Ohio University

On the Job

Alumnus Spotlight - Alex Malcolm, BSC '18

First Name
Erin
Last Name
Roberts
July 6, 2020
Alex Malcolm, BSC '18, is Senior Coordinator of Music Clearance at Warner Music Group in Los Angeles, Calif.

Hometown: North Canton, Ohio

Year Graduated: 2018

School: School of Media Arts & Studies

Major: Integrated Media

Current job title and location: Senior Coordinator, Music Clearance at Warner Music Group

What do you do? We work with productions and music supervisors within film, TV, video games and promos/trailers to ensure they have the proper clearance from the labels and artists to use our music in their projects. We are the direct contact for all of Warner Music Groups labels. This includes Atlantic, Warner Records, Rhino and others.

What made you come to Ohio University? Were there other places you considered? I was looking at art and design schools, but, ultimately, I fell in love with Ohio University after my visit. I was greeted by the amazing energy and smile of Roger Cooper, and my family and I were immediately sold. In the meeting, he discussed how he was establishing the OHIO-in-LA program, and, from that point on, it was my goal to set myself up to be accepted into the program. I was part of the 2017 summer group, and it is the reason I am in Los Angeles today.

How did the Scripps College of Communication equip you with the skills you needed to succeed? I tried to get involved in as much as possible within my areas of interest. As I mentioned previously, I was part of OHIO-in-LA program, but I also did SXSW in the spring of 2017. I feel these programs are must-do's for anyone in the school. Each of them are so much more than just study programs. They give you a pretty clear vision for how the industry works and what to expect once you leave Ohio University. Beyond that, the most important thing is building relationships with fellow students and the faculty. I still talk to almost everyone that attended these programs with me, and it is amazing to see where everyone has ended up.

What about your experiences here was so memorable? My two favorite organizations that I was a part of were Brick City Records and the Alpha Phi Omega-Community Service Fraternity. I held executive positions in both of these, and that really helped me excel with my leadership skills and collaborating with others.

Brick City Records was hands-down the most pivotal on-campus activity I did. I was the Marketing/Promotions Director for the first year that it was a capstone class. This put me out of my comfort zone from Day 1, forcing me to learn a lot of video/photo editing that helped shape the labels brand. Everyone thought "Oh man, you're really good at all of this!"... but the truth was I was doing it all for the first time… haha.  

To this day, I still work and communicate with the students who were in Brick City with me. The only difference is now we are working for places like Warner Music or helping Young The Giant on tour!  (P.S. Big shout out to Josh Antonuccio!)

Tell us about your career path. Prior to graduation, I had accepted a paid internship with Warner Chappell Music in Los Angeles. I moved out of Athens, back to my home in North Canton, and then packed my car for the drive across the country. I was in LA near the end of May, and started at Warner Chappell in June.

My summer internship was coming to an end, when I noticed Warner Chappell had posted an opening in our department, and I was being groomed to fit into the new coordinator role. So, the following week, after the internship ended, I secured a full-time job in the Warner Chappell Sync Department.

Fast forward a year, and I am now a Senior Coordinator for the newly formed Sync Team at Warner Music Group. We work hand-in-hand with all of the labels and artists that are under the Warner Music umbrella.

What advice do you have for current students? My advice is to be involved on campus as much as you can, and really do your research on where you would like to end up after your time at Ohio University. While your career can (and will) be unpredictable, it is nice to view the paths of others in the industry to see how they got to where they are today.

I hated hearing people say stuff like, "anything is possible if you put your mind to it"... but, I will have to admit, it's actually true.

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Alex Malcolm, BSC '18, is Senior Coordinator of Music Clearance at Warner Music Group in Los Angeles, Calif.

Alumna Spotlight - Angela Krile, BSJ '97

First Name
Erin
Last Name
Roberts
July 6, 2020
Angela Krile, BSJ '97, is the president and CEO of Krile Communications. 

Hometown: Sugar Grove, Ohio

Year Graduated: 1997

School: E.W. Scripps School of Journalism

 Major: Public Relations with specializations in political science and sports management

Current job title and location: President & CEO, Krile Communications

What do you do? We are a full-service strategic communications agency. We harness our creativity to tell our clients’ stories. We are grounded in one key goal: to build a stronger community and make the world a better place through our work, whether we are helping to build understanding around complex issues, raise awareness of critical challenges, or generate jobs and economic prosperity by supporting local businesses. We have a wide range of clients, from local non-profits like the Fairfield County Foundation to the internationally touring Cirque du Soleil.  

