With a week left to the grand finale of the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) spring semester, mass communication major Victoria Cooper-Thompson has already achieved her goal of becoming a news reporter before earning her degree.
Cooper-Thompson, who transferred to NCCU in 2021 as a first-semester junior, works as a multimedia journalist/reporter at the Memphis-based WMC Action News 5 station.
“Upon enrolling into NCCU, I only wanted to get my degree and become a reporter,” she said. “I didn’t give much thought to how I should prepare myself for post-graduation.”
It was Brett Chambers, mass communication lecturer, who inspired her to think deeply about her future.
“He challenged me to think about internships and doing more than schoolwork,” Cooper-Thompson noted. “School is more than ‘10:40 Breaks.’ Companies want to know what you did before your degree; do you have a solid resume or [video] reel you can submit?”
Along with her three-year-old daughter and husband, Chambers provided the motivation she needed to stay focused and build a concrete portfolio.
During her matriculation at NCCU, Cooper-Thompson completed an internship with the Duke-NCCU Internship Program; participated in the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) where she served as president of the student chapter for two years; and was initiated into the Alpha Chi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Simultaneously, she secured an associate producer position with Raleigh’s WRAL news station.
She credits NCCU’s welcoming atmosphere for helping create a clear pathway to her dream and will always remain glad that she gave the university a chance.
“I am from Seattle, Washington, and didn’t know a lot about HBCUs,” said Cooper-Thompson. “However, I found NCCU to be more of a home than my actual home. Everyone had the same mindset. This was it for me.”
Her advice for future Eagles?
“Give NCCU an honest and open chance. While HBCUs have not always been as popular as they are now, the current hype is worth it.”