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Liberal Arts Graduates

Devin White

What I do now:
I currently work as the executive editor for SB Magazine, a monthly community lifestyle publication in Shreveport-Bossier City.

My work/job consists of:
Assigning and editing stories, photography, writing, working with the creative director to develop cover design concepts and other visuals for the publication, working with the sales team on advertising strategies, and working with the digital media manager on content marketing to drive traffic to SBMag.net.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
During my last semester at LSUS, I worked as an intern for the feature desk at the Shreveport Times. Following graduation, I freelanced for the Shreveport Times for 9 months as a way to gain experience and keep my byline out in the community. When a feature reporter position opened, I applied and interviewed for it and officially began my career as a reporter at the Shreveport Times in February 2010. In January 2014, I left my job as a reporter to accept the position of executive editor at SB Magazine.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
In fall 2005, my family relocated to northwest Louisiana from Nevada. I decided to take a chance moving to a different part of the country, and consider it my best move yet. I transferred from the Community College of Southern Nevada to LSUS and can still remember my first day on campus. I felt so at home, although I had only lived in Louisiana for three weeks at that time. The university was a perfect fit for me. LSUS gave me a feeling of community, something that was missing from my life.

Fond memories of LSUS:
Many of my favorite memories of LSUS center on The Almagest. The students who worked alongside me became my closest friends - and still are today. Even though it was a student publication, the staff writers and editors treated it like the New York Times. We were on a mission to bring LSUS students the coverage they needed. Thinking back on it now, I chuckle at how serious we took that role, but in all honesty, it was serious. We were budding reporters and it fueled the passion that brought me to this point in my career. It was our launching point.

LSUS faculty who helped me:
So so many to name: Mary Jarzabek, Suzzanne Bright, Dr. Jack Nolan, Rose Marie Lillian, and even though her first semester was my last semester, Dr. Linda Webster had a huge influence on me and still does. I regret not being able to take one of her classes. Outside of the Mass Communications department, I have to name Drs. Cheryl White and Helen Taylor for the incredible examples they set for being strong, successful women.

How LSUS helped me succeed:
LSUS is my foundation. My true education began at LSUS. I think every instructor I ever had was top-notch. Also the university's reputation speaks for itself. When people learn I received my education from LSUS, they know the school for producing well-rounded and capable graduates.

Advice to college-bound students:
Don't be intimidated by the idea of attending college. It's not high school. Everyone is supportive - seniors, faculty, staff - they want to see you succeed, because the collective goal is to create better citizens and to contribute in our own unique ways to the community, nation and world.

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:
Never quit learning. Professional development is key to working in media. Everything in the industry changes at a rapid pace, so staying up-to-date on the latest trends and technology impacting media is vital.

Tips on choosing a major or career:
Don't be afraid to change your major. You may declare one thing, but find out you don't like that area of study. Also, never feel as though you are 'boxed in' to a career field. You will be shocked to learn how your skill set can translate into other industries.

My toughest professional challenge:
Working for a corporate media company during mass employee layoffs, furloughs and during its transition from producing a print product to a digital one as well. Entering the industry while print journalism was evolving into a digital model almost seemed like pioneering a new frontier. There is a lot of trial and error in learning how publications will remain relevant in the digital age.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
I was a finalist for the national Best of Gannett award in 2014 for a series on hunger in Shreveport-Bossier City. SB Magazine also won a bronze award in 2015 for magazine cover and a bronze ADDY award in 2016 for magazine cover. I'm also an alum of Lambda Pi Eta national honor society and Phi Kappa Phi national honor society.

I've learned this from life:
It's cliche, but I've learned that when one door closes, life opens another door. This doesn't mean to sit around waiting for it. This means you should open your own doors, create your own successes and never give up on yourself. Life changes daily.

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world:
I would write novels in the genre of historical fiction. I love history and would enjoy "traveling back in time" by creating my own characters and plot lines based on major historical events.