As students filed in to the classroom, you could see the eagerness on their faces. They would soon ask the man at the front of the classroom the magic question; what should they do to make their careers take off?
With job prospects scarce and a culture of people that no longer work at a job or two for a lifetime, students look to anybody for advice. That Thursday afternoon, somebody was here to tell them about the industry and how he went from a student to a published author. Students were on the edges of their seats.
Kurt Divich, a former UNLV communications major from the class of ’95 spoke of how he began his journalism career. “I was a comm major and at the time, you didn’t have to specialize. I used to tell employers that I specialized in whatever they were looking for at that particular job.” Students snickered and smiled at the idea as they furiously took notes.
Although Divich know works as a financial journalist, he didn’t begin his career in that field. After a stint at Applebee’s restaurant, he went into the public sector. He told the students that he, along with his wife and mother of his four children, feel strongly about gay marriage and that they lobby for gay rights. “I started out working in the Parks and Recs department, and then I worked for the Democratic Party.” He counseled students to do various jobs, including those in politics, and then use that experience to hone their journalistic craft.
After a 20-minute speech, Divich went around the room and asked each student what they were planning to do after college. Students sat wide-eyed and clung to every word that came out of Divich’s mouth as if it were gospel truth. He advised each student for their chosen path, telling the group that “what you want to do and what you would be good for isn’t always the same thing. Look for your strengths and specialize in that area.”
As the period came to an end, students looked as if they had some direction in their life. With bags packed, they awkwardly approached Divich to ask a few last minute questions. When they left class, they went out into the world as if they had hope for the future and a mission to “make it” in the field of journalism.