As far back as she can remember, Bobbie Brinkley always wanted to report the news. The mass communications major has made certain her time at South Carolina will be defined by her drive to craft compelling stories. Her resume proves it. Her time spent at Comedy Central proves it. But what may not find its way into a personal statement or resume are the opportunities she has created for others to follow in her footsteps.
Bobbie knew she wanted to find organizations where she could get experience writing the types of stories she wanted to tell. Through Student Gamecock Television (SGTV), students produce multimedia programming that informs, entertains and defines student culture. Bobbie got her start at SGTV by pitching a pop culture segment, "Gossip." And while the pitch was successful, she had to learn new technical skills and find a staff.
"There were definitely challenges at first. I had to learn how to use the camera and how to film. But was also a great way to get a jump on some of my required classes in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. When I had classes like Intro to Reporting and Writing, I felt prepared."
In its first season, "Gossip" had a team of six and grew to the point where it needed two hosts. When Bobbie left the show to pursue other communications positions, the team had nearly doubled. It was a sign that her idea was solid and her vision well executed. Looking back, she realized she had surrounded herself with new friends, solid creatives and future collaborators.
Bobbie used Student Media to create other opportunities for herself. Not only did she create and co-produce "Gossip," but also served as assistant public relations director and social media coordinator for SGTV. Bobbie also wrote for Her Campus and College Fashionista, an online platform for college students interested in the fashion industry.
This purposeful pursuit of experience was all driven to produce a specific outcome—a dream internship at Comedy Central.
"When I applied, I wasn't sure I had the experience required. But I had waited so long for this opportunity, I knew I had to apply. I remember getting the first phone interview. There wasn't one piece of my wall that wasn't covered with sticky notes to help with talking points."
Getting the internship
Bobbie's work at Comedy Central spanned much of what is expected at a major media company. She created memes for the network's roster of programming, constructed social media posts around cultural moments, conducted routine competitive analysis and researched influencers for potential collaborations. One of Bobbie's bigger projects involved analyzing how networks like Vice and Funny or Die promoted their digital content and proposing a strategy for Comedy Central.
"I was really proud of the connections and the relationships that I made. I learned a lot from so many people. I am proud of the hard work I did for my internship. I am also thankful for my boss. She was a great mentor, patient and let me take ownership of projects."
Prepared for the path ahead
Bobbie has played an integral part in cultivating organizations that will help others with similar goals. Not only did she develop a lasting SGTV show for others to hone their talents, but she co-founded ED2010, a national networking community that strives to mentor pre-professionals in media, bring networking opportunities to campus and help students build their portfolios.
As Bobbie looks ahead, she does so with a much stronger understanding of the industry she wants to enter. Her desire to do more – rather than hope she has done enough while at Carolina – puts her in the position to take her career in any direction.
"There are so many things in media I can work with that connects me to my love of journalism. If you are going to work in media, I think it's really good to have experience in writing, public relations, social ... it all goes together... and you can get that here."
I am South Carolina.