I’m trying to summarize who I am right now professionally in 300-500 words for a class project. I ended up explaining my job the best way I know how. What do you think?
Student media is for crazies.
Think about it. The media is a challenging business to begin with, but then throw in the profound disruption experienced in print, video and audio media, and you have a beast of an industry to manage.
Then, throw in there the challenge of funding, staying solvent and investing in new initiatives that promote growth amid all that chaos.
Then throw in the fact that your primary work force is a bunch of 18 to 24-year-olds, who want to be journalists/DJs/filmmakers this week, but might change their minds next week, and are also taking 15 credit hours, and working or interning somewhere else, or have just been named president of some other organization. And for piling on 20-30-hour work weeks, you pay them a meager stipend (if at all).
Also, the good ones graduate and move on, much more quickly than you’d like to admit.
Then, try to get your student-run media platforms to attain a level of excellence that earns national recognition, year in and year out. And oh yeah, forgot to mention: you have no control over content and no direct say in the major decisions that get made, other than to provide advice and feedback, with the hope that you have credibility and influence.
To make it in this environment, you have to be crazy.
You have to be crazy dedicated to students and creating the best learning experience possible.
You have to be crazy about media production. You have to at least understand the work, if not be capable of doing it yourself, just as the head coach of a football team needs to understand all of the components of the sport on both sides of the ball.
You have to be crazy about students’ First Amendment rights, which often bring them in conflict with community norms and institutional policies.
You have to be crazy about communication, about getting the right ideas and information to the right people, at the right time, in the right manner.
You have to be crazy about business models, finding the right balance of revenue, risk and reward. You have to be crazy about advertising, marketing and PR, and how it can be used to expand your business.
You have to be a crazy good listener and adviser. Any day you might change hats from media manager to guidance counselor to adult role model. If you don’t forge a relationship in these situations, you may not have the influence later when you need it most.
You have to be crazy patient and crazy generous with your time.
My name is Matt Dulin, and I am that crazy. And then some.
I’m a solutions-oriented, people-friendly, data-driven and a quietly strong-willed leader. I attack problems head on, from every angle. I obsess over details, whether it’s a line of code in a web project or an errant comma in a sentence. I don’t stop learning, trying new things, and sharing what I know so far.
I draw on a wealth of knowledge — whether it’s AP Style or cascading styles, picas or pixels, grammar or syntax — and a quick, creative mind to solve problems, to challenge others and to create great work, wherever I am and whatever the obstacle.