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Drake Hills (MSJ19)

Sports Reporter at The Tennessean

Drake Hills

From London to Nashville, from the NFL to youth soccer, nothing makes Drake Hills (MSJ19) as excited as sports journalism. He’s spent years on the field and in the newsroom writing game recaps, athlete profiles and stories about sports’ effects on communities. Now, he covers soccer for The Tennessean, Nashville’s newspaper.

Hills said Medill not only provided him with tangible experience and connections to advance his career, but also with qualities that support his passion for reporting.

What are your main responsibilities as a sports reporter at the The Tennessean?

My primary responsibility writing for The Tennessean is to document and profile all events and news pertaining to Nashville SC of Major League Soccer, as well as collegiate and high school soccer.

How has your Medill training helped you in your career so far?

Medill supported the three pillars on which I stand to this day: confidence, character and connections. The Master of Science in Journalism program provided me the tools to bolster my journalistic character and identity through lectures from Medill’s top faculty. The Medill Explores program in London in February 2019 gave me the assurance and confidence that I needed to cover soccer on any level. The combination of in-class and freelance work in the field covering Chicago Fire FC and the Chicago Red Stars placed me on a platform to connect with some of Chicago great sports writers.

How did the Medill network help you with your job search?

The Medill network and National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) equally led me to maneuvering through one of the most competitive job markets in the U.S. Both did so through the numerous networking socials, conferences and conventions. My role with The Tennessean is a product of my connections within the Medill network and NABJ.

What advice do you have for someone considering Medill?

The best advice I can offer to prospective Medill students is that you must not lose sight of building your brand, finding your niche and maneuvering through the program with a purpose. Success comes to those that set the tone in their first quarter and not the second or third. They apply their brand to every assignment, story and project. In conclusion, success comes to those who stay ready for their opportunity.

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