Success Story: Nakia Swinton

Communications and Media Arts Major, Class of 2016

Name: Nakia Swinton
Company: VICE Media
Title: Communications Assistant
Graduation Date: May 2016
Major: Communications and Media Arts

Q: What inspired your success? 

My parents and family have always been hardworking so I think they inspired me to want to be successful. My media inspirations are Ryan Seacrest and Shonda Rhimes.
I decided to join WMSC 90.3 FM my first week in school and I was always determined to make the best of my career and take advantage of every opportunity. I applied for my first internship at BET and my supervisor was impressed with my radio show. Receiving my first internship helped me obtain my next three at NBCUniversal, Press Here Publicity and VH1. When applying for jobs, I was most qualified for communications because of my internships in TV and music press. This led me to apply to the VICE position as a communications assistant. My current roommate freelanced at VICE so she talked to and HR manager who helped get me to the interview process.

Q: What is it you do at VICE?

I mostly work with VICE’s digital channels and VICE Magazine. When one of the channels has an interesting story or video I contact writers (depending on the subject) and ask them to write about VICE’s content so the company can receive press. I also set up interviews for our writers on mostly radio and sometimes television. I assist at company events and ask writers to attend as well as being the intern supervisor for the department.

Q: How did you land this role?

A: I had experience with music press and TV press which made me qualified for my job. Even with my experience VICE was the only job that contacted me for an interview, which shows how important it is to have connections. My friend from Montclair (and now current roommate) freelanced at VICE at the time and sent my resume directly to HR.  I also believe my interviewing skills and writing samples helped me secure my job.

Q: Were there any faculty or staff members that were particularly helpful during your time at Montclair State?

A:  There were definitely classes that stood out more than the rest including my Human Sexuality, Management and Religion classes where I still remember a lot of the lessons. When it comes to my career I have to thank a lot of members from Montclair’s media department. Larry Londino definitely pushed me to understand the media industry and I thank him for that. Other professors who helped my writing and understanding of the media include Professor McKinley, Penney, Curnutt, Kelshaw and Merrill Brown.

Q: What was the most valuable service or event that College of the Arts’ Career Services offered?

A:  I think Internship fairs were very helpful as well as providing resume reviews.

Q: What advice would you give to current and prospective students?

A: My advice would be to take advantage of every opportunity you have in college as well as network as much as you can. A lot of students don’t understand that the media industry is very competitive and is mostly about your experience and whom you know. You can also stand out by doing simple things like tailoring your resume and cover letter to the job, arriving on time and sending a thank you email after your interview. It’s surprising to see how many students don’t do simply things.