Alumna of the Month – June 2015

Sophie Massie  (G‘14)
Twitter: @MirabileTravel

Don’t be scared of pitching. Don’t take it personally. I still struggle with this everyday but I try to remind myself to just shut off my brain and press send.

We are proud to feature Sophie Massie as our June alumna of the month. Sophie graduated from the Journalism program in December 2014 and is now a freelance travel writer. Her work recently led her to write about Budapest and Cuba. Read more about Sophie’s most important memory from being in the program and how her work for National Geographic prepared her for Capstone.

MPS Journalism: Why did you choose to attend Georgetown’s Journalism program? How did you hear about us?

Sophie Massie: Location was very important in my decision to attend Georgetown. After living abroad I wanted to be near family in Virginia, and I wanted to situate myself within striking distance of the National Geographic Society– a travel writer’s dream! I also liked how the program catered to professionals with demanding schedules. The program seemed in tune with the real world, with working journalists moonlighting as academics, not the other way around.

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From the Intern Files: Ribka Gemilangsari at WBAL- TV

Ribka Gemilangsari

During Spring semester, MPS Journalism student Ribka Gemilangsari learned firsthand how to monitor breaking news on social media and conduct interviews with different sources. As a news intern at WBAL-TV this Spring she shadowed news crews covering breaking news and conducted beat calls to local police and fire stations. We spoke with Gemilangsari about her experience working for a local TV station and what her favorite part of the job was.

MPS Journalism: Tell us about WBAL-TV and its audience.

Ribka Gemilangsari: This past spring semester, I had a chance to work as a news intern at WBAL-TV, a local TV station and an NBC affiliate in Baltimore, Md. The station’s target audience is residents living in the city of Baltimore and several other counties in Maryland.

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Alumnus of the Month – May 2015

Daniel Miller

Daniel Miller  (G‘13)
Twitter: @dm26nola

The biggest challenge for young journalists is finding opportunities in the field … Trying a variety of strategies can be helpful. For instance, finding ways to update your skills, networking, joining professional organizations, creating a portfolio of clips and promoting yourself using platforms like social media.

We are proud to feature Daniel Miller as our May alumnus of the month. Daniel is a web editor for ABC 7/WJLA. Previously, he has worked at organizations such as AOL/Patch, Yahoo and has worked for several news outlets as a freelancer. Daniel is a New Orleans native who graduated from the Master of Journalism program in 2013. Read more about his advice to current students and young journalists.

MPS Journalism: Why did you choose to attend Georgetown’s Journalism program?

Daniel Miller: I discovered Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies while researching graduate schools online. I liked the courses offered in the program and wanted the experience of living in Washington, D.C.

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From the Intern Files: Lisa Philip at The Chronicle of Higher Education

Lisa Philip


This semester, student Lisa Philip has been interning at The Chronicle of Higher Education. As the first multimedia reporting intern she’s learned how to produce and pitch video news stories. One of the stories she’s covered is a story on Muslim students’ reactions to the murders of three members of their community. We spoke to Lisa about her experience at the Chronicle and asked her to share some advice on searching for an internship.

MPS Journalism: Tell us about The Chronicle of Higher Education and its audience.

Lisa Philip: The Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) is a print and online publication that covers all things related to — you guessed it — higher education. It’s geared towards those who work in the field: professors, university and college administrators, and higher education policy-makers.

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Introducing our New Program Director

Gina Garcia Program Director

Gina Garcia

We are excited to feature Gina Garcia our new Journalism Program Director. Gina joins us as an Emmy nominated Producer from the CBS This Morning, a national morning news program. For nearly 15 years, she’s been producing daily hard news and feature stories, field producing and booking guests for national network morning news programs in the Washington DC Bureau.

MPS JO: Tell us about your previous experience in Journalism.

Gina Garcia: For the past six years at CBS, I’ve crafted and shared stories covering the Washington DC region and beyond such as election coverage, congressional legislation, undercover consumer, medical and feature stories. Some of my favorite segments featured the ordinary people with extraordinary experiences. Before CBS News, I spent five years with NBC’s Today Show, where I field produced and booked exclusive segments during the Virginia Tech Massacre, Amish school shootings, Sago Mine Tragedy, hurricanes affecting the gulf coast and the campaign leading up to President Barack Obama’s election, among others. I also, had the opportunity to travel to Cuba to report on the conditions of the people and government.

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Alumna of the month – April 2015

Alumna of the Month April 2015

Valerie Bonk  (G‘14)
Twitter: @ValerieBonk

The biggest challenge young journalists face is the ever changing journalism industry… Make sure to gain experience in every medium of journalism. Don’t turn down an assignment. If you have a story idea, pitch it.

We are proud to feature Valerie Bonk as our April alumna of the month. Valerie is currently a news anchor for HMTV6 out of Hagerstown, Maryland, and a writer for The Baltimore Sun. In addition, she is also a dance instructor, law student at the University of Baltimore, and a law clerk. Read more about Valerie’s most memorable pieces and where she hopes to be in the next five years.

MPS Journalism: Why did you choose to attend Georgetown’s Journalism program?

Valerie Bonk: After completing internships in Washington at NPR, ABC (Good Morning America), and CBS, I knew I really wanted to continue my education and training in the place to be for political journalism. While researching graduate schools in the area, I was attracted to Georgetown’s program because the professors are all current or recent professional journalists in the area with connections to several different outlets and a breadth of knowledge on how to cover both local internationally relevant stories.

