Media strategy specialist Justin Kulovsek knew early on that he wanted to be in a creative field. “While in high school, I started calling video production houses asking if I could come in to shadow or intern,” he says. His ambition and persistence paid off, and he landed internships at two major production houses in Chicago, where it seemed everyone he talked to had attended Columbia. “I remember the GM saying, ‘You’ve got the best TV school right in your backyard,’” he recalls. “I asked where, and he said, ‘Columbia College Chicago.’”
“Every industry professional I looked up to went to Columbia,” says Kulovsek, so he did, too. He was deeply committed to both his coursework as a Television major and his involvement in extracurricular activities, ultimately serving as Student Government Association president. He also worked on campus as an admissions ambassador, conducting tours of the college for prospective students and their parents. “There would be moments when you’d look at the individuals and you knew that Columbia’s creativity connected with them, and this was the school they wanted to attend,” he says. “There is so much creativity going around everywhere you look. Columbia truly is the creative microcosm of Chicago.”
Kulovsek’s time at Columbia is also where he learned one of his biggest lessons, the cornerstone of networking. “Always stay connected with people. You never know when someone is going to be able to help.”
Since earning his degree in 2004, Kulovsek has found success in his career. He works for the Nielsen Company in Business Process Improvement and is cofounder of Social Media Makers, a boutique firm specializing in social media and digital content. His clients range from small companies and broadcasters to internationally known musicians.
As an alum, Kulovsek remains dedicated to the college, actively contributing to Columbia’s future in multiple ways. This year, he worked with the Alumni Relations office to help launch a Young Alumni group, and he is a member of the President’s Club, the college’s primary recognition society for donors. He’s also likely to be spotted on campus giving presentations, filling in as a guest lecturer, and giving professional advice to current students interested in entering his creative industry. “As a young alumnus and member of the President’s Club, I think it’s truly important to give back to Columbia,” he says. “It’s important to make sure that current and future generations have the same opportunity to attend Columbia—a school that lives up to its mission and creates change in the world!”