Political science alumnus highlights hometown through social media and photography
When he first came to the College of Wooster, Gabe Wasylko ’19 declared a major in political science and a minor in mathematics, certain that he would attend law school and work as an attorney for a professional sports team. He had no idea that an internship would completely change his path to a career in marketing and photography. Now, as the social media manager for Destination Cleveland, he shows other people the beauty of the city he’s lived in his whole life.
After his first visit to Wooster, Wasylko immediately knew that he wanted to call the College home. “I felt connected to campus, to the people in admissions, my tour guides, everyone!” He said, “I almost thought it was too good to be true!” Once he moved in as a first-year student, he only continued to connect with Wooster’s campus, students, and faculty. “My professors not only took an interest in my career at Wooster, but also who I was as a person,” he recalls. His academic advisors, Angela Bos, professor of political science and Jen Bowen, professor of mathematics, became not only his academic role models but also his friends outside the classroom.
Wasylko also took advantage of experiential learning and internship opportunities during his time at Wooster. As he had planned to work as an attorney for a professional sports team, Wasylko applied for an internship with the Cleveland Guardians doing a little bit of everything, from creative services to player development, hoping the experience would give him a leg up in his future search for jobs. He did not expect to find a passion for the creative work he was doing and turn that into a career. After his senior year, the Akron RubberDucks, a Minor League Baseball team based in Akron, Ohio, hired Wasylko as their creative services coordinator, furthering his career in marketing and the arts.
When the COVID-19 pandemic meant that many sports seasons were cancelled or delayed, Wasylko turned his creative energy to a new project: photography. A complete beginner, he challenged himself to post a new photo to social media each day, and by early 2021, his photography turned from a pastime into a career opportunity, landing him his job as the social media coordinator for Destination Cleveland.
Both Wasylko’s work in photography and at Destination Cleveland showcase the beauty of his city, including not only the physical beauty of the landscape, but also the businesses and the people, which he believes make Cleveland the city that it is. Most days, he wakes up at 5 a.m. to capture a photo of a sunrise somewhere in the city, but after that, he says his tasks change each day. Much of his time involves connecting with his community, visiting local restaurants, or attending local events. Connecting with other people who live and work in Cleveland, Wasylko says, allows him to best represent his city on social media.
Wasylko’s photography even garnered widespread attention on Instagram and Twitter, earning him tens of thousands of followers and recognition as one of Cleveland Magazine’s “Most Interesting People” of 2023, an honor he says he was not expecting. “I’m really not that interesting of a person!” he jokes. “It’s the things I get to see through my lens that make my life interesting.”
Although his college major is very different from what he now does for a career, Wasylko also says that many of the skills that make him successful in his career come from his time at the College. Taking classes in a variety of subjects allowed him to think critically and consider diverse perspectives, and his professors encouraged him to take risks and be driven, leading him to excel in a career he never would have previously considered.
“You’re not only collecting 32 credits and the degree at the end of four years at Wooster,” he says. “You’re collecting lifelong friends and lifelong skills.”
Posted in Alumni on February 17, 2023.
Related Areas of Study
The study of power, with concentrations in U.S. politics, international relations, political theory and comparative politics.Major Minor
Global Media & Digital Studies
Digital technology, mass media and film studies are part of a dynamic, interdisciplinary course of studyMajor Minor