BUSINESS

Memphis area native discovers passion for social media at the University of Mississippi

Chloe Baker on the job at Ole Miss vs. Tennessee football game. She stands in front of the field. Submitted photo.
Chloe Baker on the job at Ole Miss vs. Tennessee football game. Submitted photo.

Jena Stallings
Oxford Stories
jlstalli@go.olemiss.edu

When Memphis native Chloe Baker became a social media ambassador for the Ole Miss band, she discovered her niche.

“It just kind of dawned on me one day that I could do this as a job,” she said.

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media 2021 graduate will soon be pursing her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications at UM.

Baker, 22, an Olive Branch native, graduated from the university with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and an emphasis in social media.

Arriving at UM, Baker declared her major in journalism, minor in religious studies, and an emphasis in broadcasting. She was determined to be Erin Andrews, a professional sideline reporter and sportscaster, but later changed her emphasis from broadcasting to social media.

Chloe Baker submitted photo.
Chloe Baker. Submitted photo.

Baker still does social media work for the Ole Miss Band and works for a company called Total Production Services that is contracted through the SEC Network and ESPN to broadcast Ole Miss games for every sport.

She also does social media work for Rebel Chefs, a business created by a chef who works for some Greek houses at UM that will soon begin catering.

Baker said she would like to run social media and marking for a big corporation or sports team, like the Memphis Grizzlies. Social media and IMC are important to her and modern life, she said.

“Especially now, you, and your brand, and the image is the most important thing,” said Baker, describing the importance of her future career. “And now the main way that’s being consumed is through social media. IMC puts all those things together. Social media is the way that people are getting their information now.”

One of the last classes she took before graduating was IMC 205 Writing for Integrated Marketing Communications. Professor Michael Tonos taught her how to apply that knowledge in real life situations. He also encouraged Baker to attend graduate school because of her strong performance in his class.

“These days, I encourage most of my students to get a master’s degree as soon as possible after graduating, especially in today’s market,” he said. “I think the advanced degree opens doors to more opportunities, even if it doesn’t mean you make a lot more money in your first job.”

Tonos said Baker showed exceptional talent as a writer in his IMC writing class.

Farley Hall featuring it's school name of "School of Journalism and New Media." Photo by Jena Stallings
Farley Hall, on the University of Mississippi campus, houses the journalism and IMC programs. Photo by Jena Stallings.

“But that wasn’t her only strength,” he said. “She has diverse interests, is a quick study and wants to keep improving. Not to mention that some of our musical tastes overlap.”

Baker said she has made many connections in college to help her reach her goals. She is nervous and has doubts about her future, but is also excited.

“The School of Journalism gave me the tools to do whatever and explore all of the different avenues,” she said.

Baker was initially leaning toward attending the University of Memphis, but she fell in love with Oxford after visiting the town to play high school soccer. After touring, the campus felt like home, and she was drawn to the journalism program.

Her advice to students is to be open-minded and flexible with your options. She came to school determined to pursue one career, but found her true passion in another. She said don’t rush, give yourself time.

Baker, who is the fourth of five children, also has a passion for music, and her record collection is her “prized possession.” If she’s not working, listening to music, watching sports, or painting, she is watching her favorite TV show “Criminal Minds.”

Note: Baker is also a former Oxford Stories reporter.

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