In FSBlog’s Just Launched feature, we talk to brand new Full Sail grads, right out the door from graduation, about what’s next for them as they head out into the workforce. This month’s Just Launched graduate is Adrian Beecher.
Name: Adrian Beecher
Degree Program: Entertainment Business
Graduation Date: September 5, 2014
First Job: I founded The SkyBoat, a sports news website, in December of 2012. Since that time, we’ve grown to regularly cover professional and collegiate teams throughout Central Florida, including the Orlando Predators, Orlando City Soccer, and the University of Central Florida football team. In 2014, we traveled to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the BCS National Championship in Pasadena, California. I was able to bring along Sports Marketing & Media student and SkyBoat contributor Jody Seabrooks as well.
In June of 2013, I founded Jr. Journalism, an organization that provides budding journalists ages 13-17 with opportunities to develop their journalism skills by interviewing professional and collegiate athletes. Through a partnership with the Orlando Predators, our student reporters are able to interview their favorite players and see their interviews played on the arena Jumbotron during halftime.
How You Got Your Foot in the Door: My intention in launching The SkyBoat was to build an online news platform to help college students and aspiring industry professionals break into new media journalism. I strongly believe that opportunity breeds creativity. Full Sail places a lot of importance on networking, and that’s something I’ve carried over into my own company. I’ve met a lot of fellow students who have ended up contributing to The SkyBoat.
I started Jr. Journalism in response to my own journey as a young student with an interest in sports and reporting. I was placed in foster care at the age of three and remained there until I was adopted at the age of eight. Up until that point, I didn’t really have a healthy outlet or hobby. I struggled with depression. I wasn’t aware of any opportunities for fostering my interests, and I felt disconnected from society. The idea behind Jr. Journalism is to provide that outlet for young people, to prevent suffering and disconnect that comes from feeling limited by age or circumstance. Our goal is to provide our kids with limitless opportunities.
Before Graduation: Last month, I traveled to Tampa for a feature story I wrote for the Arena Football League’s official website on Washington Redskins head coach (and former coach of the Orlando Predators) Jay Gruden. I was in Dallas, Texas on August 30th covering Florida State University’s participation in the Cowboys Classic. I was joined by Sports Marketing & Media student Will Ogburn, who was on the field taking photos while I was in the press box.
Recently, we were able to hold one of our Jr. Journalism meetings at Full Sail. We welcomed James Varsallone, Youth Sports Editor at the Miami Herald, as our guest speaker. Our Jr. Journalists were able to attend with their parents, and hear all about Mr. Varsallone’s time in the industry.
Down the Road: I plan to keep building and growing both The SkyBoat and Jr. Journalism. We’re working on some exciting partnerships right now. The SkyBoat has recently been approved to cover four major colleges’ sports teams, including Florida State, University of Miami, University of South Florida, and University of Central Florida. As we expand our coverage to these schools and hopefully more, I plan to continue building the brand with my very talented and dedicated staff, many of whom share a Full Sail connection.
Both The SkyBoat and Jr. Journalism are a team effort. As our members continue to learn, the organizations become better. When our Jr. Journalists finish an interview and break into a smile of satisfaction, or when one of our SkyBoat interns gets pumped to cover an event, it really makes all the work on the backend, the work that no one ever sees, worth it. It makes me want to do this for years to come.