Max Gordon ‘14 didn’t even remember that he had applied to the Journalism department until he received his acceptance letter. He was unsure as to what he wanted to do, so he took a risk and dove right into the program.
Gordon’s uncle was a sports columnist and inspired him to get involved in Journalism and sports media. But in his second year at IC he decided he didn’t want to limit himself to sports, he wanted to cover topics that piqued his interest, and “give a voice to the voiceless.”
In August, 2013 Gordon traveled to DC to work with PBS NewsHour Online to cover the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. It was an eye-opening opportunity for him to see what realistic, daily life looks like for a professional journalist. “It’s a one-day event, you go out and get your story, then it airs that night” said Gordon, “That’s the pace of journalism and news nowadays”. He felt like he received an authentic experience of a professional journalist, which benefitted him in addition to his traditional classes.
During his sophomore year Gordon ventured outside journalism and took up personal training. By his junior he was managing the fitness center. Gordon felt that he was comfortable talking to people, conducting interviews, and locating sources, however he was still not sure of future career path.
When he graduated he asked himself, “how can I help people the best way I know how?” His career goal as a journalism major was not to be the best journalist, but simply to have a great, positive impact on others. Gordon said that for him, that was “helping people through the world of health and fitness.” He applied for a few jobs in journalism after college, but he knew that personal training was his passion.
Today, he runs Max Gordon Fitness, a combination in-person/online personal training and nutritional counseling company.
“What the Journalism program did for me, [in terms of] getting me ready to run my own business in the field of health and fitness is absolutely phenomenal.” Gordon said. He says that the best names in the health and fitness world all write often and well. Gordon added that understanding how to run a website and social media, write articles for newspapers or blogs, and shoot and edit online are all important to running a business.
Gordon says he does not see himself as a personal trainer that lacks an exercise science degree, but rather one that has the advantage of a journalism degree. “Studying journalism,” said Gordon, “has put me on the fast track to success in the field of health and fitness”.