Photo by Janet Vasquez
by Felisha Bull
Texas State University student
SAN MARCOS - Texas State University’s annual Mass Comm Week kicked off Monday in Professor Kym Fox’s class as Robert Kolker remembered the early stages of his career and gave an inside look into his recent book.
According to Kolker he is a full-time writer for New York magazine and has been for fifteen years, although that was not his original plan. As Kolker spoke to students he reflected on his post-college graduation journey.
Kolker said he was never into hard news. He was usually drawn to the arts and focused primarily on movie reviews when he was in college.
“I didn’t want to be an investigative reporter,” Kolker said. “I was intimidated by being one of a pack.”
After college Kolker bounced around from job to job. He was a secretary, event planner and freelancer until he finally landed a reporting job at a small Manhattan newspaper.
When a student asked if working at a newspaper helped him get to his current position at NY magazine he answered with a whole-hearted yes.
“Working for a newspaper shows that you’re reliable, accurate and know what a deadline is,” Kolker said. He went on to say that these traits show employers that you’re serious about the position they’re interviewing you for.
He also encouraged students to be involved in a launch, which is the implementation of a new publication, so they can see something from the beginning.
“The exciting part about a launch where you’re starting something new is its like college,” he said. “Everyone is starting something new all at the same time.”
After the lecture with Kolker mass communication electronic media student Homer Gonzalez expressed his excitement about the speaker.
“He is really enthusiastic about his book and career path,” Gonzalez said. “Seeing someone not miserable…is a relief even though [the field] is really competitive.”
Public relations senior Christina Luna also enjoyed Kolker’s lecture.
“Robert Kolker was quite interesting,” she said. “I learned a lot and he left me feeling confident about my career choice.”
During his lecture Kolker also spoke about his new book "Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery." His book catalogs the lives of the five women found on a Long Island beach and the ongoing investigation into their murders.
Kolker said his book adventure began with a magazine article written in 2011. He used that as a jumping point to write about “a part of America most people don’t get to see.”
Although some individuals were not sure of the success of Kolker’s tactics students seemed to appreciate and support the light he shed on “America’s new type of prostitution.”
“The fact that his book goes into their lives before [the prostitution] allows people to see them as human beings rather than just girls desperate for money,” Gonzalez said. Luna shared his view.
“I think it’s something many people should see,” she said. “We have our judgments and we make up our own reasons as to why people do things, but those are usually far from the actual reasons.”
Texas State University’s school of Journalism and Mass Communication has many other guest speakers and lectures the entire schedule can be found on their website.