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Ready to Launch: New Alumni, New Jobs



"My JMC education prepared me to work in any newsroom in the country and be able to contribute right away. I learned such a diverse skill set that no matter what medium I get into, I know I'll be an asset to that company.” – Justin Rockhold, ’13.

 

“Without my JMC education, I wouldn't have known the value of networking and building my personal brand both online and offline. Landing a job isn't easy, but learning at JMC was one of the best decisions I've ever made." Ryan Collins, ’13.


First Person: 2014 Grad Wins a Spot in Coveted ESPN Program

New alumnus Jason Kostura shares his journey from JMC to ESPN's Content Associate Program. We encourage other 2014 alumni to tell their stories: How did you land that first job?

Jason KosturaThroughout college, I really believed that I needed to do as much as possible to make my skill set as well-rounded as it could be. I've heard ever since day one, that it was hard to obtain a job in broadcast journalism. So, with that always in mind, I wanted to work hard so that when I left college I could find a job.

Through college, I interned at four different media outlets. My first internship was the summer after my freshman year at Q104 radio in Cleveland, OH. The summer after I interned at WOIO, the CBS affiliate in Cleveland. In the fall of my junior year, I served as Managing Editor of TV2. That next semester, I was not selected to keep my position. An opportunity presented itself to intern in the investigative unit as the Troubleshooter intern at WEWS, the ABC affiliate in Cleveland. The following summer I received several offers to intern at the network level. I decided to intern at ABC News in Washington, D.C. I worked with the affiliate serves unit called News One.

One of the biggest moments of achievement came when I was asked to go out and shoot video of the Lincoln Memorial after it was vandalized. After getting the video, my boss informed me that I was the only one from ABC at the event, so my video ended up on many platforms of ABC including Good Morning America.

As I returned to Kent for my senior year, I started getting ready for the job hunt. I sat down with my professors and bounced ideas off of them on what my demo reel would need to look like. I spent countless hours on my demo reel trying to make my stand-ups unique and my stories have solid elements of storytelling. While I was working on my reel, I got a text from a Kent State alum, who was currently working at ESPN. He told me to email the company my resume, so I did. About a week later, I had a phone interview that lasted a full hour. About a month later, I was invited to be flown out to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, CT. Two weeks after the interview, I received a call offering me a position at ESPN. I also had an interview at a local market and had several other companies interested, but ultimately I choose ESPN because it has always been my dream job.

I am currently in the Content Associate Program at ESPN. The program is made to develop the future behind the scenes leaders in the company. I absolutely love working for ESPN; the possibilities are endless and the people want to see everyone grow. My best words of advice are never stop working hard. I was given this piece of advice from a very wise professional. He said once you think you're ahead of the game, you are behind.

When you go to college, you think you're going for a degree, but what you really need is an education. A degree is just a piece of paper, but an education will help you develop into the person you want to be. In college, laugh, cry, learn to love and forgive and most importantly have fun. To those who have dream jobs, it's possible, but nothing will be handed to you. It is such a better feeling when you work and achieve something anyway.

Daniel Moore:  National and International Storyteller

By Andrew Krieger

Daniel MooreAt JMC, classroom learning is supplemented and strengthened by real, relevant co-curricular experiences. Daniel Moore, who graduated this spring with a bachelor's degree in journalism, has taken full advantage of beyond-the-classroom experiences.

Moore's participation in prestigious internship and study-abroad programs has taken him from Washington D.C., to Arizona and Europe. Moore recently returned from Estonia, where he studied as a member of CCI's International Storytelling course.

Taught by JMC professors Gary Hanson and Mitch McKenney, International Storytelling has been nationally recognized for excellence, as the winner of the 2014 Best Practices Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's Committee on Teaching and the Global Partnership division winner in the 2014 Best Practices in International Higher Education Awards of the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) International Education Knowledge Community. This spring, students in the semester-long course spent two weeks along the Russian border of Estonia practicing investigative journalism and multimedia storytelling.

"We spent the semester finding a story, researching the story idea, and then we flew there," said Moore.  "It really was an interesting time to go, considering the recent developments in nearby Ukraine. My story focused on ethnic Russians in Estonia and their sentiments towards Russian leadership." 

"We met with the Estonian president during our last day," said Moore. "It was really surreal to be in a border town one day and in the capital city of Tallinn talking to the president the next."

