From “a job” to a passion

Jacob Notermann, Staff Writer

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Halfway down the hallway in Television Center lies an office with a certain theme.

The walls feature paintings of outdoor settings; antlers rest on top of the cabinets; a small desk clock is the shape of a fishing rod.

“I love the outdoors and taking people outdoors who don’t normally go outdoors,” Monte Koshel said.

Koshel started at UND as a student pursuing a degree in broadcasting. He interned as a video journalist for Studio One and wrote for the Dakota Student. After a stint as an intern with the U.S. Olympic Committee, he returned as an employee for the UND Television Center and as a producer for Studio One. This is his 24th year there.

The original inspiration to come back to UND: “a job,” Koshel said.

The job? Don’t ask Koshel. He doesn’t know his official title. In broad strokes, he creates videos and teaches video-marketing skills through the Television Center internship program.

Despite the quip, he cites the people he rejoined at the television center as a reason for coming back; many of them he considers mentors.

“I couldn’t have thought of a better place to work,” Koshel said. “If I could choose where to work, anywhere, this would be it and I still feel this way.”

Meanwhile, Koshel has continued this mentorship legacy amongst his student-interns at the television center.

Hadley Purdy has worked with Koshel for three semesters between Studio One and as a video intern with the Television Center.

“Monte’s constantly giving advice, providing his personal experiences as a working professional and giving constructive feedback to his students,” Purdy said. “I can confidently say that all of these things have made me a better student, teammate and professional because of Monte’s wisdom that he has passed onto us.”

In the 24 years of working at the television center, Koshel said his approach to the job has changed. He initially approached his role as more “peer leadership,” because he was only a year or two older than the students he was leading.

He remembered the first time someone he trained got a job, which for him was the end goal of his position.

Since then, the main objective has been to help his students understand what it means to be a successful person. After the transition, he said he was able to become a better leader.

“My goal was to use video as a vehicle to teach people that these are the things you need to survive and succeed in a workplace,” Koshel said.

In answering every question during the interview, Koshel would somehow reference his passion for helping students succeed. His students agree that what makes him stand out is his focus on assisting students develop their talents in any way.

“He always finds time in his busy schedule to meet with all the students he works with,” Purdy said. “When he does, he is 100 percent committed to the time devoted to meeting and/or working with them.”

Koshel corroborated the importance of that student element in his position.

“If you truly love your job and you’re engaged, it’s because something is there that is something you feel, not something you do,” Koshel said. “When I get to work with students, there’s this energy and excitement and this process where you see them learning, not just video, but how to be professionals.”

Not only do his skills fit the job, but students reference a personality that belongs in the space he works in.

“He’s got a great personality and really knows how to relate to students,” Peter Monsrud, a UND senior and Television Center intern said. “He takes his job seriously, but knows how to keep work fun.”

Jack Neisen, in his first semester with the Television Center, said watching Koshel work didn’t seem like a job to him.

“Everything he talks about or does, he is passionate about,” Neisen said. “He knows what it’s like to be in the student’s shoes, because he began as an intern himself. He is all about improving the student experience.”

Being a former intern for the place Koshel now works has shaped how he approaches his work. He once thought everyone who joined Studio One was looking for the same career goals and aspirations as he had. He would later discover that was not the case.

“Students are anything but routine and I find it interesting to lead a group of students through that transition into that work world,” Koshel said. “I figured out I could do my job well when I figured that out. What the important things were to impress upon them.”

Despite what he’s done and how he’s done it, you’ll never hear him brag about how good at his job he is. He said he’s not the best at what he does; another element of motivation to his passion.

Jacob Notermann is a staff writer for the Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]

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