Jonathan Eckelberg, '12
Major / Minor: Communication major with an emphasis in journalism and public relations. Minor in corporate communication.
Organization: Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Job Title: Digital Content Specialist
Why did you choose to go into your program of study?
I knew I wanted to study something in communication when I was looking for schools. When I visited UWGB I fell in love with the program. They had everything I wanted to do with my career. So once I began school and started taking classes in my prospective major right away, I knew it was a great pick. The communication professors and instructors were amazing and took an interest in my right off the bat. They cared about why I was there and where I wanted to end up.
When you began at UW-Green Bay, what did you expect for your future?
When I began at UWGB, I pictured myself as a newspaper reporter, eventually working my way to PR. I was very fortunate in that I knew what I wanted to do all along, or at least along similar lines. What I didn't expect however were some of the opportunities I was given. For instance, I would have never seen myself on a student governing board. Never. I was on the RHAA executive board for two years though and was elected president. I also had no plan to go into TV journalism, and now that is where I want to end up. I hope to eventually get a job as a reporter and eventually anchoring. I was involved in high school, but would not have guessed I would get so involved and invested in the university as I did. I absolutely loved going to UWGB and miss it greatly. I invested a lot of my time into bettering the school and hope others continue to find how amazing of a place it is.
Did you have a job/internship in your field while going to college that helped spark your interest?
I did complete an internship at WKBT-News 8 in La Crosse, WI for three summers while attending UWGB. This gave me invaluable experience in the field of TV journalism. I also completed a year-long social media internship with Todd Sanders, social media specialist at UWGB.
Furthermore, I was on the Fourth Estate staff for 3 years as a staff reporter, section editor and eventually managing editor. These positions gave me great experience in print journalism. In the managing editor role I was responsible for supervising a staff, as well as working with a co-editor-in-chief position.
In addition to the experience in my field, I also worked for the University Union all four years of my college experience. For two and a half of those years I was a building manager and ran a tight ship while on duty (to the dismay of the students I was supervising.)
What were you involved in while a student at UW-Green Bay?
Oh boy..I will list what I was involved in:
- Fourth Estate newspaper- managing editor, section editor, staff reporter
- Social media intern
- University Union- building services team, building manager, co-chair for UWGB hosting the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) regional conference.
- Student Ambassadors
- Residence Hall and Apartment Association (RHAA)- president, business and fundraising director
- Phase III and Roy Community Councils
- National Residence Hall Honorary member
- Provost Advisory Council
- Phlash TV
- Bowling team
- Founders' Association student representative
Where are you currently employed? Please describe your position.
I currently am a digital content specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism in Madison. A major part of my role in the organization is developing and executing video strategy. An internal video initiative is new to the Department so I am working to establish what it is we want to tell the public about Wisconsin and how to connect these videos to the audience. As time goes on, I will become the "video expert" in knowing what we have on file for footage and what needs to get shot based on each new campaign. Additionally, I write, edit and create online content for travelwisconsin.com. I also assist in managing social web content.
How do you keep in contact with other alumni?
I still regularly catch up with alumni from my major, those who were in student orgs with me, or people I worked with. It's neat to see where everyone ends up and the opportunities that continue to present themselves. Social media makes it easier to keep up with the lives of people you know, but I still get together for dinner or drinks with those I went to school with or chat with them from time to time.
What advice would you have for a student wanting to enter your field?
Get a variety of experience. Whether you are interested in journalism or PR or digital communications, learning about each area will only make you better in your career. That was my goal in school. Get as many different kinds of opportunities as possible. Real life experience, such as internships, is key. The experience you have is your golden ticket into the job you want.
Can we share your e-mail address on our website/can career services give it out to students inquiring about a job in your place of employment/field?
Feel free to share my email. It's firstname.lastname@example.org
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