Jerald Butler - Alumni Profile
Fall 2016 | By Nicole Watson
Out of the box thinking, imaginative, groundbreaking, and original; these are the characteristics of someone who is creative. And when you combine creativity and innovation - this not only can foster individual success, but also help that individual become a meaningful contributor to an organization or company.
Clayton State University has helped foster and nurture creativity among its students through over 50 student organizations and annual programming opportunities.
The students that join these groups ultimately fuse academia into their post-grad lives and they go on to become enriched alumni, transitioning their creative processes into the workforce.
Jerald Butler, a 2014 Clayton State graduate and proud Laker shares, “My creativity has taken me pretty far career-wise. It started off with graphic design, and eventually, blossomed into video production. The further I delved into the latter of the two; I began to find myself on the technical (broadcasting) side of media. Currently, I am in the corporate arena helping my company develop creative methods of engaging audiences through digital media,” says Butler.
Butler currently works as a Digital Content Engagement Specialist for Cox Media Group (CMG), a division of Cox Media Enterprises. CMG is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The company’s operations currently include 14 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 59 radio stations, seven daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services.
"Pursuing something that I was passionate about was a top priority.”
While attending Clayton State University, Butler majored in Communications and Media Studies at Clayton State’s College of Arts and Sciences and was a part of a “budding” student organization, Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), and nationally and internationally recognized organization, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Post-graduation, he made a conscious decision to give back his time and talent to a “budding” alumni organization, the Young Alumni Council.
“Clayton State, granted me the opportunity to be a part of budding organizations. Joining organizations at their earliest stages challenged me to create branding, develop innovative methods of leadership, and to deliver programming that had never been experienced by the student body. In most cases we had no true ‘blueprint’ for how things should be done, so we had to put our talents to use,” says Jerald Butler.
Newly minted and talented alumni with broad skill sets are usually challenged to pinpoint their passions and then utilize their talents and education to translate it into a lifelong career.
Butler says, “Having a pretty broad spectrum of skills, I had to identify those avenues in which I had the most interest in. I knew that regardless of how much money I could potentially make in a given field, pursuing something that I was passionate about was a top priority.”
Whether professionally or in our everyday lives, individuals express creativity not only through their profession but their individual style.
“I believe in simplicity. There’s always a way of expressing an emotion, message or thought through creation by using the bare minimum...
A lot of my recent work, graphics and videos, fall under that same standard. As it pertains to my fashion sense, it is truly a reflection of my style of art,” says Butler.
When asked, what were some of his other skills he developed during his time at Clayton State and that have been most beneficial in his current role he says, “When I think about my other attributes that have proven to be valuable in my career; there are quite a few. Particularly the two that I’ve found the most useful is my ability to produce effective written content and working well with consumers or clients. In this digital age, you must be able to provide clear and concise written communication. And lastly, you simply cannot avoid people. You must know how to confront, resolve, and learn from conflict with others.”