By: Jake White
My name is Jake White and I am a professional storyteller… well I guess most people call it motivational speaking. So before this weekend’s ceremonies, I want to share a short story of how the Journalism Department at UW-Oshkosh launched my career before I even graduated.
To give you an idea of what I do… I basically travel to schools and conferences, meet awesome people, and talk about the importance of depending on ourselves for our own happiness. Others might call me a health educator, substance abuse speaker, or hopefully even a peer educator.
This all started because my freshmen year I got involved in clubs and organizations. I was so involved that the staff asked me to speak to hundreds of incoming freshmen each year about student leadership and involvement. It took me awhile, but I finally realized that this could actually be my profession. So I decided that I would use my journalism classes to build a business. Here’s how I did it:
- Step 1: Gather Materials
In order to spread the word about my service I needed marketing materials. My friend Michelle (also a Journalism major) took some killer photos for me, and my other friend Nathan (Radio TV Film major) helped me put together a demo video.
- Step 2: Create Marketing Basics
I used the materials to create a website in my Online Publishing class. I had learned some basics from my Worldwide Web Site Development class and this one gave me a broader skill set. The main project was to publish our own website. While working toward an A, I was contacted by a school that found my site on Google and wanted to book me for a speaking gig!
- Step 3: Build a Platform
Since the website would be good to reach administrators and those who booked me, I needed a platform to connect with students who I hoped to influence. I started a business called Party.0 Sober Parties with my buddy and built a strong social media presence in my New & Emerging Media class. After just a semester we had a blog and Facebook page that was reaching people from all over the U.S. (and even Australia!)
Now this doesn’t pertain to my current career direction but I owe the proudest moment of my life to Dr. Hansen from the Journalism Department as well. Her projects always have pushed me and expanded my network. The summer of my sophomore year I traveled across the country to take an internship I wasn’t given, hopped from house to house each night for a place to stay, put on an amazing music festival, and had the best experience of my life. I found this opportunity because of an interview we had to do for her Principles of Public Relations class.
Thanks UW-Oshkosh for having a sweet Journalism department and great people to keep it growing! I couldn’t have done all this without you!
-Alcohol Safety/ Motivational Speaker
-Co-Founder of Party.0 Sober Parties
-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence Winner 2013
-Call or text me at 920.216.1827