that I get to do design every single day,” she said, “Working as a designer makes every day so much fun and different from the last. It’s also rewarding being able to use and to strengthen the skills I learned as an IMC major.”

Pruitt also offered advice for incoming freshmen and graduating seniors. She said there are many things she could have done differently in college. However, her best advice is to work hard.

“Never let the fear of judgment stop you from unleashing your inner ‘try-hard.'” said Pruitt. “Being a ‘try-hard’ is what gets you noticed and opens doors that leave you asking, ‘How did I end up here?’”

Billy Schuerman is pictured in this black and white photo.

Billy Schuerman is pictured in this black and white photo.

Billy Schuerman graduated in 2021 and completed his first year in the visual communication master’s program at Ohio University. He has worked as a photographer and writer at a newspaper in Colorado and had a photo internship at the Virginian-Pilot.

He was also one of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students who recently placed in the Top 20 in the prestigious national Hearst journalism competition in the team digital news/enterprise category. Rabria Moore and Schuerman were winners for the project that tied for 16th place in the Hearst contest with a project from Elon University. The project was about water supply problems in the community of Taylor, Mississippi.

“Before we are journalists, we are humans, and this is a human story,” he said. “This was not a project we could just walk into. We dedicated our time to telling a meaningful story about something that really matters.

“I hope other students can take away that in order to tell the rough draft of history, we must truly dedicate ourselves to the people we serve.” His advice to other journalists is to find time to do important stories. “Not everything you work on will come through,” he said, “but when you have an opportunity to really do something important, it’s important to take it head on.”

This article was compiled from recent student stories.

If you are a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate, feel free to email us with your career update.

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