Jeremy CabalonaUniversity of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) alumnus Jeremy Cabalona ’11 (Electronic Media Production) didn’t think his late nights at Mashable’s offices creating Vine videos would lead to a different opportunity. Vine took notice of his work and hired him in 2012 as their first community manager.

Cabalona was recently honored by Forbes as a 30 Under 30, which noted the new guard of media makers, influencers and game changers. With a budding career, he took time to reflect on his time at the SOJC and who helped influence his career.

What have you been doing and what’s next?
I currently live in New York City and work on the Vine team. I started at Vine as the first community manager in 2012 where I was responsible for social media strategy and community interaction. Currently, I’m working on experiential marketing for Vine,bringing the unique culture of Vine to the physical world through activations.

Could you describe one person and/or experience in the SOJC that shifted the course of your career, and/or that illustrates one of the SOJC’s core attributes of ethics, action or innovation?
I worked on DuckU News (now DuckTV) for nearly three years at the SOJC, and it was one of the key experiences of my early career. Even though I don’t work in broadcasting today, the freedom to innovate and the opportunity to learn at DuckU News greatly impacts the approach I take to my career. I am very serious when I tell people that DuckU played a role in starting my career in digital media. It’s funny to me how something as simple as establishing a social media presence for DuckU News helped lead to my first internship at media site Mashable.

Is there an example of how an SOJC faculty member aided you with your career?
Rebecca Force made an impact on me in many ways. For example, one day our class was importing raw footage in the media lab. My tape deck wasn’t working and I asked Rebecca to take a look. I showed her my process, and she quietly observed. Instead of changing my process, I kept trying the same method over and over.

After a few tries, Rebecca stopped me with the old saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I’d heard this before, but this time the message truly sunk in. I’ve been able to use this countless times throughout my career.

What’s the single most important piece of advice you’d like to give to current SOJC students?
You’ve probably heard this time and time again, but don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. Make your own way. As a SOJC student, you are so fortunate to have resources and collaborators all around you. Use them to create.

What impact did you think your SOJC education has had on your life?
My experiences at the SOJC affected my life in unexpected ways. For example, I never would have thought what I learned in a weekend Photoshop workshop would give me the leg up I needed to excel at a tech news site, or that I’d be using the knowledge I gained from a lighting workshop in my job today at Vine.

How did you get your job at Vine?
I came to my position at Vine through a combination of pure personal passion and experience. Prior to joining Vine, I really devoted myself and launched Mashable’s Vine account. I would stay in the Mashable office late at night and cut paper to create stop motion Vines. The community that formed around Mashable’s Vine account was so incredible to me, and I was hooked. When I saw Vine was hiring its first community manager, I knew this role was made for me because no one else could love the opportunity as much as I would.

You were recently named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 for Media. What does the honor mean to you?
I’m still blown away to be in the company of the innovators and tremendously intelligent people on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Media list. Instead of taking the easy road of dwelling on thoughts of inferiority, I choose to see this as an opportunity to motivate myself and do my best to live up to my potential.

Story by Celina Baguiao