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College of Information and Communications

  • Nya Simone

The path to Twitter

Nya Simone ('19 public relations) paved a path for herself during her undergraduate years at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and continues to do so. Simone graduated with three years of communications experience from the Office of New and Creative Media at South Carolina Athletics, where she created a large social media presence. Since then, her keen eye for social media communications has secured her positions on the content teams for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the College Football Playoffs and National Championship and the Philadelphia 76ers. These led Simone to one of her biggest roles yet — customer success specialist for Twitter. Read our spotlight on Simone to learn more.  

Tell us about what you do in your current job. What does a normal day look like?
I am a customer success specialist at Twitter, currently based in Philadelphia, but once our offices reopen, I’ll be based out of the Atlanta office! My day-to-day varies on our clients’ needs. Typically, I’m reaching out to clients, understanding their goals, getting to know their ideal budgets and passing them along to our account managers who assist in growing their online presence on our platform! It’s very interactive and extremely marketing minded.  

What is one of the most valuable things you have learned working in communications?
Learning how to communicate in a concise but creative way has been one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned. Consumers are constantly being bombarded with ads, so my job was to cause disruption. Learning how to build and maintain brand voice, in addition to stellar copywriting skills, aided in my growth as a communications professional.   

What has been your biggest challenge since entering the workforce?
Learning how to make mistakes. Your first year out of college is going to be full of firsts, both good and bad. I made so many mistakes in my first three months in my last role that I thought I wasn’t good enough to be there. But over time, I learned that it’s best to know what you don’t know and to never be afraid of asking for help. Don’t let pride shield you from effectively doing your job. When it comes to my work style, I prefer quality over speed. Accuracy is key.  

What is the most interesting or significant thing you have done since graduating?
I was fortunate enough to join the content team for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as well as the College Football Playoffs and work social media at the National Championship in 2020 in New Orleans. After that, I immediately started work with the Philadelphia 76ers in social media. Those experiences taught me the value of networking across with your peers and building genuine relationships. They also brought me memories I can’t wait to share with my future kids. 

What did you learn while in school at the CIC that still resonates today?
Take as many writing courses as allowed. In fact, I only took writing courses in my last two semesters at the SJMC. Those courses prepared me for writing personal statements, introductory emails to clients, meeting notes, quarterly updates and even copywriting for social media.  

Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to professors in times of need. They’re not as scary as they seem! 

Were there faculty members or organizations that played a role in shaping your career?
During undergrad, I interned in the Office of New and Creative Media at South Carolina Athletics as a social media intern. Those were some of the most memorable years of my life. I was able to help manage social for Gamecocks Online, Gamecock Football and for Gamecocks Women's Basketball. It also opened doors for me to work with the SEC at their tournaments and football championship.  

I'd also like to thank Dr. Kevin Hull, Dr. Leigh Moscowitz, Nina Brook and Ernest Wiggins for fueling my love of learning about our industry and opening my eyes to what the future of the communications industry looks like.  

Many SJMC students aspire to hold a position like yours. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for them? 
Do not be afraid of reaching out to people who are in the position that you wish to be in.  I have never been afraid of reaching out to people who I admire and respect whether they are in my industry or not.  Some have become mentors and one eventually became my boss. Networking is a very valuable tool, but always keep in mind that connections shouldn’t be purely transactional but rooted in some type of relationship. These relationships have helped me in many ways, especially when I was laid off from my last job due to COVID. It led to phone calls from directors and managers at other organizations who had been referred to by my former boss and colleagues I’d worked with in passing. If you take nothing else from this, just know that people are always watching, and you never know what rooms your name may come up in. Stay prepared.

Paige Fallon

Paige Fallon

Paige Fallon is an intern in the communications office of the College of Information and Communications.  She is a senior public relations major and political science minor. She plans on attending law school after taking a gap year post graduation to explore her interests in the field of law.

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