- Ashley Alexander
Adam Bolander formed his career vision during his first year of college: he sat down with a pen and paper and wrote down one thing he wanted to do. While he didn’t know exactly the entire picture, he did know he wanted to make a change somewhere in the world.
Adam is one of News Media Alliance’s 2017 Rising Stars. At only 24 years old, he is the Group Circulation Director at The Courier in Waterloo, Iowa. Here he oversees the circulation of multiple publications. Adam was working with the Courier as a part-time sales and marketing assistant while in college at the University of Northern Iowa. After graduating with a BA in Business and Marketing Management, he was offered a full-time position with The Courier, which he eagerly accepted. He quickly went from Sales and Marketing Manager to a circulation position and eventually to his current position all in less than five years.
He says that the vision aspect of his motivation has been the most interesting in his career.
“To succeed you must have a vision; a goal to accomplish day in and day out,” says Adam. “Without a destination, how do you know where you want to go?”
In that college paper he wrote that he wanted to help create better news in the world; more positive events in the news. This is essentially what drew him into the news media field – what greater way to create better news than in the media industry?
He believes great things are being done in the news media industry. He believes the newspaper isn’t dying, there is just a reinvention taking place.
Although Adam knows he is not actually producing the news stories seen in the media every day, he says that he is more than capable of making a difference in his position. As Group Circulation Director, he oversees the Courier’s Newspaper in Education (NIE) program.
Adam and a few of his colleagues visit a local school to help with a program as a part of NIE, called Boys to Men. Every week they teach students manners, respect and how to stay out of trouble.
He says the importance of programs like these are huge, emphasizing that not only is this a great way to promote newspapers to children, but that these are the people that will be making the news in the future.
“They will be the ones giving us better news in the world,” Adam says.
He says focusing on this vision has helped create the success he has had, but that hard work trumps all. When asked about his age, Adam says although he may not be the most experienced, talented or smartest because he is still young, he can always work the hardest.
He definitely works hard, putting in around 10 hours a day. He knows that the media industry revolves around subscribers; they create and consume the news. In addition to other daily tasks, he tries to communicate with at least five customers each hour of his work day.
“If you listen to your subscribers you will retain them for years,” he says, “This is how we continue to grow our readership.”
Adam lists gratitude as his favorite factor of his career thus far. He says that it’s the supporters that assist both himself and the industry in general. He likes the idea of being inspired by others, because it offers the opportunity to pay it forward and inspire others.
As a Rising Star winner he said, “I can only hope there are going to be young businessmen and businesswomen who will read this feature and learn from the key factors and have the opportunities I have.”