Students within the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, who qualify, will now have a heightened, real-world experience with the introduction of Lakeside Media at SUNY Oswego.
The a new, campus-based, student-staffed production company spearheaded and advised by broadcasting and mass communications professor Marybeth Longo has been over three years in the making. When Longo first arrived at Oswego State as a professor, she worked with several students on a story for the Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium, which was sent to the Broadcast Education Association Awards. It came in third place.
Longo realized this was a stellar opportunity to enlist more students for paid work. After three and a half years of trying to get the project off the ground, she said the arrival of Julie Pretzat, the dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, was a huge help in starting Lakeside Media at SUNY Oswego.
Pretzat said she noticed there was a market available where clients were seeking student work.
“I listen a lot,” Pretzat said. “Your first year is mostly listening. I understand where there is growth on our campus and I understand where there are opportunities for some really unique experiences for our students, and that’s one of the things I’ve been working hard on, is to find school-wide things we can do rather than departmental things we can do.”
Pretzat sees her roles as “clearing the mud out of the way” so individuals can do their best work.
“My job is to find funding and to work through the system so that good ideas like this have an opportunity to grow,” Pretzat said.
Longo acts as the faculty director and mentor for the start-up company. She said the company is doing primarily fieldwork for clients and the work is not for everybody.
“Some students may be a little intimidated doing real world work right off the bat with stronger personalities,” Longo said.
Like any job, the most qualified candidates will be considered. According to Longo, students are handpicked based on their talent, their work ethic and their personality.
“Some students have already come forward and I said to send me your resume and see what you’ve got to offer,” Longo said. “Not everybody gets a trophy.”
The students who are hired have a chance to put real world, in-the-field experience on their resume, rather than a class project or internship. Longo said students have the chance to show that they were actually employed and that the company has already been working on a number of projects.
“We’re putting a video together for Title IX,” Longo said. “We have a video that we’re putting together for Oswego County about the dangers of synthetic marijuana. I’ve got two students working on that. I’ve got two students who are employed right now by the University Police to do ride-alongs. That’s going on the University Police website.”
Another video on manufacturing and technology received an honorable mention with the BEA Awards. This, according to Longo, was out of 1,300 submissions.
Longo said her company would not interfere with the already established media organizations on campus, such as WTOP-10 or WNYO, as they are doing different work at a different level.
“This is not a student-run organization,” Longo said. “There are student employees. This is faculty-run…You’re getting a totally different experience at WTOP. You’re getting studio work, you’re working as part of a team.”
Because of the high demand for department equipment from students, Pretzat said it was important to get separate equipment for the company. According to Pretzat, the prop room near Studio B in Lanigan Hall should be cleaned out soon to create more storage space for the Lakeside Media at SUNY Oswego equipment.
Pretzat foresees Lakeside Media at SUNY Oswego expanding in the future.
“I have a desire, as the dean of the school, to broaden it beyond just the video aspect of things,” Pretzat said.
Longo sees a bright future for Lakeside Media at SUNY Oswego, too.
“We’ve been kind of all over the place but only by word of mouth,” Longo said. “Now we’re going to start advertising. We’re going to start doing social media. We’ve got our logo. I’m going to start working on the website. So we’re just in the starter phase, but we’ve got five jobs right now before anyone even knew about us.”