Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Students motivated after writer speaks

Writing for Mass Media student

SAN MARCOS - Robert Kolker dove into his past and the ever-changing media industry on Monday as part of Texas State University’s Mass Comm Week.

Robert Kolker speaking to
mass communication students
on Monday.
Tara Pohlmeyer/Texas State University
Kolker, a contributing editor for New York magazine and the author of the recently published book “Lost Girls,” inspired many students to continue in the field of journalism.

“He definitely gave me motivation,” said Veronika Kondratieva, a junior electronic media major. “He basically reinforced the idea of going out and getting into the field that you want to work in.”

Kolker bounced around to a lot of different jobs until he decided he wanted to be published, he said.

“I dropped everything and started freelancing wherever I could,” Kolker said. “There’s a little bit of a thrill to be sort of parachuted into an unfamiliar situation.”

“I really liked his story,” Kondratieva said. “He wasn’t hiding that for a while he was a freelancer. At some point he didn’t know what to do next, and it relates to us students.”

Kolker became a mini-expert on a wide variety of topics, just from writing about them during his freelancing jobs.

 “A lot of the career building happens after school,” Kolker said.

Whether that happens through an unpaid internship or a freelancing gig, everything helps, he said.

“I think that I need to start working on my experience right now before I graduate,” Kondratieva said. 

Other students agree, and are willing to put in the hours.

Kolker created his own brand
with his book, "Lost Girls."
“It was like nice to hear of somebody who seemed to have very similar skills to me and had to go through all these meaningless ‘almost’ jobs or things that he didn’t want to do,” junior journalism major Jacqueline Lege said.

Lege’s main goal is to “be able to write anything and everything,” she said.  

Kolker also touched on the mass media industry.

“It’s an industry that’s changing,” he said. “In some cases it’s contracting.”

Mass communication students are not to be swayed.

“He pretty much motivated me to keep going further and not give up when people turn you down,” Kondratieva said.

“I would … lower all expectations and inhibition for whatever job someone wants to hire me for,” Lege said.

Kolker said that students have the tools available to them to create a brand for themselves.

“Brand yourself, be your own product, and market yourself out to the community,” Kolker said. “Keep your eye on the future.” 

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