by Maggie Mullikin, Graduate Outreach, iMedia
Last month I had the pleasure of visiting with one of our 2010 iMedia graduates in the lovely city of Charleston, SC. Alex Kreitman, an Elon undergraduate as well, is the Director of New Media at WCSC-TV. He has been with the station since graduating in May of 2010.
As an iMedia student Alex was one of the very few who kept his job while earning his degree. I asked him for his advice to others who may be doing the same or considering it.
“I did it, so it’s possible. But it wasn’t easy. You need to sacrifice a lot during that one year but if you can find an employer willing to be flexible with your schedule, then you gain an edge on everyone else when you graduate. By continuing to work and go to school your work experience stays as fresh as your education, which is a huge advantage. Just be prepared for sleepless nights and a lot of stress.”
He spoke with me about his responsibilities at WCSC-TV. Alex manages the web site, mobile, and social media platforms as well as a team of online journalists who produce content for the site. He supervises online marketing and advertising strategies and oversees the rest of the newsroom staff regarding their web responsibilities.
He spoke with me about using his iMedia degree day to day. “I use a lot of the skills learned in the iMedia program to help our station stay cutting edge in the industry. A lot of theory and discussion about the business has helped me keep our staff innovative and open-minded about technology and our business.”
And, as anyone with a job knows, there are both joys and challenges. “The biggest challenge will always be getting traditional “TV people” to understand and recognize the importance of the web, mobile, and social media. They need to treat our station’s new media efforts with as much importance as our TV news. The joys of my job are always the successes and the new products we get to experiment with. Staying cutting edge is exciting and when breaking news comes in, we drop everything and let the thrills begin.”
Alex’s advice for the job search? “Reach out to people you know. Connections are the best way to get a job. If you don’t think you know enough people in your industry, then spend a little money and attend a conference in your field. Meet people there and it will pay for itself later. Stay sharp. Always stay current with industry news and know what is going on. Use everything personally that you might use professionally. That means computer software, social media, and technology.”
An observation I made while in the newsroom with Alex was how respected and well liked he is. It’s clear to me that students who graduate from Elon’s iMedia program leave here with strong technical skills, an excellent work ethic, and the ability to seamlessly translate all they have learned into their professional environment.