Farewell message: Intrinsic rewards motivated me to stay with The Ticker


Courtesy of Gavin Kowlessar

Gavindra Kowlessar

Dear Readers,

It has been an honor to serve The Ticker for three years and this is my farewell letter.

I started at The Ticker as the opinions editor for one semester and then I became the social media editor until I was promoted to the position of marketing director at the beginning of my senior year.

As I reflect on my experience with The Ticker, a Sigmund Freud quote comes to mind in which he said, “Love and work …work and love, that’s all there is … love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.”

Freud got a lot of things wrong as a psychologist, but this isn’t one of them. My time at The Ticker has taught me what it means to embrace this simple Freudian nugget of wisdom and it has had a profound impact on my life.

The Ticker is unique in the fact that it’s not a student club; it’s a job with no salary. I can understand why this idea of work as an extracurricular activity wouldn’t sound too appealing to a college student juggling five classes. But there is something beautiful about a group of students collectively devoted toward the journalistic expression of truth without the expectation of receiving an extrinsic reward.

The lack of an extrinsic reward challenged each of us to search within ourselves for an intrinsic one. There’s a great deal of psychological comfort to be found in the idea that my peers and I are united by the genuine desire to inform our readers and hold institutions accountable. Money provides us with freedom yet robs us of the wealth of knowledge that working for work’s sake can provide. As a business student, I’m well aware of how ironic that sounds.

Editing articles, coming up with headlines and dealing with angry writers isn’t my idea of fun on a Friday night. While I’m doing the work it’s often quite stressful as I am in the thick of things. It is only after I get the job done when I feel a wave of fulfillment that flows deeper into my soul than a surge of dopamine from a night of partying ever could.

Then there is the love. There is an indescribable feeling of warmth that one will experience when they enter the media suite and are greeted by members of The Ticker staff. I don’t know what it is about this paper that serendipitously attracts so many passionate like-minded individuals.

The Ticker is more than an organization, it’s a family and that shines through in the way we converse, collaborate and laugh together. There is a special bond between members of The Ticker that I can’t find in any other area of my life. Maybe it’s the shared trauma of operating in a fast-paced work environment that’s uniquely brought us closer together over the years.

All jokes aside, the adversity of hard work and the comradery I’ve felt throughout my time with The Ticker has fostered my growth into the person I am today and for that I am eternally grateful.

Gavindra Kowlessar