In addition to his usual schedule of workouts and classes, senior guard Jordan Roper spent the summer of 2015 interning as a student videographer in the Clemson Athletic Communications office. Learn more about his experience and see examples of his work below.
By Jordan Roper
Being a student-athlete at Clemson University opens the door of opportunity to learn and engage in real world experiences. This summer, I was given the unique opportunity to be an intern for the Athletic Communications department. The aspect of the Athletic Communications department that grabbed my attention was its ability to create unique content for gameday experiences and advertising purposes through various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine.
The representation of all intercollegiate sports at Clemson University is something that many student-athletes — myself included — find important. When a student-athlete sees well-produced content posted about his or her team or an individual, it gives them a sense of pride and importance to their university. The Athletic Communications department has the capability of making our student-athletes and sports teams relevant within the world of intercollegiate sports.
NOTICED YOU NOTICING ME
During our trip to the ACC Tournament last March, I noticed a videographer, who I would later find out to be the department’s coordinator of digital content, capturing footage of our team. The videographer, Nik Conklin, developed content from this footage to give fans an inside look at our time at the tournament. I was intrigued by the work that he was putting together, and the quickness in his ability to push out the content. Knowing that I had to complete a 400-hour internship for my major — Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management — I decided to utilize it with Athletic Communications, specifically working with Nik.
Greensboro bound! It’s #ACCTourney time. #tigerpride A video posted by Clemson Basketball (@clemsonmbb) on Mar 10, 2015 at 9:50am PDT
Greensboro bound! It’s #ACCTourney time. #tigerpride
A video posted by Clemson Basketball (@clemsonmbb) on Mar 10, 2015 at 9:50am PDT
Each summer, men’s basketball players stay on campus to improve their skills and complete classes. Alongside individual workouts and lifting weights, I completed my 400-hour internship in Athletic Communications. Without prior experience in filming or editing, Nik became my professor for the summer. He taught me the basic skills of filming and allowed me to assist him throughout the summer capturing footage from various events such as the CU Showcase and Olympic Sports media day.
After collecting the footage, I had to learn how to edit and piece together what we captured. With Clemson being one of the only universities in the nation that has a campus-wide partnership with Adobe, I had free access to the industry standard software, Premiere Pro. The ease of use and advanced features offered by Adobe allowed me to produce high quality content for social media platforms. With Nik being a great leader and teacher, I grasped the concept of editing and producing quickly.
[View the story “Jordan Roper’s Vine & Instagram Videos” on Storify]
THE “FINAL EXAM”
Over time, my skills improved through the constant practice of making Instagram and Vine videos, and I was given the opportunity to create a long-form feature on myself. For this feature, I revisited a time during my freshman year at Clemson where I had a health scare that took a toll on my emotional and physical well-being.
In collaboration with Jonathan Gantt, the creative director for Clemson Athletics, Philip Sikes, associate communications director, and Nik, we brainstormed our ideas for the project and planned interviews with members of the athletic department who assisted me during this time. After the planning process, we conducted the interviews and shot footage that would be used for the project. As the last step in the project, I pieced together and produced my first long-form feature.
My experience of being a student-athlete has taught me hard work, time management, and perseverance. However, I know the value in the Clemson experience by taking advantage of all the opportunities made available through this university. Fostering my creativity and learning new skills within filming and production has sparked a new interest that I can take beyond my Clemson career.
Working with Nik Conklin and other members of the Athletic Communications department was a memorable experience that gave me a new appreciation for all that they contribute to Clemson Athletics as a whole. The Athletic Communications department welcomed me in with open arms, and provided another experience that showed me what it means to be a part of the Clemson Family. Thank you.
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