Andrew Whalen ‘19, Electronic Journalism Arts
Andrew wanted to study journalism but also really wanted to play college baseball. So, when the NVU-Lyndon baseball coach reached out to him on his 17th birthday, the Rhode Island native who hadn’t been to Vermont before decided to check out NVU. Once he met with the coach and then toured News 7, his decision was made.
When he started at Lyndon, he didn’t realize that he’d be working with the same professors all four years and that he’d develop strong relationships with them. He started gaining hands-on experience with the equipment right away, too – “unlike friends in journalism programs at other schools,” he said. “Here I could walk into a professor’s office whenever I needed help.”
For Andrew, working at the News 7 station in his junior year was scary at first. “I felt a lot of pressure to not let anyone down. But then I settled into it, and worked with faculty, learning how to find stories and build something out of nothing.” Andrew says he also received help developing his on-air personality, such as working on slowing down, working on intonation, etc.
News 7 got easier for Andrew as he moved through all of the on-air roles over four semesters – anchor, reporter, multimedia journalist, and producer. “I learned all I needed to be prepared to walk into a newsroom after graduation,” he said.
Andrew’s goal was to become a sports broadcaster covering the play-by-play action of Minor League baseball games. He began by working with two teams in the New England Collegiate Baseball League – the first, the Mountaineers team in Montpelier right after graduation and then another team in Rhode Island. While he didn’t get the job with the Minor Leagues he interviewed with after those experiences, he was hired by an independent league. Then COVID-19 hit and closed that door just as it opened.
So, Andrew shifted his goal to get in with a team and make his way from there. He landed a sales position with the Memphis Redbirds in March 2021, the AAA affiliate team of the St. Louis Cardinals, starting in ticket sales and moving up to account executive.
Andrew said his experience with cold calls for News 7 stories really helped him in this position, and that the personality he developed for on-air work has transferred to sales, too. He also says his associate degree in business provided a good background and some experience with marketing tactics that have proved helpful.
As for his baseball experience during his campus years, Andrew was put in the position of closer pitcher his freshman year and remarked about the great years the team had his third and fourth years at Lyndon. Andrew was nominated for pitcher of the year at Lyndon and still holds the school record for single season and career saves!
He says the friends he made at Lyndon remain great friends and by playing baseball they became a family. “Baseball made it some of the best times of my life. And the things you can do and learn at Lyndon are so beneficial for your life.”