Tell us about your career path. I cannot stress the importance of internships. My internships were what led me to my first and second jobs. I had hoped to work for the company I interned with, but instead, my supervisor was the one who connected me to people who were in a position to hire. My first job, which I started the Monday after graduating from OHIO was a bit of a nightmare. (A bit of advice: Don’t do that! Take a week or more off!) It was a two-person staff for a local arm of a national non-profit. The day I started, the executive director put in his two weeks’ notice, so I was basically running a non-profit three weeks out of school with no clue what I was doing. 

Fortunately, one call to my internship supervisor and she connected me with Cochran Group, a public relations and public affairs firm in Columbus. I was hired, and I was there for nearly 14 years. It was an amazing experience with some of the smartest professionals I have ever known. I have always said one year at Cochran is like five years somewhere else. We did complicated, complex work on issues like health care, tort reform, business regulations, education and more. If it was happening at the Statehouse, chances were, we were involved. 

Then, nearly 10 years ago, some changes happened there, the stars aligned in a strange way for me…and with two babies at home, a recession happening all around us, but a husband and family who had no doubts, I started Krile Communications. I continued working on complex issues, but also wanted to work with local, smaller organizations and businesses who couldn’t necessarily afford to work with larger firms. 

We started with three clients in the front room of our house in 2010. Today, we have a great mix of more than 50 local, statewide and national clients that allow us to make a difference in our community while also impacting issues at the state and global levels. We have a team of five core employees: my mom, dad and husband who help out keeping the office operations running and a group of four freelancers to supplement our team. My office is less than five minutes from my house, too, which is a wonderful bonus after driving an hour every day for work for more than a decade!

What made you come to Ohio University? Were there other places you considered? Well, I thought I wanted to write novels. But I had an English teacher in high school who said “Angela, you’re a good writer, but you’re not amazing. And I know you love writing, but you need to look at public relations. You’re ALREADY amazing at that.” So I did. When I was trying to figure out where to go, I was torn between Muskingum College, where I had a very good friend attending (she even wrote me a letter with 25 reasons to go to Muskingum over OHIO) and Ohio University. I loved both campuses and felt at comfortable in both places. However, when I visited, it was just kind of like being called home—and, once I found out I had been admitted to the j-school, it was “all over but the shoutin’” for me! 

How did the Scripps College of Communication equip you with the skills you needed to succeed? Honestly, it’s across the spectrum—from JOUR 133, which was our required grammar course that provided a strong foundation for writing, to my journalism ethics class with Dr. Bugeja, where I penned my very first professional code of ethics, which I still use today. The diversity of instruction, perspectives and experience that my professors brought to work every day and imparted to us was priceless. Combining the classroom instruction with my internships, I felt so well-equipped to enter the workforce when I graduated. 

I also feel like my experiences in organizations like Sigma Kappa, Greek Programming Board, PRSSA and Mortar Board supplemented the work in the classroom. I learned leadership skills and interpersonal communication through those activities. I think, across the board, it was a strong combination of all of this experience that helped me start off strong out of school.

What about your experiences here was so memorable? I fell in love with my husband at OHIO and that’s the most important thing in my life—he was then and he is now. We are from the same hometown, but it wasn’t until our time together in Athens that we became a couple. We have so many memories there together, including taking our 6-month-old son to Homecoming after he was born.

I had three of the most incredible, influential professors—Jerry Sloan, Frank Henderson and Michael Bugeja—as well Ralph Izard, a wonderful school director with whom I had the privilege of working. All four of these men had a combination of academic insight and real-world experience that gave them a unique perspective. They each helped shape me into the professional and person I am today in a different way.  

Of course, some of my closest lifelong friends came from OHIO. I always have described OHIO as a big campus with a small-school feel. I think that’s why it felt so right for me. I grew up in a very small town, where K-12 is still all in one building and the school is the heart of the community. The intimacy of the j-school, combined with the global reach of the university was such an attractive and exciting combination. I felt like I had the best of both worlds. 

What advice do you have for current students? BE PART OF THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY! Don’t just go to class and study. Go to football, basketball and hockey games. Join student organizations and be active in them. Build some traditions for yourself while you’re there, whether it’s an aquarium and beer cheese soup at the pub on Wednesdays, or a Miller’s Chicken picnic at Strouds Run on the weekends. Create your distinct traditions so you can look back on them later. 

