In her final year at UT Arlington, Communication senior Shaunda Poster went from the small screen to the largest screen in the nation.
Poster, 24, began her broadcasting career working for UTA News and UTARadio.com. An internship opportunity from the Dallas Cowboys last fall enabled her and three classmates to report on players and create content for weekly radio and television shows. By the end of the season, Poster was a co-host on the pre-game show and her smiling face was appearing on the six-story video board in the center of Cowboys Stadium.
“It was everything I could imagine… and more,” Poster said about her internship experience. “It’s something I would want out of a first job. It was incredible. Any ideas I had, anything I wanted to try, anything they thought I could do. It was boom, boom, boom, let’s try it and do it.”
Poster, who will graduate Sunday, is no stranger to working alongside professional athletes or in a major league sports organization. For five years, she was a Six Shooter girl with the Texas Rangers. For one year, she was a member of the Dallas Maverick’s experimental cheerleading/spirit squad. When Matt Coy, an executive producer with the Cowboys, visited UT Arlington and talked with students about internship possibilities, Poster jumped at the chance to with the storied organization.
“I’ve been a die-hard Cowboys fan,” said the Arlington native. “I watched every Sunday with my dad. Then all of the sudden, you’re around these people every day. The experiences I got [were] so valuable to me.”
Poster credits her work at UT Arlington with preparing her for the Cowboys internship. At UTARadio.com, she was a promotions director and a station manager, organizing remotes and on-air content. For UTA News, the Department of Communication’s television show, she was a reporter and producer and said she learned to “work out the kinks and flaws.”
Dr. Andrew Clark, associate professor and head of the broadcast sequence, said Poster is a good example of how students are ready for a career after graduation.
“Our goal in the department is to prepare our students academically, and with the appropriate skills, so that they are ready to take advantage of opportunities that may come their way,” Clark said. “Shaunda is someone who was not only ready when the Cowboys internship became available, but she was willing to work hard and go beyond what they wanted to ensure that she had a successful internship and put herself in-line to be hired once the internship was finished. That’s all we can ask of our students.”
Poster said she has been busy this spring working with Cowboys staff, visiting the Valley Ranch facility, and contributing to off-season projects. She is hopeful the organization will hire her for a full-time position before the new season begins.
But even if the Cowboys don’t call, Poster said her experience at UT Arlington, as well as working with other sports team in North Texas, has given her the confidence to succeed.
“If I see something and think I could make a difference,” she said, “then I want to go for it.”
Catch Poster’s work in the Dec. 1 “Special Edition” report on dallascowboys.com.