Evan spent a couple semesters in Hong Kong as an exchange student from Purdue at CityU last year.
Broadcast journalism may seem an unlikely career choice for a management student, but interning under the bright lights of Asian television helped Krannert senior Evan Kelsay see a bigger picture behind the news business.
See Evan in Action
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Evan Kelsay Reporting
By Mike Lillich
Evan Kelsay thinks it’s important for those in his generation to graduate and “hit the ground running” with their first jobs. To do that, he describes internships as “must requirements.”
Evan Kelsay covered a wide variety of stories for the Asia TV network in Hong Kong, including a museum exhibit, the opening of a water park, extreme weather events, and changing marriage customs.
After a summer of broadcast news reporting at the Asia TV network in Hong Kong, Kelsay has practiced what he preaches. “It was life changing both professionally and personally,” he says. “Plus, Hong Kong is my favorite city in the world right now.”
Kelsay, a senior from Indianapolis whose parents are Purdue alumni, was in Hong Kong from January to August last year. He took business and Chinese classes at City University of Hong Kong through May. “I began to understand the cultural divide between Eastern and Western approaches to business,” he says.
Before he even arrived in Hong Kong, Kelsay had arranged his internship at Asia TV with CEO Chan Wing-kee, a Purdue alumnus who owns a number of businesses.
“I had never done TV before, but I’ve had theater experience and have an outgoing personality,” says Kelsay, who cut his journalistic teeth at his high school newspaper and The Exponent. “I’d have been happy just being around the news operation and running coffee all summer.”
But as his semester was winding down, he made an appointment with the
TV station’s director and expressed his eagerness to take on any tasks needed. “The next thing I knew, I got a call from the station, and they said, “‘Go cover the story of the exhibit of dinosaur bones at the mall that has drawn four million spectators.’”
Kelsay caught on quickly. “After two or three stories, it felt fairly natural. It wasn’t long before I had an on-camera story on the news every evening.”
And he enjoyed every fast-paced minute.
“You have to figure out what the story is and get your sound bite. Then you write your story on the way back to the station. When you get there, you help the editors pick the best shots for the broadcast. It’s hustle and bustle and controlled chaos. I know high stress, but TV news is busy, active, and creative all at the same time,” he says. “It was more fun than any job I’ve ever had.”
Kelsay, who also has had internships with Clear Channel and Indianapolis radio station WFBQ (Q-95), plans a career in journalism and chose a management major to gain an understanding of the business side of journalism and the financial marketplace. “I want to know the money issues involved with running a business so I can understand what’s going on in someone else’s mind and how to react to it,” he says.
To fill in his already packed resume, Kelsay thought his next internship foray should be in the realm of politics, and by the start of his final semester at Krannert he’d snagged a communication position with the state Democratic party. He’d next like to work in a 2008 presidential campaign.
“With the November 2006 elections coming up, there will be opportunities,” Kelsay says. “I’d like to get some political experience to complement my business background because it seems that half the stories I covered at The Exponent had either a political or business side to them.”
Then, Kelsay figures he’ll land his first real job, possibly back in Asia doing TV news again.
“I want to work in journalism, and China’s the place to be for my generation,” he says. “After working outside the country for a few years, I’ll be better positioned for breaking in to a medium or large American TV market. “And in a global economy, I’d rather pay my dues in Hong Kong than in Boise.”