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Alumni Profile: Chris Walker '11
Year Graduated from UCLA:
2011
Current Occupation/Field of Work:

Freelance Journalist.
Contributor at Forbes, NPR, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and LA Weekly.

Work Experience:

I just finished a two year, 16,000 mile bike ride across Eurasia. As I traveled through 23 countries, I treated the journey as my graduate school in journalism. My trip partner and I knew nothing about publishing stories when we left France, but gradually learned how to write pieces on the road, eventually publishing 14 feature stories across the web and major print magazines.

Why did you choose Comm Studies as your major?

Originally I was interested in entering the music industry, and I saw comm studies as a way to find out more about the mass media industry.

Favorite UCLA memory and/or professor:

Sneaking up to the top of one of Royce Hall's Towers.

How has Comm Studies empowered you in your professional and personal life?

Referrals by a few of my professors (Steve Peterson in particular) led to some of my most helpful advisors -- mentors who continually guided me through the process of storytelling and ethical reporting

What was the most valuable or applicable lesson you learned from a Comm Studies class?

Jim Newton's 'Ethics of Journalism' class foreshadowed a lot of the challenges I would deal with as a reporter. When questions such as undercover reporting and disclosure to sources came up, it was questful to refer back to the case studies in Jim's class as guidance.

What advice would you give to a current Comm Studies student?

Write as much as possible. Your growth as an effective communicator will help you in any field of work you enter.

Fun facts, interests, hobbies:

I was the productions manager at UCLA Radio -- one time I had a heavy blues band named 'Radio Moscow' come play in the studio while there was a 400-student final exam going on in Ackerman Ballroom next door. I nearly put our radio station on suspension.

Significant Achievements:

My High School Yearbook awarded me with the 'Best Smile'