‘16 Telecommunications alumnus Michael Brouder decided to head back to school after being in the business for over 20 years. Going back to school to earn his Master’s degree with a full time job was challenging but fast forward to 2020, he is the President and General Manager of WTHR in Indianapolis. We sat down with him to discuss his journey and what happened after CCIM.

Writer: Caitlen Ramey, Department of Journalism Student • Interviewer: Any Ung, ‘19 Telecommunications grad • Video: Ball State UMS 


What kind of student were you?

Coming back to school as an adult was challenging, I was juggling school work and my actual job. But I was much more studious this time around and I really enjoyed what I was learning. After being in the business for so long and coming back to learn new concepts and theories, it really put a new perspective on my career.


Did you have a favorite place on campus?

As cliche as it may sound, I really love walking down McKinley Avenue  and seeing the Bell Tower. Whenever the bells go off it really brings a smile to my face. Ball State really wouldn’t be the same without it.


Do you have any favorite memories from your time at Ball State?

Absolutely. Despite being an older student, I really enjoyed interacting and hanging out with my classmates. Everyone comes from different backgrounds so it was really nice to just get to know each other as we worked alongside one another.


If you could go back and talk to your freshman self, what would you tell him?

I would tell my younger self to enjoy the experience more. When I was younger, I did spend a lot of my time studying but I wish I would have enjoyed that time in my life more. Taking it seriously and really enriching myself in the academic experience was great for me and I didn’t realize it at 18.


Is there a professor that made an impact on you? 

Dr. Rob Brookey from the Telecommunications department was wonderful. He was a mentor as much as he was an instructor and taught me more than I ever could have imagined. Coming back to school when you’re already a professional and being taught the theories and concepts behind best practices was really enlightening. All of the professors that I interacted with really allowed me to gain knowledge to practice in my career.


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