For one School of Media and Communication senior, Thursday’s graduation ceremony may not be the biggest moment of the week.
Just three days later, Shaniece Cole, a media studies and production major, will appear on stage at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas next to Cee Lo Green to present the Milestone Award, a new award that is voted on by fans, to either Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift or Bruno Mars.
If that weren’t enough, Cole heads to Los Angeles on Wednesday to start her new job as a communications assistant at VH1.
“I am very excited for what is to come and I thank God for blessing me with these opportunities and the knowledge that I gained at Temple,” Cole says.
The Billboard contest required Cole to write an essay about her passion for media and why she would be a good representative for Billboard. She sent along her resume, a photo and some reporting reels.
“Two months later, I received an email saying I am one of five finalists for this contest,” she remembers. “I was so shocked, yet honored I made it this far, considering there were thousands of submissions.”
Each finalist did a Skype interview with Billboard officials and the awards show producers.
“Before we began my Skype interview, they said that out of all the applications, mine stood out the most,” Cole says.
After another week (just one week before graduation) she was notified that she had won the contest.
“Best graduation gift ever,” Cole says.
She and her twin sister, who is studying media at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will receive VIP tickets to the ceremony, pre-party and after-party, as well as hotel accommodations.
“I am super-excited to present with Cee Lo and he seems like a fun person to be around,” Cole says. “I started on the stage with dance and even though I might be nervous right before I go on, once I get on the stage, I will feel right at home.”
The Billboard Music Awards air Sunday, May 19, at 8 p.m. on ABC.