Oh, and take a finance course. Regardless of your career path, you’re going to need to know about accounting and budgets, no matter how much you hate math.

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Angela Krile, BSJ '97, is the president and CEO of Krile Communications. 

Alumnus Spotlight - Mark Malabrigo, BFA '82

First Name
Erin
Last Name
Roberts
July 6, 2020
Mark Malabrigo, BFA '82, is the Group Art Supervisor for Neon-NYC.
Mark Malabrigo, BFA '82, is the Group Art Supervisor for Neon-NYC.

Hometown: East Rutherford, N.J.

Year Graduated: 1982

School: Ohio University School of Visual Communication

Major: Visual Communication

Current job title and location: Group Art Supervisor, Neon-NYC

What do you do? Other than pushing and bullying pixels across the screen?

I spearhead the creative on my assigned brand (under NDA so I cannot discuss nor mention.)  

Over the years, I’ve become the go-to person for video, audio and animation, a position that I’ve cultivated and developed within the agency.

Tell us about your career path. Which one? I think I’ve had four.

After graduating, I packed up my ’74 Plymouth Fury and moved to New York to become a photographer’s assistant. After a few years, I started to take on fashion and music clients such as Stern’s, Sony, Virgin Records, MTV Networks, etc...

As technology started to take hold, I started to focus on technology and was later hired by MTV Networks to manage corporate interactive projects. My team, comprised of two OU graduates, Chris McKenzie and Mugur Marculescu, helped develop the industry-first prototype for a streaming video player that eventually became MTV Overdrive, which became the platform template for all the Viacom channels.

After MTVN, I produced independent projects for Miss Universe Organization (yes, I’ve met Donald Trump) and Christie’s Auction House. 

Which brings me to Neon… a complete change in direction. I have no formal training in graphic design, yet the managing partner brought in as an art director. Since then, I’ve grown to lead the creative on certain brands, as well as expanding the agency’s video capabilities. 

By the way, I miss my Plymouth. You could’ve fit a whole studio apartment in that car.

What made you come to Ohio University? Were there other places you considered? I never really considered any other school. I was transferring from a community college for engineering when I met the recruiter from OHIO, who spoke about the fine arts photo department at (then) Siegfried Hall. I was intrigued and, eventually, switched majors. 

How did the Scripps College of Communication equip you with the skills you needed to succeed? The core concepts of fine art and commercial photography were certainly invaluable. However, as poor starving art students, we were short of resources so we became adept at improvisation and invention out of necessity. When you don't have resources, you learn to be resourceful. 2x4s, shower curtains, duct tape, and drywall screws were the four elements of creation. Go ask Gary Kirksey, a friend through college and my roommate in the early New York years.   

What about your experiences here was so memorable? Should I ever mention Court Street? Or playing racquetball with Terry Eiler for grades (kidding)? Maybe watching a photography set catch on fire because someone forgot to turn off their hot lights?

I had forgotten how beautiful the campus was. I had the opportunity to come back and speak to students years ago and said to myself, “How could I forget this?” For those of you walking around campus with your faces buried in your phone, please look up and take notice where you are. You, ladies and gentlemen, are luckier than you realize.

What advice do you have for current students?

  • Define the terms of your success and happiness. Don’t let social media say otherwise. And, for goodness sake, don’t be in such a rush.
  • The answer is “no” if you don’t ask.
  • Turn your phone off.
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Mark Malabrigo, BFA '82, is the Group Art Supervisor for Neon-NYC.

2019 ITS alumnus Brandon Smith: IT Consultant at Crowe

First Name
Sarah
Last Name
Roush
July 6, 2020
Brandon Smith
Brandon Smith

Name: Brandon M. Smith

Major: Information and Telecommunication Systems with Business Minor

Plans after graduation: IT Consultant at Crowe 

What clubs and organizations were you involved in? Student Alumni Board, Schey Sales Centre & Electronic Music Collective 

Did you have any jobs on campus? Research Apprentice & ITS School Ambassador 

Did you complete any internships? What were they? Where? CyberOhio Intern with Ohio Attorney General & IT Development Intern with Nationwide 

Briefly describe the aspects of your Scripps experience that you think most helped you land your job: The abundance of staff, faculty and alumni who are always available for advice, information on opportunities or any other information you might need. 

