Extra questions with Michael Schroder, WKU’s assistant director of media relations

Michael Schroeder

Jonathan Lintner

Michael Schroeder was hired in August as assistant director of media relations in Athletics, where he’ll work as sports information director for the WKU men’s basketball and golf teams. Schroeder was promoted from his former position as a full-time intern, which he started the July after graduating from the University of Illinois in May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism.

Q: How did you make the connection with WKU?

A: It’s kind of funny. I knew of the program because they had just knocked Illinois out of the basketball tournament that year. I went onto a job postings website where they put all kinds of college media relations openings like this and happened to see WKU. I made the connection that these guys have a big-time athletic program.

Q: You’re from Big 10 Country. What was your initial impression of WKU athletics, and how has that changed since you’ve been here?

A: When I first came down here, I realized it might be a little smaller scale than I’m used to, but that didn’t change the fact that the people around here and the student-athletes and the coaches care as much as any other school in the nation. What we have here at WKU could go toe-to-toe with any other program in the nation.

Q: How did you get into media relations?

A: While I was at Illinois, for four years I was a baseball manager. I got my media relations experience in the summer, first working for an arena in my hometown with a minor-league hockey and arena football team. I spent another summer in Madison, Wis., for a collegiate summer baseball team — Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League — where I was able to get all sorts of hands-on experience. Those two summers really proved to me that this was something I wanted to get into as a career.

Q: Only two years out of school, among your college buddies, how much responsibility do you have in your job compared to them?

A: Simply to even have a full-time job in this economic climate with all sorts of uncertainty— I’m very fortunate with that, and I appreciate what that means. That being said, too, I do like when people ask me what I do. I like to be able to describe it and hear people say, “That’s something cool and pretty unique.” I like to get that response out of people when they say, “Whoa. You get to travel everywhere with these teams and work with ESPN and all this stuff?” That’s pretty cool for a couple years out of college.

Q: What are your goals? It’s early, but you have a good start.

A: I’m kind of just letting everything play out right now. The move to men’s basketball is great. Goals are just to continue to move up into college athletics and move up into the professional ranks — maybe baseball or something else down the road. I’m definitely 100 percent happy here with the situation right now.