Crystal Brockington ’18 has big dreams for a career built on the spoken word, but her polished oratory skills went silent when she found out she’d been selected to receive the Furman Metropolitan Fellowship (FMF).
“I was really speechless,” Brockington said, “but also just really excited knowing that my talents and everything that I’ve put forth has been recognized. It was really overwhelming just trying to take it all in.”
In addition to professional coaching on resume creation and interview skills to help her pursue the internship of her choice next summer in New York City, Brockington will receive an $8,000 stipend to cover her living expenses—pretty handy for a political science and communication studies major who aspires to be a television news anchor.
“I’m really interested in broadcast news production,” Brockington, a native of Conyers, Ga., said. “That’s an area that isn’t too big at Furman . . . and so, being able to go to New York, the heart of media, opens a lot of doors and opportunities.”
Brockington was chosen from a field of 14 finalists that had been plucked from an applicant pool of nearly 100. Every Furman junior was eligible for consideration.
“First of all, she has the talent to succeed in that arena. Second, she has the drive to pursue her passion, which is in that sector. Finally, she has a personality that makes me happy to give her the internship,” Max Dutcher ’12, one of the FMF directors, said when asked what set Brockington apart.
The Furman Metropolitan Fellowship was founded in February of 2015 by Dutcher, Jeff Broad ’12, Peter Griffin ’11, Roe Morris ’11, Philip Mabry ’11, and Zach Rosen ’11, who all live and work in the Big Apple, “to create a bridge between Furman University students and New York City internship connections and community.”
All of the finalists were interviewed individually by members of the FMF team, and Brockington particularly impressed the team with her mock newscast.
“I was impressed by how genuine she is, how energetic she is, and how driven she is to succeed,” Griffin said. “But also how talented she is.”
Brockington has never been to New York, and without the Fellowship she likely would be waiting a little longer. Instead, she’ll be connected with many of the 600 Furman alumni in the city’s metropolitan area in addition to professional contacts.
In fact, after Rosen talked to the CEO of MediaLink, a strategic advisory firm with offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, the firm agreed to assist Brockington with finding internship opportunities at morning talk shows. Rosen, who was also a communication studies major, is the senior director of Strategic Partnerships at Index Exchange, an advertising technology start up that enables brands to connect with audiences across digital media in real time.
“I’ve been wanting to get to New York for years . . . I definitely don’t think I would have been able to have this experience without this opportunity,” Brockington said. “I’m really excited to be living in a city. I expect to learn so many things about myself, and I’m excited to meet so many people from so many different backgrounds.”
Sarah Saba ’17 and Martin Eguiguren ’17 were last year’s inaugural recipients. Associate Communications Studies Professor John Armstrong encouraged Brockington to pursue the grant, which has already given her something invaluable—confidence.
“After speaking to all of (the FMF founders) and knowing that they believe in all of my talents, my passion, and my drive, it’s comforting to know that they are supporting me in going where I want to go in my professional career,” Brockington said.
To learn more about FMF or to get involved, click here.