Beverly Banks

Beverly Banks is a Junior in Journalism. 

Beverly Banks likes people.

From the numerous associations she is involved with, it's clear Banks has an interest in public service and communicating with other individuals.

“I really liked communication, always have,” Banks said.

The junior in journalism and electronic media is a native of Wheeling, West Virginia. Her father is from Elizabethton, Tennessee, and she said it influenced her decision to attend UT as an out-of-state student. When it was time to pick a major, though, Banks asked herself what she wanted to do with her life, and she knew she wanted to write, leading her to journalism.

Another decision that led Banks to her major is her belief that journalism is public service.

“Journalism and the things that we do, it’s a service,” Banks said. “We’re reporting the facts, and we’re telling the truths, and we’re telling other people’s story. And that’s one thing this college has really instilled in me. It’s not about me; I’m not the story. I may be covering it, but, at the end of the day, it’s about somebody else.”

Taking her love for public service even further, Banks recently interned with Republican Sen. Bob Corker at Capitol Hill this past summer, and she is currently interning with Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero’s office. Banks’s decision to apply for the internship with Sen. Corker was an impromptu one, and she said she didn't expect to be chosen.

While Banks was excited about the prospect of interning with Sen. Corker, though, she was also hesitant about the nature of politics at Capitol Hill.

“Going through the process, I learned so much about people … We think (politics) is very dehumanizing, but it’s not. My experiences there really were more about how they’re helping people across the country,” Banks said. “It isn’t as right versus left as you would think that it is … Compromise is possible. It’s much more possible than anyone thinks it is, and it just takes the time and effort to put in.”

Banks said her experiences in Washington, D.C., helped her when examining UT, and she has been able to utilize this learning experience for working on campus issues.

“It made me think about how we are on campus,” Banks said. “I don’t think it’s as difficult as we think it is to all come together … in a peaceful and civil way, having those conversations.”

As a current intern with the mayor’s office, she has seen both sides of government at the local and federal level. On a larger scale, Banks said these decisions have influenced her possible goal to run for a public office one day if she chooses to deviate from journalism.

Banks has also served in each branch of SGA, and recently announced her candidacy for SGA student body president.

“I love public service,” Banks said. “I grew up loving (to serve) the community … And so when I got to UT, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to be in student government.”

In addition to SGA branches, Banks has served in various leadership programs and campus media outlets, like Torchlight News.

But, like any other busy student, Banks also struggles to balance life and school.

“It’s just a continual process of picking and choosing what really is the priority,” Banks said.

While she has extensive work in her field, there was a time during her sophomore year when she considered changing her major. She cites help from professors, family and friends as a part of her decision to stay within the College of Communications and Information.

“It doesn’t have to be your set career path. I may not be a journalist, and that’s okay,” Banks said. “But, the skills that I’m getting from this major are going to help me in the long-run with whatever I choose to do. And having that realization was the best thing.”

Sam Swan, CCI Director of Internationalization and outreach professor, has taught Banks and shares her interest in broadcast journalism. He helped in her decision to remain in the college.

“She shows outstanding professional promise as a television news reporter and anchor,” Swan said.

Bank said her advice for other students looking to start a career in journalism or politics is to never give up, even when nothing seems to be working out, and to have a good support system.

“The challenges you face make you stronger, and they make you a better individual,” Banks said. “And, I would say, going into (journalism), it’s extremely competitive. You get turned down a lot, and you can’t let go if you really love this, if you’re really passionate about this. It’s the same way with politics … You're going to get let down. I’ve been there, but you have to push forward.”

At the end of the day, when Banks is feeling down, she remembers something her mother told her.

“(She) used to say this quote, and it gets me every time,” Banks said. “She would say, ‘Beverly Cathleen Banks, it’s a great life if you don’t weaken.’”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.