Stephen Dixon Furman University

Stephen Dixon '15
Hometown: Spartanburg, SC

Furman provides options. If I wanted to change my major or career path, I could do that at Furman without starting over.

Life as a Communication Studies Major

  • Why did you decide to come to Furman?

      Furman provides options. If I wanted to change my major or career path, I could do that at Furman without starting over. I also don't have to be strictly focused on one area through a liberal arts education. I can take a wide range of classes.

  • Why did you decide to be a Communication Studies major?

      I wanted to go into media and figured communications would be the best major for that. I thought about English and Political Science since those majors require a lot of writing. But Communication Studies classes like public speaking and rhetoric help me communicate with an audience, whether through television or radio.

  • Best experience in the department:

      Broadcast Communication. That's where I figured out that I was capable of working in TV and radio. Working with Dr. Armstrong, I've gained a ton of experience with broadcasting equipment. It is definitely the career path for me.

  • Favorite professor:

      Dr. Armstrong. He's worked at CNN and a local station in Salt Lake City, so he has a resume that stands out. I want to have a career like his. He takes a lot of the stuff he's learned from his job and applies it to what he teaches in class. He doesn't just lecture from books. He shares his experience.

  • Career goals:

      I want to work for ESPN or a local affiliate, as long as I get to cover big-time college sports or professional sports in some way, shape or form. I want to take my love of sports and apply it to a platform where I can make a living through it. Having a radio show would also be great. My friend and I host a sports radio show through Furman's radio station, WPS. Typically, we look for topics we disagree on, so we improve the quality of our show every time we do it.

  • Internship experience:

      I was a programming and acquisitions intern for a tennis channel in 2012. I worked under the executives who were responsible for developing television contracts with the U.S. Tennis Association and ATP World Tour. It opened my eyes to the business side.

      Then I worked for ESPN Radio in Milwaukee, covering the Brewers and Packers. I gained a lot of experience on the production side of the radio shows. The radio hosts would send me emails about their talking points and I'd have an opportunity to offer some input.

      I also worked part-time for FOX Sports, mostly going to NFL games in Atlanta to work as a production runner. I even do play-by-play announcing for the Furman soccer team.

Best of List

Helpful Tips

  • Choosing a major:

      If you're interested in a major, take classes early in that subject. If it turns out that you don't like the major, you can count that course as a general education requirement and go a different route.

  • Studying:

      Do a little each day. The best thing to do is to try to get a little bit done each afternoon. You'll have a much better college experience.

  • Getting involved on campus:

      Don't say no to an opportunity just because you don't think you would like it. Have an open mind because you'll never know what you'll like.

  • Living on campus:

      The staff does a good job of placing students in an environment that helps them stay involved on campus. That's the big thing at Furman: It's a community.

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