Aniekan Okon ’23

Majors: Journalism and Sports Media
Minor: Communication Studies
Hometown: Providence, RI

Q: What are you doing after graduation?
As of right now, I have no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going. I’m still in the process of figuring that out.


Q: Describe the process of getting a job.
I’m not sure “hard” is the right word to describe it. It’s interesting how you can almost feel like you’ve done everything you could over the last four years to put yourself forward as the best candidate, and it doesn’t work out as quickly as you’d like it to. It’s all about patience at this point. I know the best situation is out there for me, and it’s only a matter of time before it comes. 


Q: How has Harrington prepared you for your plans?
The Harrington School positioned me so that I could take advantage of opportunities like working at the Good Five Cent Cigar, interning with ABC6 in Providence, working with the athletic department and interning and working for WPRI-12. Without these experiences, I wouldn’t be the journalist that I am today and certainly wouldn’t have collected the experiences that I have.


Q: What are you most proud of from your time at URI?
I think the work I was able to put together this winter covering both the men’s and women’s basketball teams for was something I am most proud of. Following in the footsteps of Niki Lattarulo and Kate Rogerson, I knew I always wanted to finish my URI career being the beat reporter for URI Athletics. Covering 39 games in five states and numerous media availabilities over a four-month period was a grind, but it’s something I’ll never regret. It gave me a real sense of what it takes to be a sports reporter, and it culminated with watching the women’s basketball team win their first-ever conference regular season championship and make their deepest postseason run in program history. I’ve also enjoyed working with the various members of student and local media. They are some of the hardest-working and friendliest people I’ve ever met, and they’ve pushed me so much over the last four years. 


Q: What is your favorite Harrington memory?
My favorite Harrington memory is honestly working at Welcome Days. It brings me back to the very reason why I decided to come to URI and gives me a chance to let prospective students know that they can achieve their dreams here. Plus, I get to show people all the cool stuff I get to take advantage of here (the Broadcast Studio, the MEC, etc.). 


Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Yeah, I have a couple of things. The majority of my college experience has been related to sports, and it’s only fair to relate the journey back to it. College is in every way, shape and form a marathon, not a sprint. You’re going to have personal struggles, achieve professional and personal success and gain and lose people along the way. It may even take you longer than the “traditional” four years to complete it, but the growth and exposure to various types of people, cultures and ways of thinking is second to none. Embrace the journey, work hard, and treat people well. It’s crazy to think about what you can achieve and how much better it can be than what you ever envisioned. I would’ve never imagined working for the station that I watched with my parents growing up before I graduated college. 

Second, don’t let anyone tell you what you’re capable of achieving. I think the biggest reason why I was able to do what I was able to do at URI was because of the unwavering belief in myself and in what I wanted to achieve. I’ve had plenty of people tell me that my dreams were “unrealistic,” “you won’t make enough money,” or the “odds are against you. You’re better off doing something else where there’ll be more opportunities for you.” Their opinion doesn’t matter. I wish someone told me that when I first stepped on campus.