- Why did you decide to apply to and attend the J-School?
- What were you doing before you applied to J-School?
- What do you hope to learn this year?
- How do you get your news? Why did you choose those outlets?
- What do you hope to do post-graduation?
It's a cliché by now, but journalism is in flux, with a myriad of ideas floating around about what the future of the industry will look like. But the J-school is where the most experienced people in the field today come together with the up-and-coming to have a serious and ongoing discussion about journalism's future. To be admitted was like an invitation to join that discussion, and I'm thrilled about that. But here I can also gain the mentoring and technical training to get working and stay competitive. At this stage in my career, there's no other place I’d rather be.
After college, I used up the last of my savings to follow my room mate back to his home country of North Cyprus with the intention of writing a short couple of news stories about his country and its troubles and publishing them with a respectable news outlet. The story ended up being over six thousand words, more about my friend then the island's politics, and published in a literary magazine instead of a news outlet. But the experience taught me a lot about being a foreign correspondent and reaffirmed my intent to take the next step towards a career in the field by coming to the J-school. Since that experience, I've also held down a pair of internships at journalistic organizations, again reaffirming my intent not to work in an office ever again.
In all honesty, I hope to learn as much as I can about the people around me and take in their different perspectives, experiences, knowledge, and advice. If we are the future of the field, there's simply no other group of people I'd rather get to know more. I'd also like to learn all that I can about writing better (there's always something more to learn about writing), as well as the technical skills necessary for assembling multimedia projects.
I'm a sucker for the long form so I subscribe to three magazines-- Harper's, Rolling Stone and the Economist-- and I read all of them with varying degrees of commitment. For local news, I read the East Bay Express, SF Weekly (occasionally), the Bay Citizen and the Oakland Tribune. For national and international news I read a couple of British newspapers for their lively style, including the Guardian (compulsively) and the Financial Times (when I can get around the pay-wall), and occasionally the Christian Science Monitor. Public radio-- KQED & KALW both-- also fills the my house a lot, and once in a while I watch the PBS NewsHour. I also try to read a couple books a month on a wide array of subjects, almost all of them by journalists.
"I was born and raised in the Bay Area and I’d love to stay here forever. That said, I'm willing to leave it for a time while I can still afford to take some big risks. I have a long-standing fascination with Africa and particularly South Africa, bolstered by two study-abroad experiences in high school and college and some serious academic research since then. I have some ideas for projects related to Africa that I'd like to work on while at the J-school, and depending on where those take me, I'd hope to be on my way to a career on the continent upon graduating. Then again, I'm open to all kinds of different positions and (to a point) a number of different career moves within the field, and I have no doubt that two years at the J-school will expose me to a myriad of possibilities I had not considered before.