If you watch television on a regular basis, chances are you have seen the work of Southeast alumnus Patrick Carter. Carter, originally from Paducah, Ky., is the operations manager at Creative Edge, Inc., a full-service marketing and video production company in Jackson, Mo. As operations manager, Carter oversees the production of television programming for one national and 12 regional television programs, in addition to handling staffing, scheduling and planning for the company.
“It is fulfilling to see projects finished,” said Carter. “Clients have broad ideas and my job is to translate those ideas into a story that tells a clear, concise message.”
Carter’s education prepared him for success in the production industry. While at Southeast, Carter says he involved himself with numerous projects both on- and off- campus to gain as much experience in video production as possible.
“I would go after every opportunity that presented itself, no matter if the work was paid or unpaid, because I wanted the opportunity to learn more outside the classroom,” he explained. “A lot of my education involved working at KFVS-12, freelancing or doing video projects for Dr. James Dufek, a professor in the Department of Communications.”
Carter also says that living on campus for two years contributed to his educational success at Southeast. Living in the residence hall provided lessons on how to interact with other people, stay motivated enough to wake up for early morning classes and face the reality of having to walk down nine flights of stairs for every fire drill. Carter says he also worked part-time on campus to gain extra experience.
“My favorite moment from Southeast was the convocation,” said Carter. “I thought it was a poignant way to symbolize the beginning of my education. The students would all wait outside of Academic Hall for the bell to toll before entering the building.”
After graduating from Southeast in May 2002 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and video production, Carter decided to pursue graduate work at Florida State University (FSU), in Tallahassee, Fla. He earned his master's degree in integrated marketing and management communication in 2004.
“Southeast was a terrific foundation for my master's program because the education I received was well rounded,” he explained. “I felt more prepared than my fellow classmates who attended larger schools or even those who had a bachelor's degree from FSU.”
While living in Florida, Carter’s favorite pastime was boating on the Florida bays and lakes. He still enjoys the chance to boat on nearby lakes when he has the opportunity. Carter also says he enjoys visiting the downtown restaurants in Cape Girardeau, particularly Mollies and the N’ Orleans.
Carter enjoys traveling, especially when his destination is Las Vegas, because it offers patrons an escape from reality. He eventually plans to take a tour of Europe and to experience the many cultures and cuisines offered there.
Carter says his experiences at Southeast provided excellent preparation for his career in video productions. His best advice to future Southeast students is to find applicable work experience while studying, even if it entails volunteering for organizations because it is easier to volunteer while in college than it is after receiving a degree.