Evan Milberg (G’13) Twitter: @evanmilberg “I think the most surprising thing about journalism in the real world is that the skills you learn can be applied to any job and to any beat. As long as you’re not afraid of … Continue reading
Meghan Patrick Henderson (G’11) Instagram: @TravelZuppa “I surprised myself when I stepped into a career outside the traditional journalism mold. I chose a path different from what I anticipated because I found a career that encompassed the skills I wanted in … Continue reading
Sasha Staar Horne (G’10) Twitter: @SashaHorne Instagram: @SashaHorne Website: SashaTalksTech.com “Creating content is no longer vertical – you have to cross pollinate, collaborate, and innovate to leave an impact. However, content is still king. If you provide quality, credible, and consistent … Continue reading
Lissa Barker (G’10) Instagram: skirtandasuitcase Website: http://www.travelzoo.com/blog/author/ebarkertravelzoo-com/ “If you really connect with a professor, take as many of their classes as you can, even if the subject doesn’t necessarily appeal to you. This is an excellent way to build relationships with … Continue reading
Judy Kurtz (G’15) Twitter: @JudyKurtz Website: http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know “Do internships and find a mentor! Internships are the absolute best way to get real-world experience and get your foot in the door at a news outlet. And find a journalism mentor and stay in … Continue reading
Matt Horan (G’11) Instagram: @MHoran21 “Take full advantage of the program. It’s not a sprint to finish quickly but more like a marathon. Network with anyone and everyone from students, faculty, guest speakers, etc. It’s a small city. Take one … Continue reading
Francesca Duffy (G’12) @fm_duffy Website: https://www.ncta.com/platform/ “Be patient. The journalism / writing field is a difficult one to pursue, and there are times when you wonder if the pay, the work, and challenges will be worth it in the end. But … Continue reading
Michael L. Rooney (G’15) @mlrooney85 Website: http://www.facebook.com/wilbertcoffin “Before graduating, consider non-traditional journalism jobs, or even jobs outside traditional journalism where a journalism degree would be an asset. Then choose classes with that consideration in mind. I know that most people in … Continue reading
Capricia Alston (G’15)
“Because I work entirely in digital, I see a ton of bullying, an even larger amount of satire pieces mistakenly shared as fact, and a platform where journalists are competing with bloggers. Now more than ever, it’s important for journalists to have thick skin. People will hate you for a hobby. Find your niche and do it well. Be innovative and don’t always let the clicks guide your next move.”
We are proud to present Capricia Alston as our January Alumna of the Month. Capricia is a Communications Liason for HDR Public Relations. Her responsibilities include acting as a brand ambassador for her company where she builds the HDR brand in the local business and professional community via social media, our newsletter, blogging, creating/maintaining a relationship with local media and handling anything communications related. She also freelances as a digital media producer at Comcast SportsNet. There, she writes and edits stories, facilitates conversations via social media and cut videos for the web.
Read more about Capricia and her advice to students and thoughts about journalism as an industry.
Why did you choose to attend Georgetown’s Journalism program?
The schedule, location and instructors are the top three reasons I chose this program. At the time, it was extremely important for me to stay local and have the option to work while going to school. I also liked that all of the instructors actively worked in the industry because that guaranteed that the lessons and their processes were current. It also meant that they’d have plenty of connections in this industry and I was not let down. I knew that the location would make it easy for us to visit newsrooms and to get guest speakers to stop by as well. An added benefit is that I knew the school was moving around the corner from the Verizon Center, which ended up being an extended classroom for me throughout the program.
How has your degree from the Journalism program helped you in your current job?
I feel like I’m at an advantage. I’d consider my full-time job more so on the PR side of the spectrum, but I still think like a journalist. I know what the media is looking for and how to pitch a story, so I often find myself looking for REALISTIC story angles to spread the work we’re doing. I also find that the more people that know my journalism background, the more opportunities come my way that allow me to utilize the skills I gained in this program.
What is class that you took at Georgetown that helped the most after you graduated?
The class that helped me the most was the sports media class with J. Michael and Cindy Boren. In just one semester, we were expected to deliver a radio, video and long-form piece all related to the team we were covering. Like capstone, the pieces had to be related without actually repeating any content. It was my introductory course to finding different angles when in an industry where everyone is talking about the same thing. We bounced ideas off of our classmates, practiced being “on-camera” and were hands-on in everything we did. It was challenging but gratifying to see how far my sports pieces had come in that little amount of time. And the best part of it all, is now I’m publishing and editing some of J. Michael’s stuff when I’m at CSN.
What one piece of advice would you give current students?
Like anything else in life, this program is exactly what you make of it. I made it a point to be extremely involved. I was SPJ President, attended majority of our program’s events, followed up with professionals that instructors connected me with and enrolled in Public Relations and Sports Industry Management classes to stay balanced. While I’m not necessarily encouraging you to take classes outside of the program, your instructors, classmates, guest speakers and acquaintances are all a tool for you and you should use them wisely.
Josie McSpadden (G’13)
“All the exhaustion, pressure, frustration — mixed with life-altering relationships gave me greatest challenges/rewards of my career.”
We are proud to present Josie McSpadden as our December Alumna of the Month. Josie is a Senior Communications Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Washington, D.C. Her responsibilities are balancing the communications and press relations for the foundation and she credits her Journalism background for teaching her how to strengthen her writing skills and prioritize information she gets on a daily basis. Read more about Josie and her advice to future journalists.
What are your responsibilities at your current workplace?
Lead communications and press relations in support of the foundation’s U.S. education priorities. Manage public voice for the President of the U.S. Program and maintain relationships with American media organizations.