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She's Taking the Road Less Traveled to Follow Her Passions

Dana Kandic has always taken the road less traveled, and with her college years at an end she now plans to hit the road – literally. “The photographer and journalist in me wants to travel and photograph everything in sight,” says Kandic.  Before heading out, she hopes to find a publisher for her eventual photo book. Along the way, she will blog about her progress. “I'm young and I don't have many obligations to focus on right now, so why not?”

Dana majored in journalism and media studies at R-N; was multimedia editor for the student newspaper, The Observer; interned at Cosmopolitan magazine in New York City; and in 2012 had an opinion column published in Editor & Publisher, the monthly magazine considered the “Bible of the newspaper industry.” Her long-term career goal is to report on the music industry as a reporter, photographer or videographer for a publication such as Rolling Stone.

It’s a far cry from Dana’s original plan: study pre-dentistry at R-N and then dentistry as a grad student. But Dana, who has loved photography and music since childhood, admits that a science or medical career was really her parents’ dream for their daughter, not hers. Serbian-Croatian immigrants, they had come to the U.S. to give their only child a secure future, and an arts career, they feared, would not be a stable one. Dana tried to fit into their ideas, but she was miserable and left Rutgers for a year to live in New York, pursue arts-related studies and intern with a publicist for major musical artists.

She returned to R-N for her junior year, and found the journalism and media studies program and professor Robin Gaby Fisher, who, Dana says, lit a fire within her. “Prof. Fisher was so passionate, and it was contagious; everyone needs at least one professor like her.”  It was then Dana realized she could indeed combine her passions for music and communications by reporting on the music industry, in words, images and video.

The opportunity to write for Editor & Publisher came when journalism and media studies professor, Allan Wolper, an E & P columnist, solicited submissions for the magazine’s “Critical Thinking” feature. Several students responded, and Dana’s entry was accepted for publication.

As she looks back on her years as a college student, Dana offers advice to other students. “If you’re passionate about something, go for it,” she says, even if it is not the road most taken.  “You won’t be happy unless you do.”