Keith Jones may have been recruited to play baseball for Barry University, but the career he launched as an undergraduate student was surprisingly not on the field – it was in front of the camera.
Before transferring to Barry as a sophomore, Jones enrolled in a public speaking class at Ashland University in Ohio and was a bit too talkative on the first day of class, said Jones, who graduated from Barry in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast communication/journalism.
“The professor pulled me aside after class and said I needed to be in broadcast, whether it be radio or TV,” said Jones, who anchors the weekend edition of the NBC 6 South Florida News at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. “Apparently, I have the gift for gab.”
Although Jones, who has spent 18 years as a news anchor and reporter, intended to study business at Barry, he explored the Department of Communication’s David Brinkley Studio and was impressed with the facility, he said.
“The broadcast and communication department encouraged its students to be hands-on as much as possible,” he said. “We shot, wrote and edited news pieces. We put together in-studio productions. It was a great experience.”
Jones supplemented the training he received in the classroom as a broadcast communication/journalism major with two internships at WSVN-TV Channel 7.
“My internship gave me real-world experience and helped me understand exactly what I was getting into,” Jones said.
The experience he gained in the classroom and from his internships has played an instrumental role in his success today, said Jones, who has earned EMMY nominations and been awarded numerous first place awards from the Pennsylvania AP, Cleveland Press Club and Crystal Awards in the areas of features and spot news.
“Without doing those internships, without the studio time in class, without making connections, I probably wouldn’t be sitting where I am today,” Jones said.
Jones advises future graduates to network and make as many contacts as possible within their respective fields while being persistent and confident in their ability.
“Trust me, someone will remember you when you go knocking on the door looking for a job,” Jones said. “Don’t be afraid to make phone calls, email or just pop in on prospective employers. While you may feel like you’re nagging or bothering, most employers see it as initiative. Most of all, have confidence in yourself and the job you can do.”
For more information about Barry’s Department of Communication, visit https://www.barry.edu/department-of-communication/