Thursday, October 24, 2013

New York magazine journalist speaks at Texas State

By JESSE WITT
Writing for Mass Media student


SAN MARCOS – Robert Kolker, author and journalist for New York magazine, was on campus Monday to speak as part of Texas State’s Mass Communication Week. The presentation was addressed to group of students and touched on a variety of topics including publishing, branding, and career development.

During the presentation Kolker discussed his background in nonprofit work and encouraged students to produce excellent work regardless of salary.

“The prestige of the place and the name of the place is not as important as the work you’re doing,” Kolker said.

Several students in attendance expressed enthusiasm about his material. Sarah Sutton, a public relations senior, said that although she had imagined finding nonprofit work after graduating, she hadn’t considered that it would be relevant for a long-term career.

“A lot of people think nonprofit right out of college is where they’ll end up … Kolker’s ability to be flexible opened my eyes to how valuable these types of experiences are,” Sutton said.

Photograph provided by Nicholas Stout.
In addition to nonprofit work, Kolker emphasized the importance of personal branding when considering long-term career goals.

“It’s about defining yourself and taking your experiences with you down the line … you never know what will be relevant in a few years,” Kolker said.

Although personal branding is a topic many students understand to be important, few proclaim to take an active role in the process during their time in school.

“I have been meaning to get more serious about my personal brand,” said Nicholas Stout, a junior advertising major. “At the moment, I admit that don’t take it too seriously, but I know that a lot of employers care, and the presentation today really showed me that I need to start thinking about it.”

Students interested in hearing Kolker or other speakers during Mass Communication Week are encouraged to see the schedule for details on upcoming events. A full list of speakers in attendance is also available at the Texas State Mass Communication Week website.

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