SUNY Oswego December graduates preparing for next phase

Around 550 SUNY Oswego students, including more than 450 undergraduates, earned degrees in December, with many already working on their next steps.

Even before finishing his degree, broadcasting major Asa Stackel started working professionally as what he calls a “one-man band reporter” at 7News in Watertown.

I go out, shoot, interview, write, edit and voice my own stories,” Stackel said. “On any given day I could cover something as straight-laced as a tax levy increase in St. Lawrence County, go live for breaking news or shoot a feature piece on a guy who grows big pumpkins.”

Stackel began as a morning-show intern at 7News the summer after his sophomore year. “I worked as a producer’s assistant most days, but I went out on a couple assignments with reporters,” he recalled. “On one of those assignments, I decided to write up a script and when I was done, I handed it to the news director on a whim. He liked it, he hired me a few days later and the rest is history.”

In addition to the internship, many aspects of the SUNY Oswego experience prepared him for the position. “Classes like news writing and reporting helped me in the classroom,” Stackel said. “The biggest help I found was at WTOP and WNYO. I was on-air at WTOP as an anchor, reporter and sportscaster multiple times a week. At WNYO I had a radio show with one of my buddies. All that experience I received through those two news media organizations is what made me what I am today.”

Future designs

December graduation candidate Ian McCullough“Ian McCullough, who will earn his master’s in art, began gaining professional experience in August as a graphic designer with Oswego’s Isca Design Studio, where he plans to continue.

“Working with my peers and professors in a classroom setting gave me an idea of the competition that was being produced at SUNY Oswego, and I was able to observe those traits and apply my skills in a way that would set me apart from the rest of them,” McCullough said.

“But just as a computer is a tool for designers, the classroom is a tool for a student,” McCullough said, emphasizing a need to follow one’s passions and seek out experiences. “That’s really only something you can do by putting yourself in new situations and meeting new people. It’s important for artists and designers to have multiple hobbies and interests or research different trades because it’s a good way to mature your creativity, and you never know when those things might be helpful for your real job.”

Business administration major Chelsea Hoffman will begin her post-graduate life in the Enterprise Rent-A-Car management-training program, a position she received after getting noticed at a summer internship in the company’s downtown Rochester location. She looks to do well enough in this role to take a management exam to qualify for promotion.

“What helped me most outside of the classroom was the experience working in the President’s Office in Culkin Hall and working with professionals and learning with their advice and the jobs that they assigned me,” Hoffman said. “Inside the classroom, the presentation skills I learned were definitely a great asset to have. It helped me to be more assertive in my communication and presentation of myself to others.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Graphing the future—Around 550 SUNY Oswego students were eligible to take part in December Graduation activities at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, in the Campus Center convocation hall and arena. Among those peering into the world ahead are Ian McCullough, who earned his master’s in art and works at Isca Design Studio in Oswego.

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(Posted: Dec 04, 2012)