Sunday, May 7, 2017

How did CASL prepare a Journalism and Screen Studies student for a diverse career? Meet alum Matthew A. Laurinec, a 2013 (JASS) graduate) with a Public Relations Certificate. He also coaches Lacrosse for UM-Dearborn. By Leah Johnson

Being a CASL Student afforded you what opportunities?

Matthew Laurinec: As a CASL student you have the opportunity to take a variety of different internships. The entire program works together to place you based on your major, and you can get experience in a lot of different fields. The resources such as the Writing Center, and other labs in CASL really helped too. After graduation, I came to appreciate just the connection to the different professors that I dealt with on such a personal level (that’s really credit to UM-Dearborn as a whole, not just CASL). It just seemed like they [the CASL professors] were always more available. Some of my favorites were Professor Schaefer (Investigative Reporting), Professor Kiska (Intro and Advanced Journalism), Professor Gilmore (Video Production/Screen Studies), Professor Ward (Speech).

How did CASL prepare you for your current career?

ML: I’m currently the Producer of the Blaine Fowler Morning Show 96.3 WDVD out of the Fisher Building in Detroit since the fall of 2013. I started with an internship there. I’d already graduated and I found this internship on my own. What’s great is my degree really went a long way. The fact that I had a degree in multiple fields made it something that was a lot more desirable to them. The UM degree carried a lot of weight in the decision process to bring me on. I got a part time job while interning and then the producer position opened up. Now I’m fulltime and I’m on with them every morning. My degree has given me a lot of different aspects of knowing different parts of the job. For example, I’ve used my PR certificate for dealing with certain press releases. If articles need to be written I can use my journalism experience to write it. The wide range of skills I learned from my degree have helped me be valuable to the company.

Did you always know that you wanted to major in journalism?

ML: I didn’t always know. I thought I was going to do teaching. I had a good relationship with my high school English teacher. But I got into the love of journalism as my love of Michigan football got me into the press box and on the field. That’s what turned me onto the idea of being a sports writer. I got involved with the Michigan Journal on campus writing sports. Then I was the Sports Editor, then the Editor in Chief and then the Managing Editor. So, as I was moving along the way with that I found a love for writing.

Do you have any regrets about selecting a liberal arts field of study?  

ML: No. I have no regrets about choosing this degree. My degree has opened many doors that even if I decide to leave the radio station I could anywhere and have my degree be valued.
At first I thought I would not have a job, but I think that I was prepared that I knew what I had done and that I had earned a Michigan degree and that eventually it all worked out.

What advice would u give to current CASL Students who may be undecided if they want to remain in the Liberal Arts field?

ML: I think in Liberal Arts you have a vast career path. My focus was print journalism. But after college, I got into another side of journalism. I thought I was going to write for a newspaper or sports team. The classes you take in CASL are crossover classes and you’re forced to be put into situations that will help you in your career. The degree you’re earning is more valuable than the major you get it in. It’s got a lot more weight to it.
Try a lot of different things when you first get to CASL. Also, don’t be afraid to work for free at first. Many people think as soon as they graduate they need a job paying six figures or else they’ve failed. My friends may be ahead of me financially. But some of them are also doing things they hate. I genuinely love going to work because I promised myself I would not work a 9-5 schedule in a cubicle, but some people get so set on that. Go do what you want and pursue it and I guarantee you’ll be a lot happier.