Moore Encourages Students to Find Their Niche

Thursday, December 17, 2009

As the director of Rider’s Internship Program, Dr. Aaron Moore not only markets students’ skill sets to prospective employers, but he also relies on his background and expertise to help students to realize their potential and pursue their professional goals.

Through the Event Planning and Production minor, Moore, who serves as coordinator and assistant professor, has coupled students with such events as the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Expo, NJWeddings.com and the governor’s lunch, through experiential learning. Such connections have enabled these students to land internships and jobs.

In the midst of a tough economy and job market, Moore encourages his students to specialize in a specific area, such as social-media techniques for public relations or event planning, in order to set them apart from other internship or job candidates.

“There are new areas that students can explore,” he said. “You have to pick a specialty.”
 
Moore said he not only encourages students to find their specialty, but also to pursue nontraditional paths to get there. For example, if a student is Public Relations major, but wants to pursue an internship in event planning, he tries to show that student avenues to make that option available.

“I try to show students that they don’t have to be pigeonholed when looking for internships,” he said. “I try to practice what I preach. My career started with an internship.”

As an undergraduate at LaSalle University, Moore interned at 610 WIP Sports Radio in Philadelphia. After graduation, he worked alongside his “childhood heroes” – Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn – producing game coverage of the Philadelphia Phillies for 1210 CBS Radio.

It was not until after Moore moved to California to pursue his dream of becoming a screenwriter that he fell in love with academia. In Los Angeles, he took a job as an assistant in the Communication department at Loyola Marymount University.

“I never thought I would go into academics. That position changed my career,” he said. “I realized that I didn’t want to go into screenwriting. I saw academics as a more stable area to develop.”

In addition, Moore, who transferred to Temple University to pursue his master’s degree and Ph.D., said he found he that academia allowed him to study different areas of communication.

“That’s the great part of academics – you can always look and analyze new lines of interests,” Moore said. “At the time, in the late 1990s, experiential learning was becoming more of the focus and there was a need for professional experience.”

As part of the new interdisciplinary minor, Society and Sports, Moore teaches Sports Media Relations, which focuses on public relations techniques and theories, and how they are executed in the world of college and professional sports. Last year, Moore invited former Phillies and current New York Mets catcher Chris Coste to speak to one of his classes. This year, he arranged a campus visit by Comcast Sportsnet television analyst John Celestand, a former Los Angeles Lakers and Villanova University basketball player.

Outside of the classroom, Moore shares his professional experience and expertise by contributing to various publications and Web sites, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, Basketball Times magazine and the YESNetwork.com, the regional sports network that features telecasts of the New York Yankees and the New Jersey Nets.

Recently, Moore had an article entitled “Pro-active: A game plan when athletes tweet,” published in the December issue of Public Relations Tactics, published by the Public Relations Society of America. In the article, he examines the positive and negative role that Twitter plays in regards to sports teams’ publicity.

Following his own advice to specialize in new areas, Moore has explored the role social media plays in the field of professional sports. Recently, he had an article entitled “Pro-active: A game plan when athletes tweet,” published in the December issue of Public Relations Tactics, published by the Public Relations Society of America.

“Twitter gives athletes a free publicity platform, but these messages are often unfiltered,” Moore explained. “I took a look how Twitter can be positive and negative for sport teams’ publicity.” 

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Dr. Aaron Moore, director of Rider’s Internship Program and assistant professor of Communications/Journalism