Name: Kiara Ealy
Graduation Date: May 2013
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communications
Kiara Ealy never wanted to be pinned to a desk all day.
Ealy realized that advertising was too ordinary for her while working in the Advertising Department of KJRH.
“I wanted to be able to run around,” Ealy said. “I don’t like having a predictable day.”
Ealy’s path to success began after she transferred to Oklahoma State University her freshman year. While earning her undergraduate degree, she was picked to be a part of the American Advertising Federation Most Promising Minority program and was a member of OSU’s National Student Advertising Competition team. She also managed to obtain numerous internships, including OSU Athletics, Scripps-Howard and the Tulsa TV station KJRH.
After spending two postgraduate years working at the Stillwater Public Library, Ealy began graduate school at the University of Missouri studying journalism. While at MU, she was able to make live news reports for CBS and traveled to South Africa to create a documentary about race relations.
“My last spring, I interned at 60 Minutes in New York City,” Ealy said. “It was a really cool experience to learn from the best. It showed what reporting was like on the network level.”
Usually reporters become a part of a small market after graduating college. Ealy’s largest accomplishment was going directly to the large-sized market of Wichita, Kansas.
“Even though advertising didn’t work out for me, SMSC taught me the foundations of AP style,” Ealy said. “I was ready to report while my classmates were still studying.”
Ealy’s favorite memory in the Paul Miller Building was one late night in a computer lab. She was learning graphic design with her classmates before she got trapped in one of the labs until 3 a.m.
“My advice overall is to have your best foot forward everywhere you go,” Ealy said. “Find people you vibe with and get a connection with them.”
Ealy urges sophomores and juniors to make a website as soon as possible. She also advocates for the usefulness of internships and believes all students should complete two or three of them before applying for jobs.
“Seniors, start applying for jobs in September or October of your senior year,” Ealy said. “Reach out to people.”