1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Seeking Career Advice

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by djsquid06, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. djsquid06

    djsquid06 New Member

    Hello all. I rarely post on here but am a frequent reader and search for jobs here often. I am a recent college graduate who seeks wise advice from those much wiser and more experienced than me.

    I worked at my school newspaper for a few years and ended as an ME. I spent most of my time on the sports desk. Sports remains my speciality and I'm hoping to eventually land a job in sports journalism.

    I have applied to five graduate schools (one in sports journalism) and have planned on going to get a Master's for a while now. I also applied to many jobs after graduation in hopes of getting a bite at a job where I think I can grow.

    Much to my surprise, I got a couple job interviews, including one recently in which I really impressed. It's to be an ME at a news corp. The pay is solid for entry level journalism, I'd hold an editing position (something I didn't think was possible coming out of undergrad).

    But I do hold idealistic dreams. I have always longed to get a sports reporter/editor position at a big daily or online operation. Sports will always be my passion and the area I can cover the best. Will taking this position lead me to strictly being a news reporter, or could it springboard me to my goal? I also want to take advantage of the rest of my youthful years, and the thought of getting my master's at CUNY, USF or Missouri and then going directly to ESPN, CBS Sports etc. greatly entices me. Is that me just dreaming, or is that a possibility?

    In the back of my mind, I know that taking this job would be the smart decision. It'd provide me with some financial stability, and I'd hold a journalism job, something that I should covet. But both my parents have complained about their jobs for years and seem to be unhappy with their work, and I don't want to be in that position.

    Hope to receive some feedback. I know this is a long rant, but thanks a lot for reading.
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The first thing you might want to do is remove every single scrap of information on the post giving yourself away as the person who just interviewed at that paper.

    Helpful hint 1: It is likely they at least peruse this board.

    Helpful hint 2: I am quite sure they would love to read that you "xxxxxxxxxxxxx"

    Not to be an asshole here, but use your damned head. That's my first piece of career advice. Christ almighty.
  3. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    You're dreaming. I've known people whose first jobs after journalism graduate school were at Target or waiting tables.

    And ditto what Whitman said.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    What would spnited say? Just remember that. Threads like this show why he'll be missed so much.

    If you want to hit the big time, you have to start somewhere. If you were a stud, you wouldn't be here telling us about some glamorous job in Podunk, you'd already have a good-paying gig.
  5. djsquid06

    djsquid06 New Member

    I guess this is a good example of me receiving advice from those wiser and more experienced than me.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

  7. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    Also, is your e-mail address (which is visible when someone clicks through your profile) supposed to read squiddy-nasty or squid-dynasty? Either way, I really hope that's not the address you use on your resume. I know you think it's cute, but as a hiring employer, it's an unprofessional turn-off.
  8. djsquid06

    djsquid06 New Member

    That's not the e-mail I use anymore.
  9. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    I think the general advice in pretty much every thread is that the Master's in journalism isn't worth the debt you'd queue up. You're more likely to impress a potential employee with two to four more years of excellent clips, as opposed to a degree. Having a graduate degree from Columbia might get you an interview at a semi-large employer, but so would some experience, and you'd at least stem the tide of your college debt as opposed to adding to it.
  10. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    i give you credit for the bravery (um, naivete'?) to ask for advice here. and my intention is certainly not to be cruel or mistaken as an attempt to quash your hopes and dreams. i certainly appreciate your gung-ho attitude but...

    put the brakes on, buddy. you've set your sights on operations it usually takes many years and several job to reach. unless you've got a big-time connection somewhere at one of these places, you're almost certain to begin at a 'poduck-level' outlet and close to an entry-level position at that once you land there -- which is likely to be a while after you've concluded your educational climb.

    and please don't be discouraged. just try to be a tad more realistic. that will also help you in the battle to remain encouraged....
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    We need more threads like "I just graduated college and didn't do anything but write for my school paper and have no useful skills besides playing on my iPhone."
  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I tend to disagree. I think nowadays you pretty much have to start big or go home if you have big-time aspirations. People don't make the climb from Podunk to ESPN.com very frequently. I'm sure someone could point out to me a dozen big-timers who started by covering preps at their local weekly right out of community college, but it seems to me that most people who end up at SI, The New York Times, the Washington Post, etc., etc., were on that track pretty much when they stepped off campus or before.

    You mentioned that you interned at some point at a 100K circulation paper. That's good. You might actually be someone who could benefit from a masters - but only at a select few places: Columbia, NU, maybe Berkeley, maybe NYU. Other than that - and I'm inclined to say Columbia or bust where that's concerned - don't screw with it. I definitely think Columbia is worth way more than years of experience at clips in the bushes, if you're serious about this.

    Also: Be open to opportunities outside of sports. Some people start in sports, stay in sports, loves sports. Others get tired of sports. A lot of people actually. It may seem like that would never happen to you, but if you're talking about graduate school and big aspirations, then I would recommend at least considering a career off the sports track, if only that you open up that many more opportunities for yourself.

    If I had it to do over again, I would probably go into news instead of sports. I love sports, don't get me wrong, but as a vocation, I love journalism more. And too much of sports is a cattle call.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page