“Breakthrough Experience” Online Program for Chief Information Officer
When Alexander Schwind left the University of Toledo in 2016 to work full time, his goal was always to go back and finish his studies. But as he began to rise through the ranks of local television affiliate 13 ABC, the prospect of returning to school seemed increasingly out of reach.
“When I had to find a full-time job, I fell into broadcasting,” Schwind said. “Most people in the broadcasting world have a communications degree. The station is open 365 days a year. The hours are a bit crazy. I thought my situation was impossible.
Then, in the midst of the pandemic, UToledo launched its 100% online college degree program that allows students to complete a personalized bachelor’s degree at their own pace.
Schwind, senior director of the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts at 13 ABC, will graduate in May with a bachelor of arts degree from University College. While his work experience was valuable, Schwind knew that adding “college graduate” to his resume would benefit him down the road.
“I think going back to school online has really been a game-changing experience,” he said. “I don’t know if I would have finished in the next 10 years if I hadn’t had this opportunity to take advantage of it.”
Schwind tailored her degree to align with her future goal of pursuing executive positions in television networks. With the help of his advisor, Schwind enrolled in courses that focused on business management, ethical leadership, and communication theory.
“I think this will serve me well later in my career as I continue to move into leadership positions that require graduate school,” Schwind said. “I learned to excel and lead successfully at work. What I’ve always said about going back to school is fill in the blanks, complete the theory, and learn better ways of looking at things.
Schwind has visited the UToledo campus on occasion to speak at communications classes and mentor students.
“Alex has a wealth of knowledge and spoke with great passion about his professional experience,” said Tisha Mays, assistant lecturer in the Department of Communication at the College of Arts and Humanities. “He expressed the importance of internships, using UToledo’s media and production resources and encouraged students to apply for positions at 13 ABC.”
Schwind’s shift at the train station is from 3 p.m. until nearly midnight, so he works on before and after work assignments. One of the biggest benefits was the flexibility of the online degree program.
“You have to want to do it,” he says. “If you want to do it, it’s a revolutionary tool to do it. It helps to remove so many pressures and stressors.
Schwind is moving to Atlanta and will begin his new role as director of CBS 46 later this month.