A glimpse into UConn Journalism alumna Kala Kachmar’s post-grad life

Kala Kachmar, a 2009 UConn graduate, credits the journalism program for her success in the field.
Kala Kach­mar, a 2009 UConn jour­nal­ism grad­u­ate, works as a gov­ern­ment reporter at the Mont­gomery Adver­tis­er in Mont­gomery, AL. (Pho­to cour­tesy of Kala Kachmar)

Kala Kach­mar, a 2009 grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Con­necti­cut grad­u­ate, earned a bach­e­lor’s degree in jour­nal­ism and polit­i­cal sci­ence, along with a minor in his­to­ry. She cur­rent­ly works as the city/county gov­ern­ment reporter at the Mont­gomery Adver­tis­er in Alabama.

Some of her pre­vi­ous jobs include work­ing as a staff writer at The Chron­i­cle in Willi­man­tic, as a reporter at The Jour­nal Inquir­er in Man­ches­ter, and as a copy-edi­tor, page design­er, reporter at the Nor­wich Bulletin. 

Kach­mar cred­its her curios­i­ty about peo­ple and events going on around her for as her inspi­ra­tion for major­ing in journalism. 

I am a very peo­ple-ori­ent­ed per­son, and I real­ly love to under­stand what is going on the world. It is impor­tant for peo­ple to under­stand their sur­round­ings, and their local gov­ern­ment, their schools, and the things that they are pay­ing their tax­es for,” Kach­mar said in a phone inter­view. “I think jour­nal­ism is a craft that has changed so much because of the Inter­net, and the way peo­ple absorb things, and con­sume news…And I love writing.”

Kach­mar said her time at UConn pro­vid­ed the resources she need­ed to find suc­cess in the jour­nal­ism field. “The biggest thing I took away from UConn was the pro­fes­sors, and the rela­tion­ships I had with the pro­fes­sors,” Kach­mar said.

UConn Jour­nal­ism Depart­ment Head Mau­reen Croteau and for­mer Prof. Tim­o­thy Ken­ny were the two UConn Jour­nal­ism pro­fes­sors that Kach­mar remem­bered and appre­ci­at­ed most because they were “so easy to talk to, and rea­son­able, and knew stuff. I want­ed to learn as much as I could from both of them,” Kach­mar said. “They were so knowl­edge­able about everything.”

She said she took as many jour­nal­ism class­es as she could and worked all four years at The Dai­ly Cam­pus.

Stu­dents need to do every­thing they can. If they are real­ly pas­sion­ate about jour­nal­ism, they need to take every oppor­tu­ni­ty they can… and def­i­nite­ly get out­side writ­ing expe­ri­ence,” she said.

Kach­mar said she uses the skills she learned in the UConn jour­nal­ism pro­gram at her cur­rent job.

I think one of the biggest things that’s been most rel­e­vant to my career, so far, is learn­ing to incor­po­rate mul­ti­me­dia and social media into jour­nal­ism,” Kach­mar said. “I also think I learned how to talk to peo­ple. I have always been out­go­ing, but I real­ly learned how to have an inter­view that is effec­tive, and now I feel like I can con­nect with all kinds of peo­ple on all dif­fer­ent lev­els and that’s most­ly because of my expe­ri­ence at UConn.”

Kach­mar empha­sized the impor­tance of being a good reporter, as well as being able design a page. “If you know how to design pages, it will make you even more marketable.”

She added that stu­dents should embrace the use of social media as much as pos­si­ble because it is hav­ing a huge impact in the jour­nal­ism world today.

Do what­ev­er you can to make your­self mar­ketable. Write for what­ev­er paper you can write for, def­i­nite­ly write for The Dai­ly Cam­pus. Def­i­nite­ly do an intern­ship and learn as much as you can from your pro­fes­sors, because they know so much.”

Fol­low Kala Kach­mar on Twit­ter: @NewsQuip