Aspiring media professional navigates a turbulent occupational period

From the WRBL Internship Assignment Desk

This story was produced as part of the WRBL 2020 Summer Intern program

Elizabeth posing at Oxford University. (Photo courtesy Elizabeth Pridgeon)

The job market has not been kind to employees in the wake of the COVID-19. Numerous people nationwide have struggled to keep their jobs as layoffs occur. Media professionals in particular have had to go the extra mile to stay relevant.

Aspiring media professional Elizabeth Pridgeon has been navigating a steady media career throughout COVID-19. Pridgeon is a rising senior at Samford University majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications with an advertising and print concentration.

Pridgeon has built a very impressive resume with the numerous internships she has participated in, and has had found success through various honor societies and organizations while at Samford.

“Before COVID-19, I was working at a magazine called Business Traveller in London as part of my university’s study abroad. I assisted the editorial team with editing articles, photo research and writing content for their website,” said Pridgeon.

“I also have interned at a creative marketing firm in Birmingham, Ala. and a non-profit and pharmaceutical company in Atlanta. Currently, I am interning at a small public relations firm in Roswell, Ga.,” said Pridgeon.

Earlier this year, Pridgeon’s initial plans unfortunately took a detour when COVID-19 shut everything down globally.

“My university shut down our study program in London due to COVID-19. I was travelling in Switzerland when I was forced to return to the U.S. due to President’s Trump’s announcement. I didn’t start my other internship until May, where it has been totally remote,” said Pridgeon.

The abrupt change of action was a transition period for Pridgeon because she had to get used to an entirely new work medium.

“It has been an adjustment, since I primarily work independently, except for Zoom calls with my boss. My boss has had to adjust her plans and communication for her clients into an entirely remote fashion” says Pridgeon.

Despite the extenuating circumstances she was placed in this year, Pridgeon still finds comfort in the fact that she is employed in such harsh times. Pridgeon is aware of the number of people seeking employment, especially in her field, and does not take it lightly.

 “I am really grateful to be having an internship right now, as a lot of college students don’t have one. I wish it could be in person, but I am still able to learn from my remote experience. My hopes for mass media professionals is that our industry will be able to recover quickly and will be able to offer jobs to students in graduating in December and the Spring,” said Pridgeon.

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