Current University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) senior Mary Jane Schulte’s interest in photojournalism has led her to the sidelines of numerous Duck football games, including the 2014 inaugural National Championship game, where she worked as a photojournalist with credentials from KVAL (CBS) News Channel 13.
Along with shooting for KVAL, Schulte is currently a photographer for Flux magazine, and has previously shot for Ethos magazine. She also participated in the SOJC “Science and Memory” trip to Cordova, Alaska, where she used her photography skills to tell stories of climate change.
Schulte now takes a moment to reflect on her time at the SOJC as she prepares for graduation in the spring.
What made you choose your current major/What interested you in photojournalism?
What draws me most to this field of work is the idea that every time I go out and shoot a new story/event/sports event/etc., there is something new for me to learn and experience – I am never doing the same thing. Through meeting all kinds of different people and covering a variety of different events, I am continuously stimulated by my work, and never bored, which is what I love. I get to utilize my skills in the same way for the purpose of making it visible and comprehensible to other. Under one umbrella of work, the things I get to learn and uncover are endless.
How did you begin working with KVAL? What has been the most valuable part of this experience?
I started working for KVAL over a year ago when I decided to follow the UO women’s softball team throughout their whole season. It gave me the opportunity to see what it was like to work on my own and produce work on a professional level by myself. I think this, amongst all of the traveling experiences I have had for events, has been the most valuable part of working with KVAL. The experiences I have had have truly helped me grow in my career and have made me comfortable traveling, producing and working independently.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned while at the SOJC?
Understanding how to work with deadlines. This has been the one constant and recurring thing that I have figured out at the SOJC (as well as working with KVAL). Deadline pressure is a very real part of journalism, and without the practice of that at the SOJC, I would not have been prepared for covering the National Championship.
What was it like to cover the National Championship game?
For a long time after the game and the trip, all I could say was that it was surreal and that I was incredibly lucky and thankful to so many people to have had such an opportunity. This trip taught me a lot about what it means to cover such a huge event. I did my best to not let the heavy amount of anticipation and excitement get to me, and instead focused on shooting the game (as well as everything leading up and afterwards) to the best of my ability.
What’s one piece of advice you have for younger students interested in your field of study?
Do not get complacent following the lead of others/your classmates. You really have to get out there and make a name for yourself.
What are your future goals/plans after graduation?
This summer I am hoping to get a photojournalism internship at a newspaper somewhere in the country, although I have no idea where that will be yet. After that, I hope to get a job at a newspaper or some kind of sports publication, preferably somewhere in the Northwest. I am also hoping to do a bit of traveling in between all of that.