Aspiring California State University, Northridge journalists received valuable information on starting their careers from some of the industry’s top professionals at the Department of Journalism’s annual career day.
La Opinión multimedia writer Joanna Jacoba ’14 (Journalism), Fox 11 Assignment Manager Christina Gonzalez, Los Angeles Times videographer and CSUN alumnus Myung Chun and Jennifer Campana, director of communications at MGA Entertainment, gave students detailed information about their current positions, how to network with peers, traits managers look for when hiring and some of the skills it takes to succeed in the journalism business at the event on March 10.
After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2014, Jacoba was hired as a multimedia writer and editor for La Opinión, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States.
Jacoba said that a networking opportunity provided by one of her professors was a big reason she was hired at her current position.
“Through one of my professors at CSUN, I was able to meet my current boss four years ago and add him on social media,” Jacoba said. “Did I know I was going to be working for him? No. But when he interviewed me, he told me, ‘Hey, you’re my friend on Facebook.’”
Throughout his years as a videographer at the Los Angeles Daily News and currently at the Los Angeles Times, Chung found that having great communication skills and high motivation are two big things managers look for when hiring.
“It’s important to show that you’re a good self-starter and you don’t need to be babysat,” Chung said. “You’re also going to be dealing with strangers on a daily basis, so you need to be a good people person.”
Gonzalez, who is currently working on her masters degree at CSUN, spent 25 years as a Fox News broadcaster before recently becoming an Assignment Manager at the station. She noted that if students want to work in television news, they have to be able to do it all.
“In this business, you’re going to be asked to shoot and edit video, produce and write,” Gonzalez said. “You need to learn how to remove yourself from your ego — you may think you know it all, but ultimately, your boss pays your salary.”
Campana said one of the most important skills someone in the field should have is being able to work well under pressure. She described how she handled a public relations nightmare in which a company she represented had a children’s bounce house swept more than 50 feet in the air after being hit by a gust of wind, resulting in two injuries.
“I was getting calls from NBC Nightly News to comment on [the bounce house] incident, so it is very important to remain calm, figure out what to say and then be able to deliver that message,” Campana said.