Young Alumni Profiles

Kellan Davidson '11Kellan Davidson '11
Video content producer and editor, Merrill Lynch division of Bank of America

By Alyssa C. Frey '14

Most students experience a point during college that transforms their career path one way or another. For Kellan Davidson ‘11, that moment was surprisingly enough during Intro to Journalism, with a substitute he doesn’t even remember.

“It was my freshman year and my professor was sick in my J 101 class, and a another professor for the opposite section filled in for her,” Davidson said. “His whole approach was a lot different than my actual professor, a lot more stern and solemn. He said, ‘None of us [journalism professors] know what the future of the industry is going to look like. By the time you hit the job market, it could be completely different.’”

Because of that advice from this professor that the industry could be or was currently changing at a rapid pace, Davidson said he immediately started to diversify his skill set, noting that the college’s journalism curriculum allowed him to do just that.

“At that point, the curriculum had a more writing-centric path or a more digital production path,” Davidson said. “So I took all of the digital classes, made audio and video news packages, built blogs, experimented with web applications. I just wanted to make sure by the time I hit the job market I had a diverse skill set in case the industry did a total 180.”

Davidson went on to complete a writing minor alongside the journalism curriculum during his three years at the college. Both curricula, along with writing for Buzzsaw Magazine, allowed him to practice story telling and interview skills, tools he finds invaluable in the work force.

“The ability to talk to people and get the answers you’re really looking for is one that is invaluable no matter what career path you choose,” Davidson said.

And although he’s now on a path much different than many of his classmates, Davidson said he wouldn’t have wanted to study anything else, anywhere else.

“I have never met a more caring set of intellectuals than the journalism professors at Ithaca College,” Davidson said.

After graduating a year early, Davidson now works at Merrill Lynch in their marketing department. He started there in June 2012 as an online video content producer and editor. Describing the work he does as “journalistic at its core,” Davidson says his work is a way to help encourage discussion between Merrill Lynch clients and their financial advisors about investment portfolios.

Although Davidson no longer works directly in media, he doesn’t believe the industry should discourage students.

“All I can say is if you do something and you love it and commit yourself to it, you will find an audience,” Davidson said.

Graduating a year early because of extenuating circumstances made Davidson nervous in terms of job-hunting, but said that the professors at the college helped him catch up and everything turned out okay.

“Sometimes your dreams and passions have to take a back seat to practicality for the sake of making ends meet, but that doesn’t mean they go away,” Davidson said.

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