BUSINESS

UM’s first grad with journalism and IMC degrees shares career journey

Savannah Woods, right, is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. She is pictured holding an award.
Savannah Woods, right, is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. She is pictured holding an award.

Sims Bryan
Oxford Stories
csbryan@go.olemiss.edu

It is often said that even after you graduate from Ole Miss, Oxford will still be home. University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate Savannah Woods knows not everyone is as fortunate as she was growing up going to the Grove and experiencing Oxford on most game days. 

Her father was heavily involved in the UM football program, where he served as a graduate assistant under Tommy Tuberville in the 1990s. Being a lifelong Ole Miss fan influenced her decision to attend college. 

“Growing up in the Grove shaped me as a college student, as an adult, and as an alumni of The University of Mississippi,” she said. “If it wasn’t for that, who knows where I would’ve ended up for school or what I would’ve ended up doing when picking colleges. I chose Ole Miss not only because of the special childhood memories, but also, Ole Miss is just an exceptional place. There is just a special sense of home in Oxford, and most people who are at Ole Miss currently or are alumni will tell you the same thing.”

Woods grew up in Arkansas, but frequently returned to Oxford and Ole Miss. From the beginning of her time at Cabot High School in Arkansas, Ole Miss had always been her top university choice. Throughout high school, she was on the forensics team, a public speech debate program. She competed against students throughout Arkansas and knew she wanted to do something that involved public speaking. Woods is passionate about people and the power of storytelling. This is one reason she decided to study broadcast journalism and integrated marketing communications.

“Whether it be in journalism, marketing, or sales, we have the ability, not only to persuade, but also influence the people that we are working with,” Woods said. “That was something that I knew early on that I was good at and passionate about. It was a no-brainer to pick the School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss with what they had to offer me.” 

Woods graduated from Ole Miss with a double major. She was the first to graduate with both a degree in journalism and IMC. She graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in IMC degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism. 

Savannah Woods is the first student to graduate from the School of Journalism and New Media with degrees in journalism and integrated marketing communications.
Savannah Woods is the first student to graduate from the School of Journalism and New Media with degrees in journalism and integrated marketing communications.

Woods said the IMC campaigns class and any class that Professor Mark Dolan taught were her favorite classes at Ole Miss. 

“If I could go back to college, I would take every class that Mark Dolan teaches again,” Woods said.

She also won the Excellence in IMC Award her senior year at Ole Miss. This award is voted on by faculty and presented with a plaque at a hosted dinner for School of Journalism and New Media graduates annually.  

“It was amazing to know your professors are the ones who voted on you for that award,” she said. “I will always remember and cherish the memories made in Farley Hall. There are many good people that I can reflect on when thinking of the UM School Journalism and New Media that have helped shape me into who I am today.” 

Today, Woods resides in Nashville, where she works part-time as a social media strategist for “The Girl Who Wore Freedom,” a World War II documentary film. She did an internship with this film while in college at Ole Miss and remained in contact with the director throughout college. 

Woods manages social media accounts, runs campaigns, partners with people through the North American distribution process, and sends out press releases for the film. “The Girl Who Wore Freedom” film is on Delta Airlines’ domestic and international flights today. 

Woods also works full-time as the account manager for the staffing company Insight Global, where she services the Nashville and Knoxville markets. She is responsible for developing client relationships and bringing in open positions. Her business partner, Mary Leonard, helps Woods fill those open positions. Woods has worked for Insight Global for two years and has had a partnership with Leonard for around five months. Some of her clients are Tractor Supply, Springbuk, Sysco, and Bridgestone America. 

Leonard described Woods as an organized, hard worker. 

“Savannah is blunt in a good way,” she said. “She has an extreme sense of urgency, and nothing is ever a waiting game to get things done with her. She knows the process of how to close and knows how to get managers to respond to her quickly. She is one of the only partnerships I have had who knows how to share responsibilities equally.” 

Woods plans to continue running social media for the film and director, who has a few other films in the pitch phase. And she will continue her career in sales. 

“Sales have so many positive aspects, but in sales, high risk is high reward,” she said.  

Woods still uses aspects of her IMC and journalism degree from Ole Miss daily. 

“My future goal is to make a lot of money and retire early,” she said.


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