Name: Robby Veronesi
Hometown: Westfield, Massachusetts
Grade level: In-between junior and senior (I’m studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, right now)
Major: Journalism and electronic media (with minors in geography and psychology)
Hobbies? Sports, travel, photography, interacting with anyone and everyone
What campus groups or organizations are you involved with on campus? Volunteers for Christ, TNJN.com (Tennessee Journalist), Student Alumni Associates (SAA), Fall 2012 Emerging Leaders, two-year Welcome Leader, National Society for Collegiate Scholars
Why did you choose UT?
I first came in to UT with a strong lean toward sports journalism, so I wanted a top Division I program where I could be in such an atmosphere, as well as write about and take photos of the greatest college teams that I could. I applied to several Division I schools up and down the East Coast, and UT ended up fitting all the areas that I was looking for. It was a medium-sized school (not too big, not too small) with great all-around sports, plenty of chances for me to get involved outside of the classroom, and a location near a nice-sized city and a bunch of beautiful scenery. I love it down here in the South, which I guess makes me an unashamed Southern Northerner.
Best class you have taken at UT so far and why?
My favorite class at UT so far has to be JEM 466–Media Diversity and Ethics–with Dr. Whiteside. Unlike other JEM classes, I particularly liked this class because it forced me to look way beyond the article and examine why certain media trends are the way they are and it showed me as a journalist that it is more important to analyze why and how certain topics are portrayed in American, as well as global, media. It added a bit of cultural studies into journalism, which is a combination that I particularly enjoy.
What’s your best piece of advice for other UT students?
As a former welcome leader, I’ve thought about this quite a bit…hmm…I think more than anything else, I’d say that UT is the kind of school where you can certainly find your unique niche–27,000 may seem like a lot on paper, but it does indeed shrink the more you get involved. It’s intimidating at first, I know, but if you go in with a mindset of “I’m gonna expose myself and make myself vulnerable to the unknown,” 27,000 shrinks to a number that includes people that are into the same kind of activity you are and can make a big campus feel more like home. There’s a lot to do here, and therefore a lot of opportunity to find things you’re interested in, as well as things that you never thought you’d experience.
What’s your dream job?
Gosh, the answer changes depending on the day…I think right now I’d love to work somewhere in the field of player operations or something of the like at a professional sports franchise. Whether it involves photography, journalism, media relations, etc., I love being knee-deep in the sports world…that won’t ever change. One thing I’ve learned from the UT Athletics family is that our athletes—the ones that we love to watch on the field or court or track—are simply human. I know that sounds obvious, but I can sometimes forget it while being at a school like UT. I have loved interacting with numerous students (who also are athletes) as the normal, everyday people they are, without the spotlight or the journalist’s microphone in their face. That’s really what I love about sports–the chance to genuinely interact with everyday men and women who happen to play a sport as their profession at the highest level possible. Hopefully, I can do something like that.
You can even follow Robby’s adventure abroad at robbyv92.wordpress.com.
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