March 3, 2015
T. Andrew Wahl ('96, Comparative U.S. and International Studies) met with students to share his career pathway.
Andrew Wahl (second from left) with students
Andrew self-published his first newspaper, The Shooting Star, at the tender age of 5. He’d planned to be a print journalist for his entire career – but the Internet had other ideas. Luckily, his interdisciplinary education at UW Bothell had prepared him to take advantage of a wide range of professional opportunities. Andrew worked at newspapers throughout the Northwest, including stints at The (Everett) Herald, The (Longview) Daily News, and The Wenatchee World. His journalism experience included time as a writer, editor, designer and editorial cartoonist; his work earned several award, including back-to-back citations of excellence from the United Nations for his work as an editorial cartoonist. In 2008, just before the recession devastated the newspaper industry, Andrew left to pursue his master’s in liberal studies (humanities) degree via distance education from Fort Hays State University. Since graduating, he worked as a communications director of Humanities Washington, a statewide nonprofit organization, and now heads the journalism program at Everett Community College. He’s also a member of the 2015-16 Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau, for which he travels the state to deliver talks about comic books and U.S. history.
Andrew provided a wealth of advice, both general and specific to communications:
The first job you get out of school is the only one you get primarily on your own merit. After that it’s all about networking. (And networking via internships and volunteering can help land that first job, too!)
When marketing your education, showcase your skills as supplemental to your degree. Grow your skills base through free online tools.
When creating a personal brand, be consistent across all social media platforms and own them completely by regularly scheduling content.
Self-publish! We now have access to incredible resources which allow us to instantly publish and have our work seen across the globe. Take advantage and grow your readership.
Always approach a freelance position by asking what the editor needs you to do. Over the long haul you will get to do what most interests you.