Mark Townsend ’21

  • Major: Communication (Film and Media)
  • Grad Year: 2021

Mark Townsend

Mark got a job as a photojournalist for the Grand Rapids NBC affiliate, Wood TV 8, after graduating with a communication degree concentrating in film and media.

Mark Townsend’s work day can start pretty early—around 3:30 a.m.

But the fast pace and endless variety of his job help make up for setting that early alarm.

Townsend got a job as a photojournalist for Wood TV 8 after graduating last May with a communication degree with a concentration in film and media.

Townsend said that while he always followed the news and liked to stay informed, he didn’t have any plan to go into journalism when he graduated. It’s a job that he “tripped into” after Professor Sam Smartt mentioned a job opening at the TV station and he applied, he said.

But he loves the pace of filming in the morning and having the piece air on TV that night. Instead of having three months to put a project together, he’s got about three hours. And there’s no standard day – every day is a little different.

“It’s a very fast-paced environment,” he said. “By that night you’ve got to put something on TV and you have to make decisions quick. It can be very interesting and exciting.”

He said one of the most important lessons he learned in college was the importance of making connections.

“Meeting people and forming connections can lead you to other opportunities,” he said. “Be nice to people, don’t burn bridges, and never delete a phone number.”