2023 SJGC grad Walker returns to campus

Gray TV holds a panel discussion for SJGC students. Photo courtesy: Christian Whitaker

Beyla Walker, a former broadcast journalism student at Florida A&M, returned to the Hill Tuesday afternoon. Now working as an anchor and multimedia journalist in Dothan, Alabama, the Spring 2023 grad was chosen by her company, Gray Television, to come back and pour into students attending her alma mater.

While on campus, Walker examined resumes and reels and performed interviews while giving critiques. Walker also attended a panel discussion held for journalism, public relations and graphic design students. She informed students of the expectations of a news director and described what a day in the newsroom looked like for producers and multimedia journalists. In addition, Walker advocated for employment with Gray TV.

She described coming back to FAMU as a full-circle moment.

“I can definitely say that FAMU prepared me for everything I needed to know,” Walker said. “I love being here and talking about my experience just to let students know that you can do anything you want to do. I was literally just in your shoes.”

Gray TV has been in partnership with Florida A&M for many years, giving students the opportunity to apply for internships and jobs after graduation. The talent acquisition team at Gray regularly conducts conversations with aspiring journalists either in individual settings or through panel discussions. These opportunities allow students to show off their portfolios and work samples, while gaining valuable insight into the journalism field and the professional workforce.

Aisha Tyler, a talent acquisition specialist from Gray TV, expressed how much she enjoyed her time at FAMU and getting to know the students while visiting Tuesday.

“It’s been great to see you all doing really big things here,” Tyler said. “ I always love talking to the younger generation, because you all are pliable, you’re open, very creative, and not set to learn and grow in a certain way. I am looking forward to coming back.”

Professor Ranata Hughes coordinates events like these for her Professional Colloquium course every semester. As the internship coordinator at the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, Professor Ranata Hughes plays a vital role in the connection between student success and job opportunities. She was ecstatic to witness alumni like Walker return to pour into students.

“It makes me so happy to see Beyla Walker come back to the Hill looking for talent and helping students,” Hughes said. “I remember when she started as a young student and watched her grow. To now see her in the industry as a reporter, coming back with her news director, I’m just in awe.”

The school plans to continue its partnership with Gray TV in hopes of giving more students like Beyla the opportunity to grow in their desired careers and pay it forward.