Unity in Communications program kicks off semester with meet and greet

Kari Taylor ’09, Elon University’s deputy chief of staff, spoke to students during a Sept. 15 online meeting about her experience as a woman of color in the television and film industries.

The Unity in Communications program held its first virtual event of the semester, introducing students to Elon alumna Kari Taylor ’09, who serves as her alma mater’s deputy chief of staff.

The Unity in Communications program held its first virtual event of the semester on Sept. 15 and welcomed Deputy Chief of Staff Kari Taylor ’09 (bottom left).

During her informal conversation with students, Taylor, who graduated with a degree in communications, said she never imagined herself in entertainment television when she entered college. She initially studied broadcast journalism, but quickly realized she did not enjoy being on camera. While listening to students at the event introduce themselves – and what they wanted to do in communications – Taylor said she was reminded of her own goals, and how much they had changed.

“You’re able to change as you go,” Taylor told her online audience. “It will definitely change and evolve, what your idea of what you want to do.”

During her career, Taylor worked at several talent agencies, including the Creative Arts Agency (CAA) and Discovery Communications. Additionally, she served as the development producer at Authentic Entertainment and director of development at Red Bandit Media, a production company focused on unscripted programming.

Taylor told students that one of her No. 1 pieces of advice is to find a temp agency and land short-time positions, especially for students looking for internships and jobs during the pandemic. Taylor started in a temporary position at CAA, which eventually led to full-time employment with the agency.

Launched in 2018, the Unity in Communications program is an initiative designed to support students interested in enhancing diversity and inclusion within communications and sports management industries.

This semester Genevieve Barnes, program assistant in the School of Communications, was named the program’s adviser. She said that she wants the program to remain a safe space for students of minority identities to discuss communications. Additionally, Barnes wants to continue to invite high-profile professionals in sport management and communications to speak to students.

“I want it to be an open space for students to feel that they can speak about whatever issues that they have, but also gain professional skills and learn how to network,” Barnes said.