Learning from the Best: Texas A&M’s Jada Walton

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My name is Jada Walton. I am in my second year at Texas A&M university studying Sports Management. I also play on the women’s basketball team. The moment I received word that Maria Taylor was coming to talk with the student athletes at Texas A&M, I knew this was something I could not miss. Knowing Maria’s background, her success and the influence she’s had in the sports industry for both male and female college athletes I knew this would be a great opportunity. I was excited to introduce myself and ask her some questions. She provided answers that that will guide me in the right direction for my future aspirations.

During the chalk talk, she explained how she got into her profession, the things it took for her to succeed and the people that guided her along the way. Initially Maria didn’t know that sports broadcasting would be her path, but ever since she started it became, and still remains her passion.

On Saturday, September 8th Maria Taylor allowed me the opportunity to shadow her for the entire day! It began in the morning on the set of ESPN’s College Game Day and continued that evening on the sideline of  the Texas A&M vs. Clemson football game. I learned so much from not only her, but also the people around her who I got to meet. Throughout the day I flooded her with questions. She willingly spoiled me with knowledge and information about her profession. This experience was one to remember and I am very thankful for Maria and her staff for making this happen.

I love sports and have aspirations of coaching basketball at the highest level possible. I would love to start off at the high school level specifically the one I attended in Decatur, Georgia (Southwest DeKalb High School), so I can encourage and teach young girls who are continuing the legacy. Now with a wider range of knowledge, I am open to other opportunities in the sports industry. I’d feel confident doing whatever is thrown my way in the future. Shadowing Maria was awesome for me because it opened my eyes to different aspects of sport broadcasting. One thing that stuck with me was when she said, “leaving a positive impact on people is huge. You want them to like you even more than they did before they met you.” Maria Taylor did just that.