A journalist with a bright future. Connor Kwiecien, currently working as a member of the Elm Street Dining Hall staff, is a 21-year-old journalism student at the University of Oregon, who is going into his senior year of college this fall.
He first worked here at Exeter Summer two summers ago, back in 2015, starting with a part-time job, and later moving on to work about 40 hours a week. Nowadays he is working full-time, and by the second week of the summer, he had already worked for 55 hours, starting early in the morning, “It can be nuts for a while,” Connor said.
His favorite part of the job is interacting with his co workers.
“I really like the people that I work with, they’re all good people,” Connor said.
Even though he is currently working as the News Director at his campus radio station, KWVA, he decided that he wanted to major in journalism just last fall, when he started writing for his school’s newspaper.
Connor has an exciting future ahead. He is heading to London for 14 weeks this fall, to study and learn about documentary-making.
He graduated from Pinkerton Academy, in Derry, New Hampshire, and later moved to Exeter with his parents and lives just a mile down the street.
Although he is very busy working here, he still finds a way to stay involved with journalism Just last week, he launched a news podcast with a friend. In the first two days, they got 100 likes on Facebook.
The podcast focuses on good news. They take the news itself, which is nowadays generally negative, and find a way to make it positive. It is a full news program, which starts with the headlines of the previous week read in one minute, as fast as possible. Later, Connor and his friend go in-depth on the good news stories, followed by a feature story. Last week’s feature story was “why the news is so negative.” and this week’s feature story is going to focus on health care and its history in the United States.
The podcast got a pretty good response, earning around 200 listens on their website for their first episode.
“That’s pretty exciting” Connor said.
Connor is still unsure if he wants to work in podcast journalism in the future — he would rather pursue satirical writing. His dream is to work as a writer for a political satire show or something along those lines.
“Comedy is a really powerful tool,” Connor said. “Journalism is great, but the news is so negative; comedy acts as a tension release.” His goal is to incorporate humor and make people enjoy the news.
Despite liking to work here during the summer, he is very concerned about all of the food that goes to waste during each of the meals. It makes him feel frustrated and guilty, and makes the job harder. The more food people put on their plates, and that generally they don’t eat, the more that goes to waste.
“We’re making more that’s thrown out because people are taking more than they’re eating,” Connor said. “It’s a positive feedback but it has negative issues.”
His message to the students is: “Be conscious of what you put in your plate, be kind when you’re putting it into the dish belt.”