Kathryn Tague knows what it is to be a Penn Stater through and through. Tague grew up in a close-knit family of Penn State alumni— in fact, she and her brother both followed in the footsteps of the majority of her mother’s side of the family by coming to State College.
Tague’s grandparents live nearby and her hometown is outside of Philadelphia, so Penn State football games have been family events for as long as she can remember, and “will always have a special place in [her] heart.”
Now that Tague’s a student, it’s safe to say she feels this is where she was always meant to go to college. With a major in either public relations or broadcast journalism (she hasn’t decided yet), Tague has considered everything from sports management to law school, and though she’s not sure about the direction her life will take her, she still continues to seek out opportunities wherever they may be.
The 19-year-old is only a sophomore, yet she is in Schreyer Honors College, has internships with both Penn State Athletics and the Penn State football program under her belt, is the vice president of the Association for Women in Sports Media at Penn State and has her own YouTube channel.
Like many, Tague found herself in need of a creative outlet for self-expression during quarantine. She had always known that she wanted to start a YouTube channel — as she preferred watching YouTube to Netflix or TV — but would constantly tell herself she didn’t have enough time, or was too worried about what others might think. Eventually, she realized she was making excuses to not take that leap of faith, and she told herself to “just go for it.”
Tague now draws inspiration from influencers like Emma Chamberlain, who is known for being raw and honest about her life in the spotlight, and Clancy Burke, a reporter who makes videos while getting ready for work. Tague loves to emulate similar vibes in her videos, which range from daily life at Penn State — like her White Out vlog, which she calls “chaotic” — to mental health and her outlook on the world. Advice Tague loves to give people is to “be the energy you want to attract,” which she lives by every day.
“What you put into the world is what you’re going to get back.”
Experience as a small creator on YouTube has also given Tague a perspective on the way social media is affecting (and turning into) modern entertainment. We may be entering a world in which portfolios can include work on social media, though it still can have a bit of a negative connotation.
“I’m hoping that with the way the industry is changing, it will be taken more seriously,” Tague says.
In the winter of her freshman year, while Tague was already the social media chair for AWSM and a writer for CommRadio, she applied for a marketing internship with Penn State Athletics. She thinks the thing that really sealed the deal for her was her interview, in which she cited her YouTube channel as her proudest achievement.
“I really like it because it shows who I am as a person,” Tague says, “and the traction I’ve gained is not from anything else besides who I am and my personality.”
Since then, Tague also landed her internship with the football program. She now works with other social media, photography and graphic design interns to gather as much photo and video material during the games as possible. On weekdays, her team sorts through their footage and comes up with new ideas for Instagram. Something she really loves about her internship is the camaraderie; though their content is focused on the football team, the people behind the cameras form another team that is just as passionate about the game and the university.
Still, Tague’s favorite aspect of her football internship is being on the field. Before every game, she waves up to her family in the stands, still shocked by how far she’s come.
“If you would’ve told little me that this would be my life, she would’ve freaked out!”
Kathryn Tague has always known what it is to be a Penn Stater through and through. But more importantly, she knows the value of staying true to yourself and not caring what others think, and she hopes to inspire others to do the same in the ever-changing world of social media and entertainment.