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Senior Comm Major Jumps in the Action with NBC, NABJ

Published: August 25, 2016
Chris Grisby ’17, center, interviews Nate Parker, the creator and leading actor of The Birth of a Nation.
Chris Grisby ’17, center, interviews Nate Parker, the creator and leading actor of The Birth of a Nation.
Most days this summer, Chris Grisby ’17 was greeted by the Statue of Liberty once in the morning and again in the evening as he commuted from his summer housing on Staten Island to his internship at NBC News Group in Manhattan.

Other than Lady Liberty’s presence, there really wasn’t a typical day for Grisby this summer. As an intern on the network desk, Grisby was responsible for filtering breaking news coverage, finding eye witnesses or victims, gathering content and pushing all of those elements to the “TODAY show,” MSNBC and “Nightly News with Lester Holt.”

“Working at the breaking news desk was a roller coaster. From my third day on the job — the Pulse nightclub shooting — to wrapping up my internship during the Rio Olympics, everyday was something special,” said Grisby, of Dallas, TX. “This summer seemed to be a very intense news cycle, but it provided me with great experience on how network news works and functions.”

Grisby, a communication major with a minor in journalism , knew on his college visit to UT that Tampa would be a good fit. He saw the nearby NBC and Fox satellite towers and assumed internships would be possible. He was right — in the fall of 2015 and again this fall semester, he is a general assignment intern with Fox 13.

It was during his internship last year that now-retired news anchor Denise White recommended Grisby check out the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), which is where he first heard about the NBC internship opportunity. He also discovered and was accepted for the Student Multimedia Project during the 2016 Convention and Career Fair in Washington, D.C., hosted by the NABJ and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). The fellowship gave Grisby one of the most impactful experiences of his collegiate career.

“A team of students from all across the country came together for a week to produce three newscasts that aired on ABC 7 in D.C. every day, a newspaper every day, as well as a digital site,” Grisby explained. “Through the help of the NABJ and NAHJ mentors, we were able to produce something great. The project really gave an inside scoop to a real and active newsroom. Seeing all of my hard work during the day be showcased on TV or in the next day’s newspaper was really humbling.”

Grisby has aimed to be a broadcast journalist and anchor in San Francisco, a city where he said the people are vibrant and diverse.

“Going into my senior year now, I know what I need to work on and the resources available from a plethora of mentors who are here to support me,” said Grisby, who has served as a resident assistant the last three years. “Plus the opportunities for future career placement after graduation are at the palm of my hand through all of the networking and relationships that I have established this summer.”