March 3, 2014
5 for 5 Student Spotlight: The Hip-Hop Professional wants you to meet Kiana Nelson (Georgia State University)
Q: What’s your major/area of interest and what school do you attend?
A: I attend Georgia State University as a sophomore with a Broadcast Journalism major.
Q: What are some of your current projects or activities that you are engaged in on campus? Also, have you completed any beneficial internships/summer programs?
A: I am an on-campus mentor to 3 freshman students: Ashli, Fortune and Khadeeja and a Big Brother, Big Sister Mentor. I am a sister of Softer Touch- a women’s service organization dedicated to uplifting one another through bonding, education, and outreach. To build experience as a broadcaster, I am a Master of Ceremonies for Georgia State Basketball & Football games- alongside Atlanta rapper, Zip Kennedy, and disc jockey, Femi Bab-oke.
I started an on-campus entertainment organization called the Entermediate. The organization provides it’s members resume-building experience through collaborative efforts to generate entertainment content and plan events. Committees include Event Programming, Fashion, Media, Music, Publications, Publicity, and Sports. At the moment we’re looking to collaborate with entertainment professionals to hold speaking engagements on and off campus.
I have been mentored by Nicole Garner of the Garner Circle since high school. Through observation and volunteering at her events, I’ve learned a great deal about public relations. Ms. Nicole is top-tier and I recommend any one looking to gain knowledge about branding and publicity to apply for her internship program.
I was recently accepted into the Final Talent Pool for the T. Howard Foundation. The foundation aims to diversify the multimedia and entertainment industry by increasing the representation of minority young men and women within the industry. I don’t know what company the foundation will connect me with to intern during the summer, but each T. Howard Alumni I’ve run into has had a great experience!
Q: How hard is it being a student and balancing the work you do towards your career goal?
A: I think the term ‘hard’ is subjective.I attended the University of West Georgia freshman year and left every weekend to intern and network in the city. When not working, I hung out with friends to de-stress. I didn’t miss class often and was always involved in the class discussion, but I didn’t really delve into my studies. I like learning- about everything- so reflecting on freshman year I feel like money was wasted because I didn’t divulge myself in the readings- especially in my African-American Studies classes. To me, it wasn’t like I cheated my professors- I cheated myself because I didn’t take full advantage of the information made available.
Upon enrolling into Georgia State I founded the Entermediate and joined organizations I’m passionate about. My effort to establish myself as a major player in entertainment has definitely conflicted with my desire to live a regular college life.
With my organization it’s a challenge because I’m finally reaching out to the contacts I’ve accumulated over the years, and allowing the student members to meet them. Some of the members haven’t developed professionally so teach them how to network, write a follow-up, and create a cover letter or resume. I have to make sure they represent me in a professional manner. My goal is to position Entermediate members in the entertainment industry so I feel obligated to teach them these invaluable skills, which inevitably takes away study time, etc.
I’ve went to parties and had to step out to respond to emails. I can get out of class around 5 pm, fight traffic to get home by 6 (to freshen up and “cook” dinner), be back to campus by 7 to attend a campus event, and leave by 9 to be at an industry event by 10- only to get home by 2 am and have to be back to school at 10 am.
It’s not easy making time for your friends and boyfriend- a protective one at that. Depending on their career interests they won’t understand why you’re out at midnight on a weekday, and why you only have time for one phone conversation with them- usually occurring when you’re driving somewhere.
I won’t say it’s hard- because everything I’m experiencing is preparing me for what I’ve prayed for: success.
The biggest advice I’d give to any college student pursuing a career in the industry is to establish balance and time management. Don’t spend so much time working towards your goals that you forget to spend time with yourself, and interact with people on terms other than business. In this industry it seems that everyone you network with has to be your friend- but I disagree. I think you have to have balance; interact with normal people, with normal lives- because you can get absorbed and will hurt you in the long run.
Q: What are you top social media platforms that you use and why?
A: My absolute favorite platform is Group Me because I get to converse with my favorite people at one time throughout the day. I was in a Group Me with my guy friends and it was so awesome making fun of each other all day- screen-shotting stuff we saw on the internet.
My next two are Instagram and Tumblr. I like Instagram because I can see all of my friends’ lovely faces and post content that I like-whether it’s an awesome scenery shot, selfie, or quote I saw on Tumblr. I like Tumblr because a lot of my friends aren’t on there so I can write exactly how I feel. I post a lot of my poems, thoughts and reblog content that represents me.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: In five years I see myself at peace with wherever God has me. I’m working for what I want and know my goals will come to fruition. I see myself mentored by Karen Civil and Kelly Rowland- it seems like they have absolutely beautiful souls. In five years I also see myself rising as an artist (singing) and on-camera personality (acting and broadcasting). I envision myself creating music similar to Taylor Swift- fearlessly singing about fantasy, love and life on my guitar. I like the idea of living in Southern California- somewhere with lots of grass or near water. Lastly, I see myself surrounded by the greatest group of friends that are productive in their efforts to be successful too!