Alumnus and News Producer Alexander Popichak Says Point Park University’s School of Communication Mirrors the Working World Alumni Profile
Meet Alexander Popichak
- Job Title & Employer
- News Producer, Erie News Now
- Broadcast Production and Media Management
- December 2018
- Presidential Scholarship, Point Park Opportunity Grant
- Carnegie, Pa.
- High School
- Carlynton Junior-Senior High School
- Now Living In
- Erie, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Photography, travel
"My professors helped me polish my resume, reel and website before applying to various newsrooms. Before going to Point Park, I had no idea what a producer was or did, but after talking with professors over the years, it was clear that I loved this kind of work and was connected to Erie News Now by one of my professors."
What steps did you take to secure this position before you graduated from Point Park?
I was actively involved in all of student media — from serving as editor of The Globe, general manager of WPPJ as well as creating NewsNight at U-View. In addition to gaining reporting experience in classes, I had an apprenticeship through Student Production Services as a studio technician. My professors helped me polish my resume, reel and website before applying to various newsrooms. Before going to Point Park, I had no idea what a producer was or did, but after talking with professors over the years, it was clear that I loved this kind of work and was connected to Erie News Now by one of my professors.
What are your key responsibilities in this role?
I’m the dayside producer, which means I organize and coordinate our evening newscasts. I write, edit video and create graphics for our 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. newscasts every day. I also lead special event coverage, half-hour specials and coordinate live shots with our journalists in the field.
In what ways has your college experience prepared you for this job?
Being active in student media was a great primer for what I do in the average day. From news judgement to editing and design, I use a little of everything I learned at Point Park on a daily basis to craft the best newscast possible.
What advice do you have for prospective students considering Point Park’s School of Communication?
The School of Communication mirrors the working world: you get out of it what you put in. Get involved with student media early and stay involved. Not only will you walk out with more experience than your average applicant, you’ll also make lifelong friends and professional connections.
What was it like going to school in Downtown Pittsburgh?
From the start of my search for colleges, I wanted to go to a school built around its city, rather than the other way around. Going to school in Downtown Pittsburgh not only allowed me to get hands-on experience in my field, but also allowed me to take advantage of all of the festivals, art, events and experiences Pittsburgh has to offer.
What are your career goals?
I’d love to produce or field produce for a network program like 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning or 20/20. I also want to produce a documentary someday. I love the flexibility that comes in a producer role, so I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
My time at Point Park taught me several things, but one of the most important was to be adaptable. If you can rely on a solid foundation of the fundamental skills like writing and journalistic ethics, the nuts and bolts of your day-to-day work comes a lot easier. I’ve found that I’m able to be creative with my work.