How do you feel about graduating? It's a mixture of emotions, I was very much ready to move on with my life. However, despite this mental resolution, I still found graduating and leaving difficult. Athens really became a home away from home for me. 

In June, a whole new class of Ohio University students came to campus for Bobcat Student Orientation. If you could tell them one thing, what would it be? Make every moment at Ohio University count. This isn't just in the sense that you should always be concerned with being busy and using all your resources, but also making sure you take advantage of everything Athens has to offer. 

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Information and Telecommunication Systems major Brandon Smith is in his new position as IT Consultant at Crowe.

 

2019 VisCom Information Design alumna Alex Mason: Production editor in Florida

First Name
Kaley
Last Name
Toth
July 6, 2020
Alex Mason


Major: Information Design: Publication in the School of Visual Communication

Hometown: Milford, Ohio

Plans after graduation: My new title is production editor at The Villages Daily Sun in Lady Lake, Florida. I am designing page layouts.

What clubs and organizations were you involved in? I was a page designer for The Post for two years. I was also the creative director for Southeast Ohio magazine during both semesters of my senior year.

Did you have any jobs on campus? During my four years at OU, I held several positions. I worked as a college ambassador for the Scripps College of Communication, a graphic designer for Culinary Services and a graphic designer for the College of Business. 

Did you complete any internships? What were they? Where? I had one internship during the summer before my senior year. I was a design intern for a small design studio called TwentySix Creative in New York City. After finishing my internship, I continued to freelance for the studio during my fall semester.

Briefly describe the aspects of your Scripps experience that you think most helped you land your job: I believe the Visual Communication program really set me up for success, both through the skills I learned and the connections I made. Without the help of my amazing professors, I don't think I would have had such incredible experiences that helped train me for my new job.

How do you feel about graduating? Even though I've only been graduated for a few months now, I'm already finding myself missing parts of Athens and Ohio University. However, I'm very excited to start my career and explore my new home.

In June, a whole new class of Ohio University students came to campus for Bobcat Student Orientation. If you could tell them one thing, what would it be? My advice would be to do your best when it comes to academics, but don't forget to take time to relax and focus on yourself.

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Information Design: Publication major Alex Mason is in Lady Lake Florida in her new position as the production editor at The Villages Daily Sun. 

Alumnus Spotlight - Dr. Timothy J. Brown, Ph.D. '97

First Name
Erin
Last Name
Roberts
July 6, 2020
Dr. Timothy J. Brown

Name: Timothy J. Brown

  

Hometown: Coatesville, Penn.

Year Graduated: 1997 – Ph.D.

School: InCo (Interpersonal Communication, now Communication Studies)

Major: Rhetoric and Public Address

Current job title and location: Dean of the James L. Knight School of Communication, Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.)

What do you do? I oversee the school’s faculty and staff, in addition to, the curriculum, policies, program development and resource allocation for the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. Our school is the only communication program in the nation endowed by the Knight Foundation.  

Tell us about your career path. My career path was improbable. I was a first-generation college student who ended up on academic probation after my first semester at West Chester University (WCU). I would rebound to graduate with my B. A. in Communication Studies and take my first job as a sports reporter for my hometown newspaper. I was recruited back to WCU for my Master’s degree by the department chair of the Department of Communication Studies. I was a graduate assistant for WCU’s Forensics Team, which was influential in me enrolling at Ohio University for my Ph.D. as I would become a graduate assistant for Ohio’s Forensics Team.

I graduated from Ohio University in 1997 and accepted my first faculty position at Buffalo State College. In 2002, I was recruited back to West Chester University by the same department chair who encouraged me to go to graduate school. After five years, I succeeded the same chair as the new chair. At the time, I became the boss of many of the professors who I had as an undergraduate student. After 10 years of serving as chair, I was recruited to the dean position for the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte.

What made you come to Ohio University? Were there other places you considered? What brought me to Ohio University was the opportunity to complete my Ph.D. by continuing my work in forensics (speech and debate). When I was the graduate assistant for the West Chester University’s Forensics team, we would compete against Ohio University’s team at various tournaments. The directors of the programs knew one another, which led to my introduction to OHIO. Once I visited Ohio University, I really liked the faculty and students, which led to my decision to attend Ohio University. 

I did have two other schools on my list but Ohio University was a much better fit. 

