The University of Nebraska-Lincoln debuted its series of Big Red Talks with UNL alumnus Tyler Riewer Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the Nebraska Union Auditorium.
Big Red Talks allow students and faculty to understand how the effect of experience outside the classroom has an impact on potential opportunities in future careers. The series includes 20 minute presentations from a speaker followed by questions from the audience.
Riewer graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communications in advertising and English. He is currently the brand content lead for charity: water, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to bring clean water to everyone around the world.
“I see my job very much as just trying to make that experience as real as possible for the people who actually deserve to see it,” Riewer said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity and an honor.”
Riewer spends most of his time in front of the camera with photos and videos for charity: water, where he uses his talents to unveil the stories of those who lack access to clean water.
“One-half of my job takes place in the field, capturing those stories and coming back,” Riewer said. “The other half is in the office, figuring out how to tell the stories and inspire the audience.”
According to Riewer, there were three factors that contributed to the path he is on today: education, side projects and saying yes. His experiences beyond the classroom and desire to take on new challenges helped shaped his career today.
“The thing that was the most beneficial to me in the journalism college was the number of experiences we had the opportunity to take part in,” Riewer said. “I learned very quickly that you can learn as much outside of the classroom as you can learn inside of the classroom if you’re really passionate about it.”
Students who attended the event found Riewer’s advice to be inspirational in their own lives. Alivia Michalski, a sophomore in environmental studies, said she believes accepting all opportunities was essentially the secret to life.
“I think the biggest thing I took away was to always say yes,” Michalski said. “I think a lot of people are scared of new things, but you can’t better your life unless you go out and try new things.”
Anh Nguyen, a junior nutrition science major, said he enjoyed Riewer’s presentation of photos and videos from his time in college to his experiences with charity: water.
“I think his presentation really portrayed the need for water and the undeserving populations around the world,” Nguyen said. “It makes us think of how privileged we are to not have to worry about that kind of stuff.”
Riewer showed students and faculty how his experience in college was not focused on the work done in class, but on the passion behind the work being done.
“Every step of my journey, I’ve been in a position where I’ve felt like I was doing a job I loved and I didn’t think it could get much better,” Riewer said. “But it continues to, which is pretty amazing.”