Meet Hampton U. ‘Scripps Howard next top intern’

By Jennifer Ibe

After days of preparing and hours of rehearsing, eight students excitedly waited to prove that they could be Hampton University “Scripps Howard’s Next Top Intern.”

The concept was borrowed from the CW Networks successful modeling show, “America’s Next Top Model” founded and hosted by Tyra Banks.

Eight contestants were ready to prove to the judges and their peers that they had what it takes to be on top.

Scripps Howard Foundation judges Lee Rose, Keenan Smith, Mizell Stewart III and Robyn Hildal judged the contestants in categories that compromised of talent, resume, presentation and oral skills.

Contestant Kori Williams, a sophomore public relations major from Cleveland, impressed the judges with her work experience at RMR PR agency as she worked her way up as an account executive.

“I wanted to get experience outside the agency,” said Williams.

Williams, who took a different route than any of the other contestants, started working at the PR firm and decided to put her career on hold at the age of 23 to attain her bachelors’ degree.

When asked why she left her budding career to pursue a degree, Williams said, “Hampton chose me. The opportunities here are so beneficial.”

Contestant Aaron Hilton, a senior, broadcast journalism major from Newport, R.I., charmed the judges with his light, fun, and sometimes humorous approach.

“I was relaxed. I had to sell myself,” says Hilton. “It was a great experience.

Other contestants did the runway walk and presented why they would be the best candidate, but only one could win.

After several minutes of deliberation, Derek Garlington, a junior, broadcast journalism major from Waterbury, Conn., was named “Scripps Howard’s Next Top Intern” and awarded the $500 scholarship prize.

“I’m glad the judges’ saw I was a worthy candidate and chose me,” said Garlington, 18.

“It feels great about winning, but I thought most of the contestants did well as me.”

Lee Rose, corporate communications manager and corporate office human resources manager for the E.W. Scripps Company, as well as one of the judges, recalled why she chose Garlington as the winner.

“Derek stood out because he gave specifics. What’s the one sound bite that will make you memorable.”

For example, Harrington, who enrolled at HU as a 16-year-old freshman, excelled not only in his academics, but gained knowledgeable experience in several areas of media that set him apart from the rest of the contestants.

“In high school I interned and found my way working in three different radio stations now in college. Not only was I on-air with WHOV 88.1, but I will be working for two different radio stations in Chesapeake.”

The writer is a senior print journalism major at the Scripps Howard School.