How did the Scripps College of Communication equip you with the skills you needed to succeed? I really learned how to become a faculty member from working and learning from the faculty at Ohio University. By having the opportunity to teach and to conduct research, I learned from the faculty how to become an effective teacher/scholar.  And the mentoring I received was priceless! The faculty were always approachable and available. I have used what I have learned from the faculty at Ohio University in each position I have held.  

What about your experiences here was so memorable? I have many memories of the people. The most important would be my wife, Laura, who I met when we were both enrolled in Ohio University’s graduate program. We were married in 1996. I remember when we returned from the summer break for my final year, the director at the time, Dr. Sue DeWine, gave us a bouquet of flowers at the opening meeting.

Also, I have very fond memories of my weekly dissertation meetings that I would have with my advisor Dr. J.W. Smith at Miller’s Chicken. The food, the conversation, the laughter—it was mentoring at its best! I still use Dr. Smith’s philosophy when working with graduate students, “The best dissertation is a done dissertation!”  

What advice do you have for current students? My advice is simple but I think it still holds true—complete tasks in excellence, show initiative and commitment, be responsible and professional, and communicate effectively. Be the person whose company people enjoy. Skills can be taught but dispositions can’t. Each job, task, or endeavor is an opportunity for you to make a connection and to network. When you give your best effort every day, it sets you up for the next opportunity.    

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Timothy J. Brown, Ph.D. '97, is dean of the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C.

2019 Journalism Strategic Communication Alumna Sadie Newman: Account Coordinator in Chicago

First Name
Kaley
Last Name
Toth
July 6, 2020
Sadie Newman

Major: Journalism Strategic Communication 

Plans after graduation: I am moving to Chicago to work as an account coordinator for Fishman PR!

What clubs and organizations were you involved in? I was heavily involved in PRSSA. I held two leadership positions in this organization including vice president of external relations, followed by executive vice president. I loved my time in that org - it totally shaped my college career! I was also involved in 1804 Communication. I was the business development account executive for the 2018/2019 year. 

Did you have any jobs on campus? I held two jobs on campus throughout my college career. I was a writer and social media coordinator for the Walter Center for Strategic Leadership as well as a Scripps Ambassador.

Did you complete any internships? What were they? Where? I completed four internships while at Ohio University. After my freshman year I was a communications intern at the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce in my hometown of Hartville, Ohio. After my sophomore year, I moved to Utah for the summer and was a public relations intern at Visit Ogden as well as a brand journalist intern at Fusion 360 Digital Agency. Following my junior year, I was a client engagement intern at Fahlgren Mortine in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Briefly describe the aspects of your Scripps experience that you think most helped you land your job: As a journalism major on the strategic communication track, I think that taking journalism classes and learning to think like a traditional journalist really set me apart from my peers at other universities. I always talk about this during interviews. Additionally, Scripps College students are very ambitious - a great atmosphere that pushed me to go above and beyond everything that I did. The faculty and staff were also amazing. Everyone encouraged me to succeed and helped me find my path. So many great things about Scripps!! 

How do you feel about graduating? Excited and nostalgic. Ohio University and the City of Athens are both such special places. I really grew into myself on campus and found my best friends there. Although I’m really going to miss walking five minutes to class, three minutes to my best friends’ houses and being surrounded by intelligent people at all moments, I am looking forward to starting a career that I’ve been working toward for the past four years! Plus, I’m excited to move to a city that I love. :) 

 In June, a whole new class of Ohio University students came to campus for Bobcat Student Orientation. If you could tell them one thing, what would it be? Everyone has a different path - do your own thing and be confident doing it! 

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Journalism strategic communication, major Sadie Newman, is heading to Chicago to begin her position as an account coordinator for Fishman PR. 

2019 Journalism Alumnus Kristopher Perez: Law School Student in Connecticut

First Name
Kaley
Last Name
Toth
July 6, 2020
Kristopher Perez headshot

Major: Journalism - News & Information

Plans after graduation: Attending Quinnipiac University School of Law in North Haven, Connecticut this fall.

What clubs and organizations were you involved in? I was President of Scripps Hispanic Network, an organization dedicated to creating events focusing on the importance of diversity within media

Did you have any jobs on campus? I worked as a supervisor at Walter Fieldhouse and the Golf & Tennis Center and also as an event manager at Parking Services

Did you complete any internships? What were they? Where? I completed my internship at (the now defunct) Columbus Events Guide and NID Magazine out of Columbus

Briefly describe the aspects of your Scripps experience that you think most helped you land your job: I think what most prepared me for my post-graduate life is the way Scripps stressed the importance of leadership and teamwork. Scripps always provided students the opportunities they needed to grow, and I think that freedom helped me to grow into the person I am today - ready to take on law school head on.

