The UT-Austin National Association of Black Journalists organized a panel of recent UT-NABJ graduates on Monday to discuss the transition from college to the work force.
Nia Wesley, San Antonio CBS affiliate KENS5 digital producer and former UT NABJ president, said journalism is an experience-based career.
“I did just every internship I could probably get my hands on,” Wesley said. “It’s about getting your hands dirty, because there is only so much you can learn in the classroom.”
The rest of the panelists then spoke about their advice on obtaining experience and getting their foot in the door after college. Alex Samuels, Texas Tribune’s first ever community reporter, talked about taking advantage of every resource UT has to offer.
“Use college to find out what you like and what you don’t like,” Samuels said. “Because when you get into the real world they’re going to have all these expectations for you, and it’s going to be weird and crazy.“
Mbiyimoh Ghogomu said his entrepreneurial ideas are largely what landed him his job as lead editor and copywriter for IBM designs. Ghogomu started a news blog with a friend while in college and called it the single best thing he did.
“If you can start your own thing, even if it’s just your own personal blog, and you’re maintaining it regularly, (it’s) a good way to keep your passion and keep your writing skills sharp,” Ghogomu said.
Luqman Adeniyi, a news associate for CNBC, is currently in New York and was present via video chat.
Malcom Thomas, NABJ member, said his goal is to be a political journalist, and the panelists convinced him to take advantage of school resources more often.
“I’m not going to say that I’ve been (using the resources) so far,” said Thomas, political communications and African studies junior. “But, this was definitely a motivation for me to get there.”
Brianna Stone, journalism senior and UT NABJ president said although the panelists are her friends, their advice is still important to her.
“As a senior about to graduate, I’m very nervous and anxious about (finding a job),” said Stone, a former Daily Texan reporter. “It’s a different perspective hearing about (the panelists’ jobs). Hearing them talk and knowing they were once in my shoes is a feeling of relief.”