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Alumna of the Month – March 2015

Melissa Macaya

Melissa Macaya  (G‘14)
Twitter: @melimacaya

It is such an exciting time to be a journalist. In order to stand out, you definitely have to do two things: internships and networking!

We are proud to feature Melissa Macaya as our March alumna of the month. Melissa is a 2014 graduate of the Journalism program and now works as a producer for CNN Español. She is also president of the D.C. chapter of NAHJ, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Read more about Melissa’s experience in the program and her favorite published piece which focuses on her home country of Venezuela.

MPS Journalism: Why did you choose to attend Georgetown’s Journalism program? How did you hear about us?

Melissa Macaya: I interned in Washington, D.C. during my undergrad and fell in love with the city and all the opportunities it had to offer. I knew I had to come back! After graduating in May 2012, I was looking for a Master’s program in the nation’s capital that had a professional focus and flexible schedule to accommodate a full time job. The Georgetown journalism program offered just that, along with a great hands-on curriculum and professors who were current journalists. I discovered the program online and immediately was drawn to its diverse faculty and interesting reporting courses about politics, culture and international affairs. I knew the program would complement my professional career.

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Job fair success stories

At the 2014 Washington, D.C., Journalism Job Fair, more than 200 job seekers converged at Georgetown Downtown to talk with recruiting and talent representatives from 13 companies in Washington, D.C., and beyond. Several job seekers found jobs as a result of participating in the fair, and some of them have shared their stories with us.

Hear from them in their own words about the impact the job fair had on their careers:

Kendall Breitman
Kendall Breitman
Breaking News Reporter

I first heard about the job fair from a friend of mine who was going. After looking at the lineup of publications scheduled to be there, it did not take much more convincing.

Before the fair, I had applied to a job at POLITICO and was about to face my second round of interviews the next week (which included a part where I would do some mock coverage so that the editor interviewing me could read my work). I knew that POLITICO would be at the fair, so I made sure to take some time to speak to the representative at the table. I asked him questions about what to expect from the interview and the writing style of the editor who would be overseeing my mock coverage. By the time I had my interview one week later, the editor told me his colleague had informed him that I approached POLITICO at the job fair.

Going to the fair not only helped me prepare for my interview and go into it confidently, but it helped POLITICO know I was serious about the opportunity and wanted to learn more about the publication. I ultimately was hired in May 2014, and on my first day the same editor from the job fair approached me saying congratulations and that he remembered me and my questions from the fair.

Zach Cohen
Zach C. Cohen
National Journal
Hotline Web Producer

I have the Washington, D.C., Journalism Job Fair to thank for my current employment. I was lucky enough to snag a job just a day before graduation in part because of the conversations I had with recruiters and editors at the fair. Sometimes, it’s just plain helpful to have your questions answered, rather than blindly submitting resumes through a website. I highly recommend a visit for anyone looking to start a new chapter in their life.

Daniella Diaz
Daniella Diaz
Web Producer

Before I attended the Washington, D.C., Journalism Job Fair, I didn’t know what opportunities were available to me in D.C. At the time, I was a fresh out-of-college graduate who wanted to work in journalism but didn’t know where to start looking for openings. I heard about the job fair through a Washington, D.C./Texas program I was attending at the time and decided to go on a whim.

If I hadn’t gone, I don’t think my life would be the same as it is today.

At the fair, I stopped by the various tables where journalists from different publications shared their open positions at their companies. I gravitated to the POLITICO table, where I heard about a web producing position that could open a lot of doors for me if I was selected. A few days later, I applied. A few weeks later, I completed my program and was moving back to D.C., this time permanently.

It’s amazing to think back at how that all happened. If I had not gone to the job fair, I wouldn’t have applied at POLITICO and I wouldn’t be where I am today. Because of that job fair, as a young Hispanic woman from the South Texas border, I was able to find my place in this vast journalism world. I am forever grateful.

Jordan Lindsay
Jordan Lindsay
Production Assistant

I received this production assistant position after meeting Mike Goldrick at a job fair at Georgetown University organized by AAJA-DC, NAHJ-DC, NLGJA-DC, SPJ-DC and WABJ. WRC has truly saved my life and has given me the opportunity to pursue my career and my dreams. I am extremely grateful to be a part of such an amazing and uplifting team.

I will never forget how the organizers of the job fair played a huge role in impacting my life for the better. I will forever be grateful, and WRC will always have a special place in my heart.

Alumna of the Month – February 2015

Lucija Millonij

Lucija Millonig  (G‘13)

Twitter: @Millonig

NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!!! … The colleagues in your class right now will be your friends and connections later on in life. Develop those relationships.

We are proud to feature Lucija Millonig as our February alumna of the month. Lucija is a multimedia editor for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in the Washington, D.C., office. Read more to hear about how Lucija found the Georgetown program, her most meaningful piece and where she hopes to be in the next five years.

MPS Journalism: Why did you choose to attend Georgetown’s Journalism program? How did you hear about us?

Lucija Millonig: It was truly a coincidence. I was shopping around for journalism programs but couldn’t really find a good fit. Shortly after, I met Doneliya Deneva, who was an MPSJ student, and she told me all about the program and how she recommends it since she was so happy with it. She encouraged me to apply. That was in September. I applied by December, got accepted, and started my classes already in January. It really felt like a series of fortunate events that brought me to the program.

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