Most students complain about having to juggle two hours of homework and keeping up with their favorite show on Netflix. Alex Kirkpatrick, however, is taking advantage of every opportunity that comes his way.
From his involvement with the speech and debate team, working his part-time position with KCCI-TV in Des Moines to serving as a copy and digital editor of the Simpsonian —there’s nothing he can’t do.
Although Alex is has it all together and has accomplished so much, he was unsure coming into college of what direction he wanted to take. Alex mentioned that he was never involved in anything news-related in high school.
With the help of the professors within the multimedia and communications department, Alex found his calling and was instantly inspired to become a journalist and continue learning and progressing in his academic and professional career.
Learn more about Alex and everything he does at Simpson College and within the Multimedia Journalism major through the following Q&A session:
Alex, could you tell me about yourself? What are your hobbies and interests? What do you do for fun?
I am a junior. I am from a small town called Indianola, Iowa (in the middle of nowhere). I enjoy spending time with family and friends and I also coach tumbling at the Indianola Tumbling Center.
What have you been involved with in your time at Simpson College?
I am involved with speech and debate, Model United Nations, Simpson Student Media, the Light Company, Simpson College Republicans and Simpson Writing Across the Curriculum.
Could you explain to me your job at KCCI and what your title entails?
I am a part-time digital editor at KCCI-TV in Des Moines. I curate, edit and publish news stories that come from police reports, the AP wire, reporters, online content and other news sources.
It’s a fast-paced environment in which I am learning constantly on how to be more efficient and effective with my writing. This position has also helped me with critical-thinking skills and news judgment.
Do you see yourself staying on with KCCI after college or are you looking for something new?
KCCI has a lot of employees who stay, whereas other stations usually have a high turnover rate. So yes, I can definitely see myself staying for a while. However, eventually I would like to move into a bigger market, but I’m already at the No. 1 news station in Iowa and that’s pretty cool.
What is your ultimate dream job?
Ever since seeing Ann Curry report in Darfur and the Middle East circa 2007, I’ve always wanted to travel and tell people’s unheard stories. My dream job would be similar to that—a foreign correspondent for a major news network.
Explain the impact of coming to Simpson College with your academic and professional career.
In high school, I had never participated in anything news-related—I took a video class and that was about it. Coming to Simpson, I didn’t know if I wanted to do broadcast or print media. However, the beauty of the Multimedia Journalism program is that it encompasses it all.
I think the Multimedia Journalism major at Simpson is ahead of the curve in terms of preparing students for a realistic job and equipping them with skills that are universal.
What do you like most about the Multimedia Communication department?
I love the feedback the professors are willing to give. If they sugarcoated criticism of my work, I don’t think I would’ve gotten very far. Their attention to detail is just what I need to improve any skill I’m working on whether it’s writing, editing, voicing, shooting video, etc.
Do you have any recommendations for prospective students looking to study at Simpson or within the Multimedia Communication department?
I would recommend researching a lot. Simpson prides itself for its convenient location and small class sizes. Truly, the academic programs are so expansive and the possibilities are endless. I wanted to major in Multimedia Journalism and French, but looking around, other colleges only offered one or the other—not both. Moreover, I researched alumni who have graduated from the program—I saw their professional works and decided I wanted to accomplish the same things.