How do you feel about graduating? At first, I was scared about leaving the place I called home for 4 years. I was afraid of leaving the people I met throughout my college experience, but as time passed I realized that the school had prepared me for the moments after I crossed that stage. Now, I’m excited to take the next steps into the new chapter of my life.

In June, a whole new class of Ohio University students came to campus for Bobcat Student Orientation. If you could tell them one thing, what would it be? If I could tell the incoming freshman one thing, it would be this: don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Be open to new experiences, and more importantly, new cultures.

 

 

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Journalism news and information major, Kristopher Perez, heading to North Haven, Connecticut this fall to attend Quinnipiac University School of Law.

2019 Communication Studies Alumna Melody Weary: MBA Student at Ohio University

First Name
Kaley
Last Name
Toth
July 6, 2020
Melody Weary

Major: Communication Studies (with triple minors in Spanish, ITS, and Marketing, and a Professional Leadership certificate)

Plans after graduation: In August I’ll begin the intensive One-year MBA program at the Ohio University College of Business. During this time, I will work as a student advisor for undergraduates at the student success center at the College of Business. I’m currently interested in working in Human Resources, and I have no idea where I want to live in the future but I would love to travel a lot.

What clubs and organizations were you involved in? I kept myself very busy being involved in student organizations! I was the Social Media Chair of Lambda Pi Eta (official honor society of the National Communication Association) for one year. Our executive board traveled to Salt Lake City for the NCA annual convention in 2018. I was the Secretary of Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish honor society) for two years. I was also the Secretary of Plant Biology Club for three years – clubs are great as a resume builder, but also as a way to meet new friends and relax from the day to day of being a student, so I was very grateful for this club!

Did you have any jobs on campus? Yes! I was a tutor at the Academic Achievement Center my junior year and a student assistant in Human Resources at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine my senior year and this summer.

Did you complete any internships? What were they? Where? I had two internships with Ed Map, a textbook distribution and open educational resource (OER) company based in Nelsonville, Ohio. I was a social media intern and created/curated/posted content across our social media, and then I was a marketing intern and contacted university executives to inform them about our products.

Briefly describe the aspects of your Scripps experience that you think most helped you land your job: My COMS major is incredibly versatile. The core skill set of communication is vital at any company, in any line of work, and in every part of life. I was able to try a great variety of different career options through my internships, classes, and leadership positions. I’m confident that the foundation I built with my COMS education in logical reasoning, writing, and public speaking will help me succeed in my masters program. I also think that having a variety of minors in different schools is useful because it helps my resume look better-rounded and I have a better idea of what kind of industry I would like to work in.

How do you feel about graduating? Both excited and sad! I’m happy to be living back at home (still in Athens) but part of me would love to start the whole thing over again. I really like college so I’m happy to be coming back for another year, I think I’ll really miss it after next year!

In June, a whole new class of Ohio University students came to campus for Bobcat Student Orientation. If you could tell them one thing, what would it be? It’s okay to feel lost right now, to have no idea what half the majors even mean or which one you want to graduate with. It’s okay to not find your best friends freshman year. You WILL find your place (or make your own). You’ll end college a very different person than you are today. You’ll come to love change in yourself, your habits and routines, and the world you live in. Try everything and see what sticks. Appreciate every day you spend in college because it really does go quickly.

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Communication Studies major Melody Weary credits COMS for preparing her to enter the MBA program at the Ohio University College of Business this fall.

2019 Journalism Alumnus Matthew Shiflet: Social Media Coordinator in New England

First Name
Kaley
Last Name
Toth
July 6, 2020
Matthew Shiflet Headshot

Major: Journalism

Plans after graduation: I just moved to New England to work as the social media coordinator for a pro esports team called the Boston Uprising, one of 20 teams in the Overwatch League. (Shameless plug: go follow us everywhere @BostonUprising)

What clubs and organizations were you involved in? I was a member of the Ukulele Club, PRSSA and the Overwatch Club for a year each. I was also part of Kendo Club and Reach Out on Campus for four years each. I captained a team that competed in the National Open Division Overwatch tournament when I was part of the Overwatch Club, and I was a starter for the squad that recently represented the university in the TESPA Collegiate Championship tournament. I earned my black belt in kendo and served as club president there, so I definitely had a blast in the clubs on campus.

