Saturday, August 25, 2007

What I learned in college

Ten years ago I graduated from Washington State University and my father asked me then, "Now what exactly are you going to do with Communications Degree?" I'm sure all Comm grads get that question. You have to understand that I had flirted with the idea of actually being an Engineering Major when I left high school and I think I set him up for some initial disappointment.

"Just think, if you major in engineering, as a minority and a woman, they'd be lining up to give you scholarships and job opportunities," he said.

It was a decent plan which leveraged my interest in science and paralleled the aspirations of my inseparable high school twin/friend, Amy (Ramer) Florence. She actually graduated from University of Portland with a Mechanical Engineering Degree. As for me, I jumped the tracks not long into my freshman year and plunged heart and soul into the world of broadcast communications. A choice that mystified my father for years.

My fellow Comm grads are some of the hardest and longest working people I know today. It is a play now, pay later system. If you've ever talked to someone who works on a TV/Movie production and they can normally put in 16-hour days, 7 days a week or in News that can happen 24/7 and it doesn't matter if it's your kid's birthday or Christmas Day. And is the field competitive? You bet. There will be 5 people right behind you willing to stay longer, do more and get paid less.

But I couldn't have been more pleased when I saw two Murrowites who took it upon themselves to show the world what a Murrow (School of Communications) Grad can do and that a Comm Degree does not subjugate one to a life of waiting tables or operating carnival rides.

Kate Yeager & Steve Thorpe sojourned from Pullman to LA by way of Seattle (in a Prius!) to interview and get some perspective from Broadcasting Comm Cougs who made good. Their blog features on-camera interviews with some dear friends: Chris Hampel, Ian Kennedy, Pat Sheehan & Doug Cheney. Also Greg Copeland NWCN anchor, who I didn't know so well in school but admire his professionalism and poise for such a young anchor. They tackle the affirmation on their blog: With a Degree from the Murrow School you can go Anywhere. Check it out.

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