Chris Elser, KLN ‘90 worked his way from his childhood home in Ambler, Pennsylvania to a top role as legal editor for Bloomberg in London. He said his relationship with news media began in his youth, delivering newspapers for the Times Herald.
After attending LaSalle College High School, Elser majored in journalism at Temple University where he joined the rowing team and worked for the Temple News. He credits his late mentor, David Womack, as his inspiration.
“[He] played a major role in pushing me into journalism,” Elser said. “He taught great classes, and showed an interest in our work at the Temple News and other places.”
With the help of recommendations from faculty and staff at Temple University, Elser was able to open the door to a career path he’d dreamt about. He worked with Bucks County bureau chiefs Lil Swanson from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Mary Youtz from Morning Call in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.
“The jobs helped show me what it takes to be professional and how to find stories,” Elser said. “I grew a lot at Temple, but the real world will chew you up if you don't keep improving and challenging yourself. I never regretted a move, as I think you can learn about yourself by moving out of your comfort zone.”
After getting experience under his belt, Elser was offered a fellowship at Bloomberg in Princeton, New Jersey. Soon after, he was offered the chance to work in London where he reported on The World Cup in 2010 and 2014, as well as the summer and winter Olympics in 2012 and 2014.
“The job meant you had to be prepared to spend a month or more away from family once the event starts, because there are often stories happening in the build-up to the games and you need to be there,” he said.
Now Elser is weighing his options with his children, one of whom is 16 and will soon be going to college. He still hasn’t decided if his kids will continue in the British school system, or jump back across the pond and go to Temple.
“My sons have attended local state schools since an early age, and in many ways consider themselves more British than American,” Elser said. “The idea that you're going to decide what you want to do for the next 50 years at age 16 is a bit hard to fathom.”
In the meantime, Elser and his family will be making a quick trip to the United States to spend Christmas with his family in Connecticut, and possibly a small stop to Philadelphia to give Temple a look.