The National Press Club Journalism Institute is spotlighting the next generation of journalists, students who graduated from college or Master’s programs this spring into a challenging job market. We hope they’ll meet future bosses and colleagues here, who will reach out and support them in building journalism’s future together.
Name: Nicola Wenz
School: University of Southern California
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Languages: Fluent in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian
Journalism hero: Anderson Cooper
What have you learned from your involvement with student media on your campus?
Wenz: I learned a LOT. As a reporter, I learned how to become a better speaker. I learned how to work with breaking news (wildfires and a global pandemic). I quickly had to learn how to become knowledgeable with politics while interviewing the mayor of Los Angeles, I had to become a professional at understanding entertainment while being thrown onto the red carpet at a movie premiere, but most importantly I learned to become a better journalist just by asking questions.
What’s been your best moment in journalism?
Wenz: The conversations. My curiosity about wanting to know who was in charge of singing the “Friends” theme song brought me to Allee Willis, the songwriter. I ended up being the last person in the world to interview her before she unexpectedly passed away in December. My curiosity as a journalist brought me to someone so unique and special, with a story that is quite unimaginable. This is why I love doing what I do. I truly believe everyone has a story.
What’s the wackiest story you’ve worked on?
Wenz: This story was about a “Cuddle Sanctuary.” Basically, it’s a group of people who come together to get cuddled. I decided to sit in on one of the cuddle programs. It definitely added to my story but I would not recommend attending.
What do you want to accomplish in your journalism career?
Wenz: I would love to work for CNN and be a travel correspondent. I speak five languages fluently, therefore am convinced I would be a good asset to the company. I understand people and I know how to talk to them and what questions to ask.
If you could meet any journalist and ask for her/his advice, who would it be and why?
Wenz: Anderson Cooper. I would ask him if he needed a co-anchor 😁 But more realistically, I would ask him if he would still choose to be a journalist today knowing the world the way it is.
What do you want potential employers to know about you?
Wenz: I am good at what I do, I just haven’t met anyone who truly believes in me yet.
If you’re a recent graduate who studied journalism, or know one, we’re accepting information here for members of the Class of 2020 to feature in the future. If you’re a supporter, you can contribute here to scholarships for journalism students.
Tags: Class of 2020