Dec. 9, 2009
People often speak of defining experiences in college that influence the paths they choose to follow. For Emerson Davis, a former University of Miami swimmer, her college experiences shaped the way in which she followed her post-graduation path.
Davis, a former president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), was captain of the Women's Swimming team in her senior year and graduated from Miami in 2008 after studying motion pictures and English. She now works for Dolphin Entertainment, a production and Internet technology company based in Miami.
Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Davis joined SAAC in the second semester of her sophomore year and served as the school representative to the ACC SAAC meeting in her junior year. Davis was elected president in her senior year and worked with the other student-athletes to serve the community of Miami.
"We went to Tucker [Elementary School] and read to the kids," Davis said.
As president, she arranged for SAAC to work with the elementary school children to make Christmas treats and organized a team of athletes to clean up a park in nearby Hialeah.
Davis' experiences as president of SAAC and as captain of the swim team set her up for her career.
"Being a part of a Division I sports team and a part of SAAC helped me tremendously in transitioning to a work environment," she said. "Both require a lot of dedication and commitment and it was ideal training for the work world."
Davis found commitment a key part of collegiate athletics and has translated that commitment into her current job.
"Being a student-athlete helps tremendously, and [being captain] helps you mature in a way because you need to be an example for everyone else," she said.
Davis loved the atmosphere of competitive swimming. "I loved practicing with my teammates and I loved the spirit of our team," she said.
"Teamwork is a huge thing," she said, which helps her stay committed in the entertainment industry.
"We're a small company, so each of us has a bunch of jobs that we do," Davis said of Dolphin, where she first started working as an intern in 2007 before she was officially hired after graduation.
Initially, Davis worked with Internet productions to develop a system of Internet safety for kids on social networking sites. Parents can subscribe to the system and decide which sites their children can access.
"It's a way for parents to keep kids from talking to other people," she said.
More recently, Davis worked with the International Sales and Marketing team in organizing delivery of content to other countries.
Dolphin, which owns the rights to the Nickelodeon show Zoey 101, among others, sells the show to different networks in places like the United Arab Emirates. Davis worked to provide the master tapes so other countries can air episodes of the shows.
Davis has always wanted to work in the entertainment industry.
"I think I would still like to see what it's like to work on a film set," she said. She would like to stay in the industry and learn more about the production aspect of film.
As Davis moves forward with her career, she still holds onto her time as a student-athlete.
"It's definitely a transition from being an athlete to being in an office all day," she said.
However, she found that the skills she gained from leading both SAAC and the swim team contributed to the relationships she has built at her job.
"Dolphin's like a little family," she said, asserting that being committed is hugely important in the entertainment industry.
"It requires lots of hours, and you just have to go with the flow."