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Gaining Knowledge and Confidence: Emerging Leaders Profile on Shappelle Marshall


For the past 4 months, 11 students from three local universities, NC Central University, Shaw and St. Augustine's, have been interning in Capitol Broadcasting divisions through the second year of the Emerging Leaders Program. A partnership between CBC and Leadership Triangle, the program combines hands on learning in departments aligned to their interests along with workshops led by LT coaches. The program will culminate with a graduation ceremony on December 13. In the final weeks leading up to that conclusion, CapCom is profiling several of these outstanding students.

Shappelle Marshall is interning at WRAL Digital in the Sales department. She graduated from St. Augustine's University in May 2023, earning a degree in Communications with a concentration in Digital Journalism.

WRAL Digital Content Strategist Mandy Howard has been serving as her CBC mentor, focusing on training in the area of branded content.

Marshall was very excited to be selected for the program.

I was hesitant at first to apply as I was a recent graduate (May 2023) and unsure if I would qualify, but with encouragement from a friend I did, she explained. I applied to gain more experience working with Branded Content. I also wanted to network with professionals in the field.

Marshall's friend was right to advise her to take a chance in applying. Thankful to be chosen to participate, Marshall dove in and has taken advantage of the opportunity.

Working with Shappelle has been incredibly rewarding for me, said Howard. Not only does she bring light, intelligence, and expertise to her role, but through the role of mentoring, I've been able to see my position and my profession in new light. It's easy to get distracted or overwhelmed by the day-to-day, but when you are guiding someone who is curious and driven like Shappelle is, the focus becomes the goals and the outcomes of what we're working toward, which, for us, is creating great content that allows our clients to feel seen, appreciated and discovered.

Emerging Leaders Intern Shappelle Marshall (seated, back right) takes part in a Facts & Snacks at CBC's Western Blvd headquarters, painting pumpkins with some of the WRAL Digital team.

Marshall appreciates the chance to learn in many different arenas.

My favorite thing about the internship has been the opportunity to work on a variety of projects in different sections of WRAL Digital, she said. I accomplished several personal goals such as writing several articles for clients and working on ad content for social media.

Howard explained how she approached mentoring Marshall.

There are effectively three tiers of things we've discussed through the internship path, Howard told CapCom, The first, and at the most surface level, you've got the pragmatic and procedural practices of our work. The second is hopefully broadening out what we are doing here to consider a writing profession more holistically.

After encouragement from another mentor, I bought Shappelle a journal on the very first day she was here. I asked her to note things throughout her internship, like:

What are her personal goals?

What are things she enjoys about the job? What are things she'd like to avoid in future employment?

How does she handle stress?

What are time management practices she has found that work well for her.

WRAL Digital Content Strategist Mandy Howard The pair had conversations about ensuring she values her worth and her worth, explained Howard. We talked about how we need to value our own time and our own work if we expect others to do so. We also talked about how it's much better for me, as her employer' for her to take 15-minute breaks to walk around the garden occasionally and to want to stay, rather than to feel chained to her desk and get burned out. I told her that if she can begin good habits of balancing hard work and self-care now, she'll be worlds ahead.

Marshall is taking those lessons to heart.

I am learning how to work with clients and freelancers on meeting project deadlines while also ensuring needs are met she said. I am also learning how to be adaptable in the content I am writing.

Both mentor and mentee would recommend this program to others in the future.

I believe this program is important because it is an opportunity to learn valuable job skills, in an actual job setting, while still being formatted as a mentor/mentee relationship as opposed to a boss/employee, said Howard. This allows for real world experience with (I hope) less stress. I hope that this means we are helping to introduce professional, driven, balanced and motivated leaders into the world.

Marshall said, I would recommend this program as it has encouraged a lot of personal and professional growth. I am leaving this program with lots of knowledge and more confidence in my skills.

She has certainly made an impact on her mentor, during her time at WRAL Digital.

Shappelle has become a fully trusted member of the team who completes tasks and deadlines independently, concluded Howard. It has been an honor to be part of her journey here and I'm just so grateful she agreed to be part of our team. I hope to continue working with Shappelle in any capacity possible and I think CBCers should note the name because we're all going to be seeing a lot of bylines by Shappelle Marshall.

Emerging Leaders Intern (left) smiles with WRAL Digital's Patience Smith as they try to determine which of their colleagues' statements are a lie in a Two Truths and a Lie icebreaker activity.

Check out the previous Emerging Leaders Profiles:

Building Skills in the Newroom: Emerging Leaders Profiles on Nakya Carter and Kenya Dupree

Learning to Work to Your Strengths: Emerging Leaders Profile on Tillia Leary

Strengthening Skills: Emerging Leaders Profile on
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