Kylie Cameron chose to attend Wichita State after learning about the abundance of opportunities offered. While pursuing degrees in journalism and political science, Kylie was involved in The Sunflower student newspaper and the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College.
Kylie is one of more than 1,200 students eligible for fall 2020 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State, and read some advice she has for current students.
What is your degree in?
My degrees are in journalism and political science.
What led you to Wichita State to begin with?
At first, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go to college. My best friend told me she was coming to Wichita State. I checked it out and saw there were a lot more opportunities at Wichita State. I knew I would have a better feel for my professors here and that I could attain internships and networking opportunities.
How are you feeling leading up to graduation?
I’m feeling OK about graduation. I feel a little nervous to officially be an adult, but it feels better knowing that I have a job already taken care of. I feel super fortunate to have the connections I have and to already have a job before I graduate, especially during a pandemic.
What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at Wichita State?
My most helpful learning experience has been working at The Sunflower. I’ve been there ever since I stepped foot on campus, and it really solidified my love for journalism, and it gave me a lot of valuable experiences. After being there for four years, I learned a lot about myself and about myself as a journalist. I learned about what it is I actually want to do, how to be a good journalist, how to write, edit and design. I learned a lot of technical skills, and that was honestly the most helpful experience I had in college. I also did a lot of public opinion research for my political science degree that really taught me a lot.
What was been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge as a student was time management. During my last year at Wichita State, I was the editor of The Sunflower, which was a fulltime position, but I was also a fulltime student and co-writing a thesis at the time. Doing all this at once was difficult but it helped me understand how to work under a lot of pressure in a professional environment. Being editor is stressful and hard, but going through everything else as a typical college student added a ton of pressure.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I will continue in my position as a digital producer for KWCH.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your time at Wichita State or your post-graduation plans?
When COVID-19 began, I was still the editor of The Sunflower; and that was crazy because I was trying to cover exactly what was going on with the university at the time. I was trying to inform the students but also wondering what the last few months of my position were going to look like. I had stories planned that I wanted to do and things I wanted to do with my staff. The last few months are pretty vital because we usually do the stories we really want to do toward the end. I wasn’t really able to do that, which is fine because it shoved me into the leadership part of being editor. I led my staff through a challenging time. I don’t know that there will ever be a time like this again when an editor will have to endure. At the same time, if not for the pandemic, I might not have started working at KWCH, so I still feel really thankful because I’m gaining newsroom experience and learning a lot at KWCH.
What advice would you give other Wichita State students?
My advice would be to take your time, don’t stress, and enjoy your college years. I think that’s one of my biggest regrets is that I never stopped to smell the roses. I kept making myself go long, and that’s great because it led me to where I am; but I’m also a big mental health advocate. Make sure you’re actually going at your pace and that you utilize the resources provided on campus. I was able to use counseling services on campus when I needed to. My second piece of advice is to find your people and the thing you enjoy the most and stick with it. I’m super fortunate that I found The Sunflower and that I made the friendships that I did along the way. I love each and every one of those people who I worked with in the newsroom. They’re the greatest friends I have ever had in my life. Overall, just take your time and utilize your resources. Amidst the pandemic, there’s all this pressure to be productive, but every once in a while, give yourself a break and have some fun doing what you actually want to do.