Be as Broad and Diverse as You Can: Video Transcript

Justin Faulb (BA Mass Communication, Miami, 2005) [Assistant General Counsel for the National Association of Broadcasters]: I came to Miami wanting to be an ESPN broadcaster, like many 16- to 18-year-old boys watching SportsCenter every night, dreaming of talking to Michael Jordan and doing the really cool commercials. I quickly realized that broadcasting is a tough industry to break into, especially if you don't want to live in a smaller market to begin, as most broadcasting entry level jobs are in small markets. I transitioned away from broadcasting into more of a marketing, strategic communications, PR background. And from there I was able to get a lot of experience through my mass communication classes.

Mass communication is a very interesting major, but I think one thing that's really important that all mass communication majors should remember is, you can do a lot more with mass comm than, or whatever mass comm is called now, than you may think. The ability to transition from different areas, the ability to have one skill that a lot of people like is to be broad, to be a mile wide and maybe a couple inches deep on some things is really what you need to be able to pick up quickly.

Broadcasting is, you know, an interesting industry, because for a long time broadcasting was the only way people got television. There were three channels nationwide — that's all you watched, and they were everything. Then cable came along, and now broadcasters are one of, you know, a thousand channels you may subscribe to. There's a large battle between cable entities and broadcasting about who's going to pay how much for the broadcasters' content, and broadcasters without that money from cable would have a very difficult time surviving. So the cord-cutters are helping broadcasters, and I think you're going to see a revitalization of broadcasting because of the fact that so many people are turning to broadcasting without actually paying cable. It gives them a lot more leverage.

One of the more exciting projects that I've been tasked with is I run our drone policy. And broadcasters are major advocates for drone use because they can replace helicopters, and helicopters are very expensive, so the concept of using a drone and just pulling it out of your reporter's trunk and throwing it up there for $1,000 or $500 to get videos are a real game-changer for many broadcasters. The risks are that the FAA is very skeptical of the safety of drones. We're struggling to convince the FAA as to the safety of these and to trust broadcasters because we've been stewards of the public interest for so many years.

Having a liberal arts education allows you to learn a number of different things. It trains you to have your eyes open and become a well-rounded person, whether it’s an attorney, a businessman, a teacher, anything that's going to help you in your career. And I think that's something that you can't get anywhere else unless you really learn as you're growing up, about these many different things that really catches your imagination, your interest in being as broad and diverse as you can be.

You should get involved as much as you can, take internships, get out of the country, get out of Oxford, really expand your horizons, because this is the only time in your life when you really have no worries. And the best time to travel, the best time to go and explore is right now, when you can really, truly embrace it. You don't have the stress of paying for a mortgage or having kids, or anything like that. And as you come out, the job market is so competitive now, that people are really looking for well-rounded individuals who've taken the extra initiative to get involved and show leadership.

Have as much fun as you can here. It's some of the best times of your life, and it goes by so quickly. It may not seem like that when you're here, but looking back it’s just a blip, and I wish I could come back again. It was so much fun and I really learned a lot. I love coming back to Miami as often as I can to relive the memories and just to embrace the energy.

[October 2015]