Persistence paid off for Indiana University Kokomo senior Samantha Thieke, who recently began her first broadcast journalism job as a reporter for WLFI-TV, the CBS affiliate in West Lafayette.
“Now I have a career I’m proud of, and it makes me grateful I came to IU Kokomo to get a college degree in my hometown,” she said. “I’m able to do what I want to do with my life, on my own terms. It’s pretty neat to have a job, even before I graduate.”
Her official title is multiplatform journalist, which she describes as “kind of a one-man band thing.” Thieke shoots and edits her own video, writes her stories and posts them on the station’s website, along with reporting on the air.
“Most of the time, it’s just me working by myself,” she said. “That’s the way the industry is shifting.”
She is grateful for the opportunities she had on campus, including participating in Cougar News and leadership courses.
“I had thought because there wasn’t a broadcast degree here, that I wouldn’t be able to have a career in that field, but that’s not necessarily true,” she said. “It is more than possible to achieve your career goals with a general studies degree, and I am a walking example of that. IU Kokomo allowed me to earn a college degree in my hometown, where I had family to help me. I owe a lot to this school.”
Thieke, 25, caught the news bug in high school, taking broadcasting classes at the Kokomo Area Career School, along with dual credit classes at IU Kokomo. She had planned to take prerequisite classes on campus and then transfer to a college with a broadcast journalism program after she graduated from Eastern High School.