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College question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Starting17, May 26, 2014.

  1. Starting17

    Starting17 Member

    I've been covering a college football team for what will be my third season this fall and looking to transfer to a 4-year university to get my BA. I'm curious though for those in the business does where you graduated from really end up mattering down the road in terms of getting a job over someone else? I live in Washington, I'm looking at: UW, WSU, Iowa State, U of Florida, U of Texas and Indiana University.

    Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks!
  2. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    It matters to a certain degree. As a hiring editor, I know some schools' journalism programs offer more than others. If I get a resume from a Missouri graduate (or Northwestern, Syracuse, etc...), I'm more likely to stop and read that resume. I know those schools do a better job than most in educating journalism students.

    However, what's more important to me is whether the recent graduate gained experience outside of the classroom setting. The last two hires I've made were graduates of small private schools. What set them apart was the work they did outside of the classroom -- student media, freelance work and internships.

    So my answer to your question would be this: Go to whatever school you wish to attend, but remember your work outside the classroom often means more than the degree you'll receive.
  3. Starting17

    Starting17 Member

    Thank you! Yeah my main concern is not coming from "that" journalism school like a Missouri or Syracuse and having that be a decisive factor. I'm hoping my work before my degree will also be of help
  4. CCaple

    CCaple Member

    I'll mostly echo SCEditor's thoughts.

    No doubt you'll get a better classroom journalism education at Missouri than, say, UW (only picking on UW because that's where I went to school). And that kind of education can never hurt. But in my experience, I think the journalistic opportunities you have while in school can be just as valuable -- if not more valuable -- than what you learn in a classroom (though that's still important, too). As SCEditor noted, look at external factors like the quality (and accessibility) of the student newspaper, opportunities for internships, freelancing, etc. In some cases, those external factors are what end up helping you forge the relationships that lead to full-time jobs after graduation. If hiring editors are familiar with your work and think highly of you because of it, they're not going to pass on you simply because you didn't attend a journalism powerhouse.

    Just my two cents. I don't think you can go wrong with any of those schools you listed. Good luck.
  5. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    In my experience, Mizzou, Indiana, NW and Syracuse grads have had it drilled into their heads that they are good, that they are at a great school, that they're doing good and important work, and that message, delivered repeatedly, tends to make them more confident in their skillset and better at hitting the ground running. (Many of them are also pretty dang talented.)

    There are, of course, a few grads from those schools who think they're better than they actually are and end up being an irritating drag on the staff.
  6. Starting17

    Starting17 Member

    Glad to hear from a UW grad, thank you. I know UW also let's their football writers travel which I find valuable as well where other schools don't.
  7. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    Sorry, how exactly do other schools keep "their" football writers from traveling? Do you write for your school's site?
  8. I sincerely hope the OP has the money to attend these out-of-state universities without needing to take on a lot if debt. The OP might also have an issue getting these top beats as a transfer student.

    What is the likelihood of getting into these journalism programs?

    The notion schools "let" writers travel is a bit off-the-mark. The relevant question is whether they pay travel expenses,
  9. Starting17

    Starting17 Member

    I visited WSU/Murrow and asked if their writers (football) go to the teams away games. They said no. I know because I work alongside them that UW sends them to a few including this past seasons bowl game. School newspaper not schools site
  10. HookEm2014

    HookEm2014 Member

    Almost every school newspaper will let you travel to games, it's just often up to the writer to foot travel expenses. Though as said above, it may be tough to reach the football beat at some of the school newspapers as a transfer student. Then again, talent tends to rise quickly.
  11. Starting17

    Starting17 Member

    I was told the writers don't foot the bill for travel
  12. boundforboston

    boundforboston Well-Known Member

    One potential thing to consider: How many of the state's papers cover that school regularly? For example, I don't think many papers in Florida have someone stationed in Gainesville. Going to UF could allow you to string for (perhaps) the Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel and Palm Beach Post on occasion. Bylines and connections there would look good. A school such as Iowa State may have someone stationed there or heading there regularly, reducing your freelance opportunities.
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