by: Spencer Smith, PR student intern
Marc Rolph received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Broadcasting in 2003 from Mississippi State University.
Rolph grew up in Jackson, Miss., and now works as the executive director of communications and marketing at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
Daily responsibilities for Rolph include providing strategic leadership and oversight of the institution’s formal internal and external communication activities and promoting the institution through marketing efforts.
During Rolph’s time working at UMMC, he has worked as the director of public affairs and assistant director of integrated communications. Rolph also has experience working at other colleges and universities, including Mississippi State University and Millsaps College.
In his career, Rolph looks back on his internships that helped set him up for success.
“Through my internship with WJTV News in Jackson and several years as a student worker at the University Television Center, I gained hands-on experience that proved essential to preparing me to quickly advance in the early part of my career. That outside-of-class learning got me started on the right path and I don't think I could have been as successful as I've been had I not dedicated much of my time in college to expanding my skills and understanding of the industry in ways that just can't be learned in the classroom.”
Rolph shares that when preparing for the job search, students should lean into their personality.
“Certainly, be professional, but don't drift away from who you are for the sake of "fitting a mold" of what you think they want. It will come off as disingenuous and likely not work out long term if you happen to be selected for the position.”
Favorite memory as a communication student?
As a student worker with the Television Center, I was able to work on a number of exciting athletics projects. In 1996, the men's basketball team made it to the Final Four. When the team returned from their semifinal win, I was among the horde of people at the airport anxious to congratulate them, but I was working. A 20-pound Beta camera on my shoulder, I stood on top of anything I could in the airport lobby to get shots of the team walking through the Bulldogs fans. Ralph Olivieri, then TV Center director, was holding my belt loop the entire time so I didn't get swept up in the madness or walk off the edge of something onto which I had climbed. I can still see the sea of maroon that filled that airport and I remember I got some great shots, some of which ended up in the end-of-year highlight video I helped edit. Maybe nothing I've ever done in my entire career can match that atmosphere. This was a great experience and a dynamic learning opportunity.
Favorite communication class you took and why?
I loved my Comm Law class with Dr. Mark Goodman. It was a pretty sizable deviation from the type of work I was doing in other communication classes, which I appreciated, but it was also great to better understand the statutory reasons we are able to employ - or prohibited from doing - many communications and marketing tactics.
Any funny stories from your time in McComas?
I kind of took an extended path to getting my degree, so I was a comm student longer than most. (Probably best to not go into those details in this forum. 😊) But for some reason I NEVER fully got my bearing in that building. After many years of classes there, I always felt like I would end up somewhere I'd never seen before and certainly not where I intended. (I'm sure Hank Flick, my advisor and favorite arena announcer ever, would say it's because I'd have to actually show up for a class regularly to remember what room it's in.)
Favorite communication professor and why?
Dr. Alex Brown. He was the first to challenge me when I didn't put my full abilities into a project. He knew what I was capable of and when he felt I didn't go all-in on something, he'd call me out on it.
What are you passionate about?
My family. Big time. Professionally, my passion is in making sure more Mississippians know about the amazing work being done at UMMC, and how it's "All For Your Health". (Also, I like golf. But not sure it likes me.)