When we get to college, we all have hopes and dreams of actually landing a career that’s worth the thousands of tuition dollars. We pray for the day we can stop whining about Professor Mason and his monotone lectures and start whispering about our boss Joe and his 50 vacation days a year. David Oliver was just like us: hopeful and determined. However, his determination deserves a plaque on the college wall of fame. His knowledge of what to expect at the University of Maryland College Park and his leap from internship to internship resulted in a professional homerun as Associate Editor for Food Dive, a trade publication to digital media company Industry Dive.
If you ever think that you may have done “too much” in college (if that’s even a thing), then calm your overactive nerves, because you’re likely a David Oliver in the making. From measly freshman to the big senior on campus, Oliver’s journalism major had him securing an internship or job every year he attended Maryland. He started off with a journalistic bang by landing an internship with The Washington Post Express his freshman year. If that’s not #goals, then what else is?
His next stop dropped him off on the doorstep of College Magazine as a writer turned Entertainment Editor. Oliver became the Ryan Seacrest of our beloved site, editing celebrity gossip pieces, film and music playlists, and top 10 articles for all of the entertainment-savvy students across the U.S. Although it may seem impossible to follow such an awesome publication, Oliver did it with finesse by adding big names like USA Today, Nickelodeon and Maxim to his resume (ya know, just to name a few). “I think I changed my mind everyday like everyone else about what I wanted to do post-graduation; however, I knew I wanted to be happy with whatever I was doing,” Oliver said.
Today, you can find Oliver in the D.C. offices of Industry Dive performing similar tasks that were required of him at CM. His days are filled with assigning stories, corresponding with freelance writers, writing his own articles and running the social media accounts for Food Dive. His focus now zeroes in on the executives of the food and beverage industry as opposed to the young college students of today.
Oliver had a distinct plan of how he wanted to land this big position at Industry Dive. “I think my willingness to do something new and exciting appealed to my employers. For journalists today, it’s really important to know what’s essential in the industry, and if you don’t know then be willing to learn.” It’s no secret that journalism has had more facelifts than a Hollywood superstar, so becoming acclimated to this changing industry seems essential in landing most positions.
If you’re a senior, you might be afraid that you won’t have your life plans figured out as the deadline for your college journey approaches like the grim reaper. That uncertainty even weighed heavily on Oliver. “You’ll likely find something. The worst case scenario is you have a job that may only last six months to a year and you realize you hate it. At least you have a learning experience that was gained,” Oliver said. He had his hand in many internships and jobs before he made it to Industry Dive, and of course not all of them were peaches ‘n cream. He realized that copywriting wasn’t his passion after his stint at Nickelodeon. Once he realized that about himself, he never had to regret opening up his wings and trying new things.
So your biggest question to David may be, how the heck did he do it? College stress lies in a whole separate category on the stress-o-meter, but somehow this University of Maryland College Park grad survived the process and even thrived after. “Honestly, the biggest thing is to stay open and not be scared. Maybe take the time to learn what a job wants and then go into the interview and be like, ‘listen I know I’m not completely qualified for this, but I took the time to learn and I’m willing to learn on the job as well,’” Oliver said.
Let’s all take a note from David and practice. Listen, I know we may be college students who haven’t really experienced the real world of ______ yet, but we are willing to learn. Hey, if we can sit through a two-hour lecture with monotone Mason, we can do anything.
For more information on David Oliver visit:
Industrydive.com and Fooddive.com
@doliver8 and @davidolivereats on Twitter