Professor Mike Igoe Discusses “Careers in Media”

On the evening of March 24, College of Liberal Arts lecture “Careers in Media” was successfully hosted by Dr. Elaine Ng,  faculty member of the English Department. The guest speaker, Professor Mike Igoe, currently teaches at SUNY Fredonia. With his humoroustone, rich experience in the media industry, and practical advice closely related to WKU students, Professor Igoe made the lecture very interesting and inspiring for the participating students and teachers. The lecture hall was filled to capacity, and the atmosphere was lively.

The lecture was characterized by thefeature of “engaging the audience’s experience” throughout the session. From the very beginning, Professor Igoe managed to relate the content to the students while introducing himself. He invited the students to think, raise questions, and shared anecdotes about his connection with China as well as WKU. In this process, the audience learned about Professor Igoe’s teaching interests, academic experience, and rich experience in the media industry.Vicariously, the audience experienced the diversity within the media industry through Professor Igoe’s sharing.

For students at WKU, Professor Igoe specifically advised on preparing for a media career during the undergraduate years. He pointed out that in today’s era of media convergence, WKU students should develop their skills on multiple platforms, understand their interplay,and get to know a bit of everything. Many can be accomplished during the fouryears. Students need to be aware that their school work – whether it is done forthe classes, campus clubs, community organizations, or on their own – also counts as product work that can be used as a demonstration or proof of their competence. In addition, students will benefit from starting early to market themselves, dare to be different, and try courses outside their comfort zone.

Professor Igoe emphasized the importance of internships, English, and resumes in media careers and gaveadvice on these aspects. In the field of media, Professor Igoe particularly recommended students gain internship experience. He shared his own students’ internship project of publishing “IGOE Digest,” as well as his daughter’s internship as a television reporter. Professor Igoe suggested that the internship’s actual experience may be more critical than the unsatisfactory school grades. In terms of developing other competencies, Professor Igoe believed that English should be a priority for students. It would be asignificant advantage for them in their media careers. Another essential thing in employment is the resume, which Professor Igoe advised should have “stuff,” meaning that it should list specific skills and the work product, as mentioned before. He encouraged to also attach links to the work product so that the resume reader can easily access them.

After receiving a lot of practical and informative sharing at the end of the lecture, the audience was eager to ask questions. Professor Igoe answered them all cordially and welcomed WKU students to email him further questions about the media industry.

As Dr. Elaine Ng remarked at the beginning of the lecture: despite Professor Igoe cannot be here, we can all learn from him. After the lecture, we could still hear the audience discussing the content of Professor Igoe’s sharing on the way out. We believe that this lecture on media careers inspired and impressed all the students and teachers who attended.



Author: Tang Feng

Word Editor: Xiang Bingling (Evangeline)

Photos: Lin Mohan