When St. Louis Rams Vice President of Broadcasting and Creative Scott Brooks last attended Georgia State in 1999, he participated on the men’s cross-country team, wrote for The Signal and was just trying to figure out what he wanted to do for a career.
Fourteen years later, on his latest return to the University, some things have changed since Brooks left.
Notably, the men’s cross-country program no longer operates at a varsity level – it’s now a club sport.
No more running
“Being a former runner, I hate to see that happen because I think it’s a sport that helps a lot of people get scholarships, come in and get an education that they normally wouldn’t have the ability to do,” said Brooks. “I wish that wasn’t the case but I understand why and the reasoning.”
However, Brooks said it was nice to see the university add more athletic programs to get more people competing in athletics and give student athletes an opportunity to learn how compete by being a part of a team.
When Brooks was on the men’s cross-country team, the team was successful.
“We were a very competitive group and we won a lot of championships,” the former runner said. “The exposure we were getting by winning conference championship after conference championship made us successful as a program.”
Brooks stated running cross-country kept him very disciplined because he had to learn how to balance his time during school and training for cross country in order perform at a high level.
In fact, he applied the time management habits he learned from his time at Georgia State to what he does on the business side today.
The right Signal
Just like some college students, Brooks didn’t know what he wanted to pursue as a career when he first arrived at Georgia State.
Brooks was a public relations major with a minor in marketing.
However, he had multiple interests, including writing and production, one of which led to writing for The Signal.
He covered volleyball, soccer and cross-country (while competing with the team).
Brooks said working for the publication is an internship because you’re building your portfolio for future internship interviews and/or your first real, full-time position.
“My time with The Signal enabled me to learn and hone my writing skills, gave me a creative outlook and I was able to take that to transition into a full time position,” said Brooks.
The importance of writing skills
Notably, Brooks still applies what he learned from his time at Georgia State to his current job with the Rams.
Brooks believes that learning to write and edit are important to having a successful communications career.
“From a public relations standpoint, you use your writing background to write out what the script for the show is going to be,” said Brooks.
Although, public relations and video production are two different mediums of mass communications, they share the same basis of good writing.
Having a good script is just as important as other aspects of video production, like setting up the set, the lights, the audience, the mics and actually producing the show.
In addition to building their skills, Brooks advises students at Georgia State to work on building relationships with their professors because they may be used for a character reference later on.
Brooks knows from personal experience how vital it is to build relationships. One of those relationships helped start his career.
The Georgia State connection
During Brooks’ last year at Georgia State, he pursued an internship.
He was selected as an intern for the now-defunct Atlanta Thrashers during their inaugural season with the help of Dr. Doug Barthlow, current Director of Undergraduate Studies at Georgia State.
Former Georgia State runner Rob Preiditsch was the Marketing Director of the Atlanta Thrashers.
While with the Thrashers, Brooks learned hard skills he didn’t get to learn at Georgia State because of their facility.
“When I was at Georgia State, we didn’t have…a digital lab [Digital Aquarium],” he said. “I didn’t have the opportunity [to take advantage of it] so I learned the camera shooting, the other side [of communications] with my internship with the Thrashers.
Eventually, Brooks got promoted from being an intern in the marketing department to working full-time in the game entertainment/broadcast area for the Atlanta Spirit, the ownership group that owns the Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Hawks.
Furthermore, the move to game entertainment/broadcast industry “put his foot in the door” which led him to careers with the Washington Capitals and, currently, the St. Louis Rams.