Continuing Education and the ISU Futures Forum

Last Friday I had the unexpected pleasure of taking pictures for the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism's Future's Forum. A couple week's earlier I was given the photog assignment, but few details except for a handful of choice people to photograph. It wasn't until I showed up that I found out it was a Greenlee event (a school I have a little history with). It turns out the "Futures Forum" is a chance for current journalism students to hear from industry execs, ISU grads in the field and  current  students with unique intern experience. This year's panel was made of a senior editor at Better Homes & Gardens, an Ag magazine exec, an graduate who now works at ESPN and a student who recently interned for Rolling Stone and Maxim.

For the majority of the forum I was looking for different photography angles, but after the M.C. held a cheer for the recently deceased and beloved professor, Barbara Mack, and announced the topic, my interest was peaked. So much great insight into what the industry looks like, how students can get in front of it and what steps they can take in college to prepare for "the real world." Attending events like this are bittersweet; I'm so glad my alma mater is holding events like these, but at the same time I wish someone would have hit me over the head 10 years ago and I told me about them. So much excellent insight.

I remember sitting in a mandatory GSJC intro course back in the fall of 2001 and being terrified when I heard that getting an internship was mandatory. Now I look at these kids and I want to scream "Find an internship for each summer!" Hearing from the ESPN girl and the current student on the panel I hope the crowd got that message and has since of excitement about the industry. Two years ago I was telling every journalism student I knew to steer clear of print media (and I still kind of do) but digital journalism and broadcast have taken off in the last 10-12 months.

While I can't go back and clean up my mistakes, it makes me proud that Iowa State is guiding the next crop of reporters and multimedia producers down the right path. If these kids follow the panel's advice; apply for internships now, get a professional portfolio website, network, etc. their job search will be a walk in the park.

If anyone out there is a GSJC alum and is looking to network with other GSJC grads and friends, a great resource was discussed at the forum;, check it out and like the group on Facebook.


  1. Guess who came up with the name "Futures Forum" a few years back?

    ...Done guessing? OK, OK... it was me ;)

    1. Well sir, count me as a fan of your work. Did you ever speak at it?


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