Student Spotlight: Cam Rogers

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Student Spotlight: Cam Rogers
Feb 22, 2016

Social media has very quickly become the secret to a successful career in the journalism industry: a secret that Merrill College junior Cam Rogers knows from firsthand experience.

In January, Rogers won a guest reporting job for the Campus Insiders Digital Network at the NCAA football championship game at Arizona after a successful social media campaign that caught the attention of professionals in the industry as well as some big-time celebrities. Meet the journalism student whose social media networking translated into real world career experience:

What is your journalism background? 

I’ve always had a vision. I always picture my friends all grown up tuning in to me on the national stage hosting a game show or sports show or perhaps ringing in the New Year on ABC. I’ll never lose that vision until I get there.

I love to be in front of crowds and the camera, so my passion for on-air work dates back to my elementary school days, but really picked up steam in high school. I was vice president of my class, which allowed me to emcee events, give speeches and dabble with a little stand up comedy. Little did I know I was networking and building a brand in my late teens.

My first larger journalistic endeavor involved hosting a kids sports show on the New England Sports Network my sophomore year of high school. I almost didn’t even go to the audition, but I’m thankful that I changed my mind! The show went up for a New England Emmy award, but I highly doubt my subpar jokes had anything to do with that. We had a great production team. I started hosting my own ESPN Radio NH show “The Cam Rogers Show” my senior year, which has allowed me to host various guests and network at the same time.

The last few years I’ve been involved with WMUC Sports Radio and ESPNU Campus Connection, while also doing some projects for ESPN Radio NH. I’ve attended a few PGA TOUR events as a media member. I went to the Deutsche Bank Championship Media Day last summer, where I was able to interview Tiger Woods for the first time. Last year, I hosted an NCAA Women’s Lax Playoff Show on ESPN Radio NH to give the tournament a “March Madness” type feel, while also separating myself, because how many radio stations are devoting an hour to NCAA Women’s Lax coverage? I thought this was an effective way to build upon my personal brand, while adding excitement to the sport.

Why did you choose the University of Maryland?

I knew I needed a big school, because that means big sports and big broadcasting opportunities. I always had my eyes set on Maryland due to the fantastic journalism program. I also wanted to get out of New England to experience somewhat warmer weather. I’m a big Baltimore fan as well, so nobody back home in New Hampshire was surprised when I decided to come here.

How were you chosen for the guest reporting job?

So the Campus Insiders contest judged on two categories: personality and ability to promote their brand (and yours). This was right up my alley because I knew I could rally a large amount of people on social media to “vote,” and I could leverage my typical self-deprecating humor in my videos. The judges tracked my personal hashtag #RogersReports on Twitter as well as the success of my video on Facebook.


Once Ryan Seacrest tweeted in support of me, I felt really good about my chances. I never forget the moment of getting off a shift from work and seeing a Twitter notification “Ryan Seacrest has mentioned you.” He saying that I remind him of himself at this age is pretty awesome.

I also received news coverage from back home in New Hampshire, which helped a lot too. I’m so grateful for the support I received. Friends, colleagues, broadcast professionals and even strangers took to social media to support. It’s still tough to put into words when I reflect back on it. They all gave me the confidence that I could win this thing.

Check out the video of Rogers finding out he got the job here.

What was the experience like?

The experience was amazing. I interviewed Alabama and Clemson legends, met great people and stayed in an awesome hotel to top it off. My “man-on-the-street” piece was really cool, because I could really let loose with my personality. I remember asking a high school football team if I could play quarterback for their team, and (spoiler alert) I got some resounding “no’s.” I also asked people if I could tackle Alabama running back Derrick Henry. Now, I’m a towering 5’9” and a rock solid 155 pounds. Needless to say I got some priceless reactions to that question.

What did you learn from the experience?

I learned a lot about the inner workings of a digital network. There’s a lot that goes into it: planning, organizing interviews, etc. I had to be quick on my feet, because I never knew when an interview was coming due to various logistical factors. In sum, you have to be a go-getter in this business no doubt.

 

 

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