(JACKSON, Miss.) — Thirteen students from Jackson State University were chosen to engage in a 10-week apprenticeship program comprised of virtual training and mentoring sessions known as The Driving Force (TDF).
The initiative sprung from a partnership between Nissan and the Black Automotive Group (BAMG) and gives students real-world journalism experience within the automotive industry.
“The Department of Journalism and Media Studies is pleased to be a part of TDF with BAMG and Nissan America,” said Dr. Elayne Hayes Anthony, chairperson of the JSU Department of Journalism and Media Studies.
“Our students will gain pertinent skills that will open new doors in the automotive industry. We are honored that our students can engage in an industry that will continue to hone their skills in writing, interviewing, public relations, and social media. We appreciate the team at Nissan for supporting the partnership.”
Pierre Andrews is studying industrial technology. He was thrilled to learn he was selected for the program.
“I was elated, of course. I have always had an interest in the automotive field. When dealing in the media aspect, we are getting a chance to cover everything from a business to a production standpoint,” he said.
Makyla Simmons, a journalism and media studies major, said she believes the internship is a reassuring sign that she is on the right path towards her goal of becoming a news reporter.
“When I got the internship I felt relieved, but also excited and a sense of an accomplishment for myself,” said Simmons, who also added that the opportunity erased any self-doubt.
The BAMG students have met with group leaders twice so far. During those meetings, they have learned about a variety of topics dealing with the automotive industry.
“Our collaboration with Jackson State University and Nissan America marks the 6th academic program with HBCUs that allows us to extend resources and experience to Black students,” said BAMG founding member Kimatni D. Rawlins. “The Driving Force will continue to help shape career pathways for talented scholars while offering more perspective on automotive industry opportunities.”
JSU senior Joshua Edwards said the experience has been beneficial so far.
“I’ve learned the significance of obtaining an LLC, had the opportunity to receive insightful knowledge about journalism and marketing from professionals in the auto industry, and I’ve (analyzed) Nissan commercials from a marketing expert’s perspective,” said the journalism and media studies major.