April 21, 2016
For students planning careers in public relations, the ability to remain calm, work with teams and deliver the message are skills that can’t be underestimated. That was among the messages from a cadre of news and media professionals who participated in the Journalism Department’s annual Career Day.
Jennifer Campana, director of communications for MGA Entertainment, talked about her personal experience in crisis communications, as a panelist at the event held March 10 in the Thousand Oaks Room in the USU.
“You’ll find if you go into PR, a lot of times executives don’t always believe in the value of PR because it doesn’t translate to sales immediately,” said Campana, who works for one of the world’s largest privately owned toy companies. “So it’s important to learn how to prove to them that what you do is important, and not be afraid to sell yourself and your results.”
Campana was among four journalism professionals who shared anecdotes of field experience and career insight at Annual Career Day. Journalism professor Dr. Stephanie Bluestein moderated the discussion. The purpose of the event was to provide guidance and words of advice to students so they can better navigate toward their career goals and expectations for the future.
The panel consisted of a wide range of professionals, including Myung Chung, an Emmy award-winning video journalist at the Los Angeles Times, Joanna Jacobo of La Opinión, and Christina Gonzalez, an assignment manager for Fox News. Each journalist had their own set of skills they recommended to inquiring students.
They also shared a plethora of expectations about what students might encounter when entering the field.
Christina Gonzalez of Fox News advised students that they would need dedication and experience to thrive in a fast-paced career, like working in broadcast television. Chiming in with the other panelists, Gonzalez urged students not only to invest in themselves on paper, in resumes and cover letters, but also to secure internships that can lead to invaluable connections.
“I have never seen someone get hired in this business that has not known somebody,” Gonzalez said. “Get to know people.”
Multimedia writer for La Opinión and CSUN journalism alumna Joanna Jacobo added that the network for students begins right when they start classes at CSUN.
Professors can be an outlet for information, experience and recommendations even if they aren’t active in the field any longer, Jacobo said. Further, the clubs on campus can provide a connection that students might not already know is available to them.
Even in making those connections, photojournalist Myung Chung of the Los Angeles Times stressed that the impressions and interactions made with journalism professionals can, in turn, follow you along your career path.
“Journalism in its field is a very small business,” Chung said. “When we talk about hiring photographers we will look at some candidates and ask what this person is like. Word gets around of how you present yourself, so be mindful of that going forward.”
Career Day also included a separate panel of CSUN journalism alumni who shared their tales of success, followed by a portfolio and resume workshop hosted by the CSUN Journalism Alumni Association to help strengthen students’ presentations for employment after graduation.