Moore's storytelling skills have taken him across the nation, as well. Last summer, he became the first JMC student to participate in the prestigious News21 fellowship, a collaborative national program focused on investigative reporting. The program is based at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Only 24 journalism students from across the United States were awarded the fellowship.

"We all collaborated on a huge investigative project," said Moore. "It was really cool because we already had an agreement set up with The Washington Post and NBC News to have our story published." The News21 fellows investigated the backlog at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs – a story that continues to make headlines, as the result of an ongoing Congressional investigation.  "It was the greatest experience I have had in journalism," Moore added.

In spring of 2013, Moore completed an internship with the Student Press Law Center in Arlington, Virginia, as a member of Kent State's Washington Program in National Issues (WPNI). "WPNI allowed me to immerse myself in the world of politics that only exists in D.C.", said Moore. "I grew to understand how policy discussions happen."

Moore strengthened his journalism skills on campus, too. In spring semester, he was editor-in-chief of the Daily Kent Stater, covering news stories as significant as the University's selection of a new president and an incident of gun violence on campus this spring. For much of his academic career he was a feature writer for The Burr, Kent State's award-winning, general-interest student magazine.

Moore is heading to eastern Washington state this summer to work for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane. "After that, who knows?" he said.  His internship in Spokane will last for 12 weeks.

One thing seems certain:  Moore will continue to follow a good story, wherever it takes him.

 

From Akron and Cleveland, to Denver and New York – and many points in between – our 2013 graduates are making their way in the media and communication industries. Here are some highlights:

Advertising

Caroline Amantea, Online Marketing & Advertising Associate, Fathom: A Digital Marketing & Analytics Agency (Valley View, Ohio)

Olivia Chapman, associate media planner/buyer, Kinetic Worldwide (New York, NY)

Lizzie Holton, event consultant, Rock the House Entertainment (Cleveland)

Caitlin Kelley, research coordinator, Hitchcock Fleming and Associates  (Akron)

Allison Rateno, account coordinator, GSW Worldwide (Westerville, Ohio)

Electronic Media

Estee Hodge, videographer, Goodyear (Akron)

Victoria Kohl, media relations assistant, Mid-American Conference (Cleveland)

Megan Melville, I-CONN Video Production (Mt. Vernon, Ohio)

Journalism

A.J. Atkinson, sports reporter, Chillicothe Gazette (Chillicothe, Ohio)

Jake Corcoran, Associate Producer, WOIO (19 Action News), Cleveland

Molly Devaney, Producer, WKBW (Buffalo) 

Anthony Ezzo, New Business Specialist, User Friendly Media  (Independence, Ohio)

Cory Froomkin, video journalist, WKBN-TV (Youngstown, Ohio)

Andy Jardy, SportsTime Ohio/Fox Entertainment Group, (Cleveland)

Lance Lysowski, community website editor, Ohio.com/Akron Beacon Journal

Jody Michael, associate editor, Golfdom Magazine (Cleveland)

Kelsey Misbrener, marketing and communications intern, American Holistic Medical Association (Woodmere, Ohio)

Rich Pierce, Anchor (noon and 5 p.m.), WTOV-9 (Steubenville, Ohio)

Justin Rockhold, Production Assistant, SportsTime Ohio (Fox Entertainment Group) and Production assistant/web contributor at 92.3 The Fan WKRK-FM (Cleveland)

Jessica Schmidt, Reporter, WFIE-14 News (Evansville, Indiana)

Michelle Warner, Associate Producer, The Dr. Phil Show (Hollywood, California)

Monique Zappa, Gannett Producer Trainee Program, KUSA, 9 News (Denver)

Public Relations

Nana Battah, communications strategist, University Hospitals (Cleveland)

Trenton Chavez, marketing coordinator, Academy of General Dentistry (Chicago)

Ryan Collins, social media specialist, AKHIA Public Relations and Marketing Communications (Hudson, Ohio)

Evan Graening, Client Fulfillment, The Impact Group

Jenna Hedman, Online Marketing and Advertising Associate, Fathom: A Digital Marketing & Analytics Agency (Cleveland)

Taylor Titus, Chic Public Relations (Annapolis, Maryland)

Megan Tomkins, Project Coordinator, Corporate Communications, The Davey Tree Expert Company (Akron/Cleveland)

Master's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication

Laura Fong, adjunct faculty, Department of Digital Science, Kent State Main, and School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent State Stark.

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If you are a 2013 alumni with job news to share, let us know at ssmit149@kent.edu or jbutte@kent.edu.