Opinion

Life after Castleton: a senior’s plan to return

I never had a plan up until recently, unless you count not having a plan. I’ve found inspiration in some of my observations about Castleton and other colleges I’ve attended. 

I want to be a professor of media and communications, specifically broadcasting, field reporting, talent, and personality work. 

I’d love to be a department chair, too. I want to make decisions that improve higher ed, get students involved, and increase extra-curricular overlap. One of the things I love to do is talk, and I think with some direction and guidance everyone could become a better speaker. 

I’d like to help students develop a more outgoing personality, a broadcast voice, teach the improvisation and articulation needed to be a great field reporter or broadcaster. 

U Kansas and Syracuse both have legendary programs for sports communications, and why shouldn’t more colleges? Castleton, and a million small schools possess the potential to elevate their communication programs with what I called extra-curricular overlap, which is a simple concept in which campus jobs are 100% held by students. Sports games are broadcast and produced by students on TV, radio, and the internet, the sports website is run by students (or at least strongly participated in by students. These things happen, true, but it’s mostly handled in the sports management sectors. 

Outside of sports, media is growing still. You don’t need to work at a network to have a make money talking with the rise of podcasts and the content boom that started just a few short years ago. 

My goal would be to take smaller departments and enhance their value by bringing back some of the parity that has been missing from thousands of small schools across the country in the last 20 years. 

My grades weren’t good enough to go to U Kansas or Syracuse, and broadcasting was not on my radar until I left Hudson Valley, but for every guy and girl who doesn’t have a transcript for U Kansas or Syracuse, there are other places, and I would love to make those other places hold similar opportunities. 

That’s a great way to keep local kids in their local areas, because sports are active at every level. Hockey, basketball, all of it – even at the high school level – in Vermont is still on the radio, live and local. Still streaming online and available on smart TVs everywhere as Americans cut the cable cord forever. Even if it’s just a hobby, local sports broadcasting enhancement in communication departments everywhere could keep students in places like Rutland while they find careers and stay anchored in the area for the love of what they do outside of work. 

And it could be more than a hobby. The world needs more than Joe Buck and Kevin Harlan. Remember what I said about smart TVs? Everyone has a coverage team now. Amazon, Hulu, all the big stream dogs are into live sports. 

You know how many booths and boxes professional stadiums and arenas have? There’s room. 

But, tough sledding out there. Wanna get a masters and be a professor? Better make the right choice. Masters degrees aren’t insured or backed by anything the way your Bachelor’s is accredited by an association. That means it doesn’t carry much weight beyond it’s prestige or established status. 

Where does that leave me? 

Quickly I re-evaluated my plan to pursue the Media and Comm concentrated MBA at Castleton, and my search will carry me to the career services office, the internet, and some place with a more poignant degree program that I’ll be able to manage, engage with, and mark off in hindsight as a valuable step and a right decision to a rational path.

Better yet, maybe I’ll wait and see if the Vermont State University curriculum will perhaps include a masters of media and communication that  I could take here, because I love this place.