A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate who wasn’t afraid to tackle what Ole Miss Sports Productions threw at her has scored a position with the Dallas Cowboys.
When Madison Aman was in high school, she photographed and videoed local sporting events. That helped her land a job with UM’s campus television station NewsWatch and Ole Miss Sports Productions.
Today, she is an editor and producer for the Dallas Cowboys Creative Media Department, which journeys with the team to document their activities and tell their stories.
The Dallas native, who studied broadcast journalism with a minor in digital media studies and an arts emphasis, was a sports anchor at NewsWatch for about a year. She interned with Ole Miss Sports Productions from 2015-to 2019 gaining experience that led to her current job.
“After I graduated, I was able to get a job at the Dallas Cowboys (through former Ole Miss and journalism school alum, Dave Kennedy),” she said. “I started out in the broadcast department, where my main job was to create several documentaries about former Dallas Cowboys players.”
After her first Cowboys season ended in 2019, Aman began creating what became an Emmy-nominated documentary that she continued working on throughout the initial wave of COVID-19 in 2020. She remained in the broadcast department until the summer of 2021 when she was promoted to the newly-created Creative Media Department as an editor and producer.
Aman just finished her first season in the new position.
“I was able to shoot on the sidelines at the games, travel with the team, and continue to create storytelling videos for the Dallas Cowboys’ social media accounts,” she said.
During the season, a typical week can be busy. Aman shoots practices and creates videos for the Cowboys’ Social Media Department. She also helps produce sponsored videos at different locations throughout Dallas.
Their work all leads up to promoting the big game on Sunday. If it is a home game, the department of six (including Aman) travels to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Aman said she typically shoots the game from the sidelines and hands footage off to one of the editors to quickly post to social media. Once the game ends, they start over working to create the best content they can leading up to the next game.
“One of the reasons I picked this career was that I am able to do something different each day, whether that be shooting practice, events, etc., and/or editing a video for social,” she said. “Having a career in sports is such a fast-paced environment, but it provides the opportunity to meet so many new people and experience so many new things.”
Aman said her time at Ole Miss Sports Productions prepared her for working in real-world situations in this field.
“I love being able to tell the story of the person underneath the jersey and below the lights,” she said. “It’s such a unique opportunity and a big privilege that most do not have, and I am grateful for it every day.”
Her advice to other professionals in the field is to take care of yourself mentally and physically.
“You don’t have many chances to catch a break during the season, but it’s important to take care of yourself so that you can continue to stay fresh and create the best content possible,” she said.
Another tip: appreciate each moment.
“I think a lot of people in this career field get so used to being so close to the action, that it can become very ‘normal,’” she said. “But each week and each game is an experience that so few people in the world get to have. We have the opportunity to change and inspire others through our work and on such a large stage as well. It’s important to never lose touch with that and to always stay focused.”
Aman said student journalists should stay focused and shouldn’t get discouraged.
“The sports media world can be quite intimidating,” she said. “But don’t lose sight of your goals and dreams for yourself. I would’ve never been where I am today if it wasn’t for believing in myself and pushing myself to meet the goals that I have.”
She also advises students to get out and shoot games at any level.
“It’s important to have experience and practically required to have a reel in addition to your resume,” she said. “In high school, I was able to shoot our football and basketball games. Through that, I used that experience and footage to help me get jobs at NewsWatch and Ole Miss Sports Productions.”
Debora Wenger, interim dean of the School of Journalism and New Media, agrees that it’s important to gain experience in your field while in college.
“One of the things about pre-professional programs like ours is that employers will expect you to already have had some experience doing journalism or creative work before you get hired,” she said. “Our Student Media Center and other experiential learning opportunities help you build the kind of portfolio that can really help you get that first job.”
Wenger said dozens of our students work or intern with UM Athletics every year.
“The students who love sports broadcasting, marketing and production get an incredible experience when they go to work for Athletics, and we offer many additional opportunities for students who are passionate about sports.”
Micah Ginn, associate athletics director of Sports Productions and Creative Services, said student workers from journalism and integrated marketing communications (IMC) have been an important part of what they do.
“We’ve had students plug in during their undergrad years and carry that over into graduate assistantships,” Ginn said. “We’ve also had students work here and use the experience to quickly land a job after graduation.
“We provide real-world opportunities for our student workers with the goal being that we are able to do more for our sports programs with the extra help, and the students develop skills that make them confident and ready to enter the workforce.”
Aman shot local football games for NewsWatch and continued to add to her reel, which allowed her to shoot larger events at Ole Miss Sports Production (OMSP).
“Through OMSP, I was on the sidelines shooting football games and shooting practice, which led me to the job I have today,” she said. “I’d tell students that they don’t always have to start at the top pro/collegiate level, but can start at the bottom with high school sports and work their way up. Don’t get discouraged and never lose focus on your dreams.”
For more information about our programs, visit https://jnm.olemiss.edu/Tags: best IMC programs, best journalism programs, best sports journalism programs, Dallas Cowboys, imc, journalism, Madison Aman, Mississippi, Oxford, University of Mississippi, University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media