By: Bowie State University
(BOWIE, Md.) – Bowie State University students are making an impact in various Los Angeles-based internships this summer. with media production companies. The placements were aided by HBCU LA, a recruiting initiative from the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP).
HBCU LA, which began in 2017, works to provide underrepresented students the opportunity to participate in internships with major studios, networks, talent agencies, and other global creative industry organizations.
Aaron Johnson, a senior visual communication and digital media arts major with a concentration in advertising design, is working at NBC Universal as a graphic design intern and has worked on projects like designing posters for television shows while building connections with the professionals around him. Johnson said he’s learned a great deal about the design process from a professional perspective.
Shane Massey, who’s also majoring in advertising design, is interning at the Wild Card Creative Group with their 3AM Studios division working on design content for movies, commercials and social media branding.
Both Johnson and Massey credit the disciplined mindset that they learned from professor Rodney Williams in teaching the difference between art and design with molding them into graphic designers.
“Art is subjective, design is objective,” said Massey. “That’s what he taught me. He was like, if I don’t convey a message to the people I’m designing for, then I failed. He was hard on me, but he pushed me to be the designer I am today.”
Last fall, HBCU LA gave a presentation at Bowie State encouraging students to apply for various opportunities through their company partners. Five Bowie State students were accepted into this year’s HBCU LA cohort. Tewodross Williams, chair of Fine and Performing Arts Department, said he is proud of how they are representing the university this summer.
“This is the third time we’ve sent students,” said Williams. “This year is the largest number of students we sent out there. It’s significant because the students are taking the skills and things they learned here at Bowie State and taking them to another level. They are making these connections to get their foot in the entertainment industry.”
Quentin Barnes, a senior sport management major, has been able to take his photography and videography skills to ESPN, where he is working for the social media team. Barnes credits professors like Dr. Alex Anderson and Dr. Joseph Spears with sharing their insights on how he could leverage his technical skills to make himself standout in a competitive environment.
“Bowie State definitely prepared me well,” said Barnes. “They gave me really good information over the years. Knowing how small and competitive the sports industry is, that’s one thing they emphasize. That’s why I wanted to separate myself from everyone else with being a digital content creator and photographer. They definitely set me up for success.”
About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit bowiestate.edu.