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Communication powerhouse: Roommates build relationships, resumes at Auburn


Between the four of them, School of Communication and Journalism seniors Weston Ball, Colin Beyersdorf, Zach Card and Tate Youngblood share one apartment, dozens of involvement responsibilities and hundreds of Auburn memories.

For four years, the roommates have excelled in extracurricular activities, from holding leadership positions in The Oaks Agency and Eagle Eye TV to landing public relations internships and collegiate television award nominations.

Nearing the end of their Auburn journey, the four agree that interpersonal relationships and involvement opportunities made their experience a special one.

Foundations of an Auburn Family

Beyersdorf and Youngblood were first friends in elementary school in Madison, Alabama, then reconnected through a virtual film class at Auburn. Card and Ball joined the group later, and everyone clicked because of their shared drive to succeed.

“Everyone has their own individual talents, everyone has their own individual personality, and that’s just changed so much of how I live life in my day-to-day,” Youngblood said. “Everybody supports each other. It was never like I woke up and thought, ‘I’ve got to be better than them today,’ but I definitely think it’s pushed me to want to accomplish more, want to be better in what I do.”

During the two years they’ve shared an apartment, the Auburn men traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway together, logged hours of reality television and raised a fish named Chrysanthemum, all while building their resumes.



“From the start of sophomore year, I knew that these guys were my best friends here and I wanted to live with them,” Ball said. “It’s been a lot of fun to share in that friendship and share our Auburn experience together. These guys have really shown that they care about what they do and where they’re going to go in life. It’s cool to care about that, it’s cool to have that drive, have goals and work hard to achieve those goals. It’s rubbed off on me for sure.”

Building blocks of involvement

Public relations seniors Ball and Youngblood were instrumental in building up The Oaks Agency, Auburn’s student-run PR firm. Under Ball’s leadership as firm director, the agency received national recognition from PRSSA and helped several real-world clients execute PR campaigns.

“Through the Oaks Agency, I have gained so much confidence in my leadership abilities, my writing ability and even my ability in graphic design, which is something that I never thought I’d do,” Ball said. “It really is neat to have an opportunity to work with a real-world client while you’re still in school, still learning these skills and build the confidence to do those things once you graduate. I don’t think I could have done that anywhere else but here.”

Youngblood served as the digital media chair of The Oaks Agency, leading the effort to redesign the agency’s website. He also works at the Adobe Help Desk and TRINDGROUP, an industry-focused agency in Auburn, where he supported a variety of professional projects.

“I don’t think I could have ever gotten as much experience by doing anything else, whether that’s Adobe things I’ve learned at the Help Desk, writing, being a photographer, being a web designer, being a graphics person and everything I’ve learned in my internship,” Youngblood said. “I just feel like that’s so unique to Auburn, you have that much freedom and there’s that much you can do outside of class.”



Card and Beyersdorf are majoring in journalism-sports production. Card serves as station manager at Eagle Eye TV, Auburn’s student-run television station, and works as a freelance videographer for WTVM in Columbus covering high school football.

Through Eagle Eye TV, Card’s covered the Birmingham Bowl, March Madness and worked alongside sports journalism’s biggest names.

“At Auburn, sports is a huge market,” Card said. “They give us a lot of resources through communications with athletics to be a part of that and practice those professional skills while you’re still in school. Going to those big-time events and being around the big names that you see on TV, being in the same rooms and shaking hands with all those people, it’s something that you never really expect to happen until it happens. It’s like, ‘Whoa, I’m realizing my dreams right now.’”

Beyersdorf works with Card at Eagle Eye TV as the director of sports production. He also serves as a technical director for War Eagle Productions, which covers Auburn sports for everything from the videoboard in Jordan-Hare Stadium to ESPN. Beyersdorf chose Auburn because it was one of the few colleges that offered a sports production track, and said it exceeded his expectations.

“I’ll never forget the Texas A&M football game last year; being on the field for that was crazy. You could feel the actual ground shake,” Beyersdorf said. “I also have really enjoyed just being able to grow in that facet and be able to see my growth from when I started, which wasn’t great, but I’ve been able to get better and better at my craft, which has been important to me.”

Decorated records

Thanks to their hard work at Eagle Eye TV, Card and Beyersdorf were nominated for a College Television Award, hosted by the organization behind the Emmys, for the flagship sports show “Sports Night in Auburn.”

Both Card and Beyersdorf have been head producers for the show, and were invited to the awards ceremony in Los Angeles to celebrate excellence in collegiate production.

“It was just a crazy experience, one that I never really thought would happen, being nominated for something as big as a television award,” Card said. “Walking the red carpet was surreal. Honestly, I forget about it sometimes because I wonder if it really happened.”



After Ball graduates, he will begin his career as an executive communications specialist at Boeing. Ball was offered the job after an internship at Boeing this summer, where he applied all the professional and personal skills he’s learned at Auburn.

“Boeing is such a big company, it’s easy to feel a little intimidated by it,” Ball said. “Using the confidence and foundational skills that I’ve been taught through my curriculum and those interpersonal skills that my involvement endeavors have taught me, I think I’ll be able to come in and make a name for myself, but also hold my own with the pros. I look forward to working my way up and trying to shoot for the stars.”

All the roommates look forward to more free time in their last semester and to enjoying their last few months as Auburn students. Still, Youngblood said getting to know more people and opportunities at Auburn will most likely lead to more ways to get involved before graduation.

“The interpersonal relationships at Auburn feel very individual, and I feel like that would’ve been hard to achieve even at other smaller schools. In communication and journalism, and in Auburn throughout, advisors care about you, teachers care about you and the students care about you,” Youngblood said. “Get involved, look around and see what’s offered. I promise there’s the right thing for you on campus.”

Learn more about the School of Communication & Journalism at the College of Liberal Arts website.

Tags: Students Communication and Journalism

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