AWSM will feature a Q&A with one of our student chapter presidents and a chapter spotlight. For March, we are featuring Arizona State University’s student chapter and Indiana student chapter president Hailey Hernandez.
Hometown: Hebron, IN
Minor: Psychology Specializations: Public Relations, Advertising, Sports Writing
Other activities/interests: Right now I currently intern covering IU men’s basketball for Inside the Hall and Assembly Call and work as an IU football video intern. Outside of work and school, I love to be at the gym or traveling to new places.
What do you do in your role as chapter president?
As the chapter president of AWSM at Indiana, I work establishing contacts with sports media alumni, organizing professionals as guest speakers and forming relationships with other sports media groups on campus. Partnering with these other organizations such as WIUX and IUSTV has helped AWSM grow our audience and put people with similar interests in contact with each other. I also organize the workshops we have, spend a lot of time giving advice to younger members and try to stay on the lookout for new and interesting things I can bring to AWSM and our members. As the president of a fairly new chapter, it has been a challenge recruiting members, holding fundraisers and encouraging sports media students to get involved. But after a few weeks of confusion, AWSM at IU is back on its feet and holding regular meetings and events now to set it up for long-term success in the future.
What have you gained/learned through AWSM or hope to gain and learn?
Through AWSM, I have learned how to communicate with a large group of individuals who have a wide variety of requests and different areas of interest. Dealing with everyone’s busy schedules has allowed me to have more practice working in a stressful and fast-paced environment. As president, I hope my roles will allow me to make contacts as friends and mentors with the women in this industry. This organization helped opened my eyes to all of the successful women in sports media who are willing to help if you make the time to reach out. It is important for young professionals, especially women, to have a strong network and support system in the competitive industry of sports media and AWSM plays a big part in providing that.
What inspired you to pursue a sports media career?
When I went on my first college visit at Indiana, I had a chance to step on the floor in Assembly Hall. I took a few minutes to reflect on all the great players who have stepped foot there and the hundreds of thousands of fans who have watched games unfold in one of the nation’s best arenas of college basketball. Then I went over to the media seats, and it hit me. I always wanted to attend Indiana for journalism, but sports journalism was that next step. From that point forward, I knew I wanted to attend IU and knew I wanted to cover IU men’s basketball someday. My path getting to where I am today has only helped me confirm 100 percent that the sports media industry is exactly where I want to be.
What’s your bucket list sporting event and why?
My bucket list sporting event would be to attend the Summer Olympics to cover swimming and diving. When I was the beat reporter for the Indiana Daily Student, I had the opportunity to cover Lilly King, Blake Pieroni and Kennedy Goss, among other IU athletes and coaches set to compete in the Olympics for their countries. However, when they made it to Rio, I wasn’t able to go to continue covering them. The Summer Olympics are on the top of my bucket list because I want to have the experience for myself seeing the energy and extreme level of athleticism these athletes compete with at the highest level. If I get the opportunity to cover King and the rest of the IU Olympic medalist athletes again, that would be a chance to bring my career to a full circle – being able to cover these athletes in the Olympics after starting out covering them on my first beat.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
Looking forward, in five years I hope to be an established multimedia journalist working as a beat reporter for a Major League Baseball team. After growing up in the unpredictable weather of Indiana, I wouldn’t be opposed to moving out of the Midwest to somewhere warm. I want to have the opportunity to do both print and digital content, in combination with some broadcast or video coverage of the team as well. My goal is to become a recognized name and source on the beat, as someone people turn to with the latest news or inside scoop.