Did you have any jobs on campus? Yes! I worked the front desk at University Communications and Marketing for a couple years, then I did the same at the OMSAR office for a semester my junior year. I had to quit that job to study abroad in Hong Kong my junior year, and when I came back, I was a Lyft driver in my spare time during senior year. I 100% recommend studying abroad, and I think everyone should take an international trip during college, whether it’s for a semester or just a few weeks in the summer.

Did you complete any internships? What were they? Where? After my freshman year, I interned as the Event Communications Assistant at University Communications and Marketing, helping manage and promote the official calendar. After my sophomore year, I interned as a door to door salesman with IGS Energy, which is essentially a third-party utility provider. I learned a lot of valuable skills there, but I also learned that the sales side of marketing (my minor) is not for me!

Briefly describe the aspects of your Scripps experience that you think most helped you land your job: The most relevant, useful experiences when it came to landing my job came outside the classroom, but they were influenced a lot by things I learned or refined through Scripps. For example, I spent a lot of time outside the classroom working on social media projects with my friends, and I wrote hundreds of articles about the gaming industry for various publications, most of which were off-campus. But Scripps laid the groundwork: the AP style skills, the knack for knowing where to find and how to tell a good story, the communication theories and social media best practices. It’s hard to pin down what the most helpful aspect(s) were, because I think my current job is a big mix of a lot of different skills that I learned over the years from Scripps and had the opportunity to put into action as a college student. With that mix of experiences, I think I was able to land my job. So, to me, the most useful aspect was probably the fact that Scripps was such a holistic experience.

How do you feel about graduating? I’ll be honest, at first I was a little worried. Most of my friends had such cool jobs lined up by graduation, but I didn’t. Halfway through May, all I had were a couple “no” responses after initial interviews and a whole lot of silence from the other places I submitted applications. I started to get antsy, wondering if I’d be able to get the niche sort of job I wanted (social media in esports) after all.

But then the Uprising reached out, and after a couple strenuous weeks of interviews, I got the job! That was on a Thursday night. In less than a week, I moved out of my Athens apartment, went home, repacked all my things, found a new place to live and drove to New England to move in so that I could start work the next Monday. Right now, I’m in LA on a work trip to meet the other half of our staff and develop content; I’ve only been with Boston for two weeks, and I’m already diving in headfirst. 

That’s a really longwinded way of saying that in just a matter of three weeks, my feelings toward graduation went from nervousness to a crazy flurry of emotions ranging from “oh my gosh, I’m actually working my dream job” to “Wow, I miss my friends and family.” Because when I sit down to think and take a deep breath, it’s insane to compare where I was less than three weeks ago to what I’m doing right now, working with the greatest Overwatch players in the world. It’s an incredible, surreal feeling.

In June, a whole new class of Ohio University students came to campus for Bobcat Student Orientation. If you could tell them one thing, what would it be? Since I already mentioned that everyone should study abroad, I will say that you should figure out what you want to do – I mean, what you really really love to do – and become the best at it that you can, no matter how crazy it is. Pinning down your life goals can be tough, but once you do, I’m a firm believer that you truly can do anything you set your mind to if you’re determined to work harder and perform better than everyone else. I mean, until college, I lived in a town of 250 people where the internet connection was so bad that I couldn’t play a video game without debilitating lag (gamers know how it is). But I knew exactly what I wanted and set out to accomplish it, despite people telling me that pursuing gaming as a career was ludicrous, senseless and financially irresponsible, to put it lightly.

If you know that what you want to do is niche, then the downside is that you’ve got an uphill battle ahead of you to snag one of those few spots. But the upside is that you can spend your time in college practicing skills and preparing a resume that’s precisely designed to get you exactly where you want to go. Don’t generalize. Specialize. The good news is that the crew at Scripps is phenomenal. They’ll hook you up with amazing opportunities, connect you with some of the best industry pros, and help you reach your goals. Let your professors know what those goals are, and if they see you’re serious, I know they’ll do whatever they can to help. But you have to be willing to put in more than 100% to make it happen. If you do, I’m confident you’ll go far.

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Journalism major Matthew Shiflet moved to New England to pursue his new position as a social media coordinator for the Boston Uprising, an esports team in the Overwatch League.