Current position: Digital/Social Content Producer, La Vida Baseball
What’s challenging/interesting/rewarding about my current job?
Working at a digital media startup, challenges arise in many ways all the time. One of the things that’s most challenging is the many hats you are required to wear. Sure, you may have one title, but you might have to do two or three different other things in a given day. In turn, that actually makes it become some of the most interesting things you can do. I never planned to do anything involving business/money related, but you quickly learn you have to find ways to budget a company’s money, find ways to make the dollar stretch the best way possible. The most rewarding thing about my job is seeing our content reach our audience. At La Vida, we focus on baseball through the Latino lens. Latinos make up over 40 percent of all baseball players, yet they are easily the most underrepresented players. Unless a reporter speaks Spanish, rarely do they go up to talk to the Latino star that doesn’t speak English. Being able to tell the story of that “forgotten” player and seeing Latino fans who look up to them read and consume your product and be happy someone is finally talking to “Player X” is one of the best feelings in the world.
How do I use various communication proficiencies in my work?
One of the things that I prided myself on while at QU was being as well rounded as possible. I cared nothing about video production or work, but took part in QUTV to learn video production and have that tool in my back pocket. I wasn’t too interested in social media, but took a course in it and fell in love with it. At my current job, I do some graphic design work, community (social media) management, writing and the occasional video editing work. Had I not learned all of those skills or stepped out of my comfort zone to try new things, there’s no way I would have been given the opportunity to do a job I truly love.
What surprised me about my career?
The thing that surprised me the most is that this career trajectory is not linear. Just because you’re killing it at “Job C” doesn’t mean you’ll get promoted or even looked at in “Job B”. As I learned and quickly saw, networking is crucial. There were journalists that I knew and that I knew I was better than, that were getting jobs I was way more than qualified for and I couldn’t even get an email back. I took a step down from a full-time gig to freelance and it elevated me to way bigger heights than if I had sat around at that full-time gig.
Here’s my number one piece of advice for Communication undergrads:
Network. Network. Network. Just because you go to QU doesn’t mean you don’t have the same opportunities that students have at Northwestern, Mizzou, etc. You exceed in your role and know the right people, and the big gigs will come.
I think it’s important that you try anything and everything outside of your comfort zone. It can lead to some of the best experiences of your life! As Assistant Venue Press Officer for the International Champions Cup, I dealt with Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund, two of the biggest soccer teams in the world. I met Pep Guardiola, arguably one of the greatest soccer coaches of all time. I had the opportunity to be a translator for Aymeric LaPorte of Manchester City, the most expensive defender in soccer. I never wanted to be involved in PR/media relations work, but I tried it and it was some of the most fun (and incredibly tough and draining work) that I’ve ever done.
Class year: Dec. 2015
Previous jobs since graduation: Copy Editor, Quincy Herald-Whig; Copy editor/Page Designer, Lee Enterprises, Munster, Ind.; Social Media contributor, Major League Soccer; Assistant Venue Press Officer, International Champions Cup Soccer; Freelance sportswriter, Daily Herald, Chicago Tribune.