Phil Cooper: AV/IT Support and Production Specialist

What’s challenging/interesting/rewarding about my current job?

  • In terms of challenging, it was almost a complete departure from the broadcasting field and getting immersed into a world of audiovisual and information technology systems in a non-clinical healthcare setting. There were no more newsrooms, no more hard deadlines, nothing of the sort, and it was a drastic culture change for me as well.
  • In terms of what makes it interesting, I would say just about all of it! I’ve always had a thing for the technical side of broadcasting. And now with this current job, its opened up a whole bunch of doors to new opportunities to learn about troubleshooting, how things work, and how to be the best colleague you can possibly be.
  • What’s most rewarding about this job is the people I get to work with. I get to be on a team where we plan and execute educational events that are held at our facility and everyone plays a part in making it happen. I get to be onsite “tech guy”, another person gets to do all of the event planning. You get to build relationships with all sorts of clients and get to network with a whole bunch of different people that you would have never expected.

How do I use various communication proficiencies in my work?

  • Recently our health system rolled out a communication tool called Workplace which is a product by Facebook where you can share content, ideas, strategize with your colleagues and so much more. It’s meant to cut down on emails and make work a little more fun.

What surprised me about my career?

  • I had the intention of starting off in a small television market and moving my way on up the chain until I landed a gig in St. Louis as a director or some other profession on the production/technical side of the lens. Obviously, it didn’t turn out that way, and I’m okay with that because this current job has opened my eyes to so many cool new things. I’ll always have the “broadcasting bug” in me.

Here’s my number one piece of advice for Communication undergrads:

  • Never ever pass up an opportunity to network with people and to step outside your comfort zone, because you’ll never know where it may lead you.

Class year: 2010

Previous jobs since graduation: Sports Videographer/Audio Board Operator and Newscast Director at WGEM. Also a newscast director at WICS/WRSP-TV in Springfield, IL.

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