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Onalee Carson ′09

Major: English
Hometown: White Hall, AR
Hot off the press! As a freshman, Onalee had no idea what to major in. When she combined her love for writing and sports as a blogger, sports journalism became the obvious choice.

How did you first become interested in sports journalism?
Since I was a child, I’ve loved sports. In high school, I played volleyball, softball and soccer, all at the same time. Once I came to college, I was a little burnt out and decided against joining any teams, so I could focus on my academics and on securing a part-time job. However, my passion for sports lingered, and I began writing for a blog (cardinalsdiaspora.com) about the St. Louis Cardinals.

How have you developed practical experience in the field?
Last summer, I interned with ESPN radio here in Memphis. That was especially challenging because I was the only female in an office full of guys. But I came out of the experience with a deeper understanding of what goes into reporting sports over the radio, as well as how to hold my own in a male-dominated industry.

I’ve also interned for Eyewitness News on ABC 24. You know how people say the news room never sleeps? They’re not joking. There were times when I had to arrive at the office at 2 a.m., but it taught me just how fast the news changes, and it better acquainted me with the Memphis community and the important issues taking place everyday.

This summer, I am the editorial intern for an up-and-coming sports web site, bleacherrreport.com, where I edit articles posted by other die-hard sports fans. Two days after joining the site and submitting a couple of articles, the company approached me about the internship. I was planning to take my last summer kind of slow, but there was no way I could refuse.

Have you had the chance to work with your favorite team?
Over spring break, I went down to Jupiter, FL, to cover the St. Louis Cardinal’s spring training for ESPN radio and my blog. I had a media pass to interview the Cardinal’s manager, Tony La Russa, and even some of the players! That experience was the chance of a lifetime, and it cemented my determination to go into sports broadcasting professionally.

What other Rhodes experiences have influenced you?
I’m the Student Associate for Rhodes’ Office of Admissions. I coordinate the Rhodes Alumni Volunteer Effort, where I network with alumni and support the role they play in the Admissions process. I also help plan programs such as the themed open houses—where students attend an Admissions program tailored to their specific academic interests—and the Bellingrath Weekend for the incoming Bellingrath fellows. My friends joke that I’m a workaholic, but Rhodes offers so many opportunities for individual success that I can’t pass them up.

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