Class of 2020: Where are they now? Brandon Ruiz-Peña

The next generation of journalists graduated in 2020 into a challenging job market unlike any other. We spotlighted them this summer, shared advice from their role models, and are checking in with them this month to see where they are now and what they’re learning about journalism. 

Name: Brandon Ruiz-Peña

School: University of Houston-Clear Lake

Current status: Working on teaching certification in Texas

Career goal: To teach journalism

Where are you working right now? Is the position full-time, part-time or an internship?

Ruiz-Peña: As of now, I am working on getting my teaching certification in Texas. I want to eventually teach journalism, but for now I feel called to teach upper elementary. Being a teacher has always been a dream of mine, but I gave up on it years ago. I initially began college with the intent to become a teacher, but life happened and I was led to transition into communication/journalism. That path built up my confidence and allowed me to learn more about who I am as a person and leader. Then the pandemic hit and life sort of stopped and changed. It left me with a lot to reflect on and ultimately led to the decision to resurrect my dream of teaching. 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on the job search?

Ruiz-Peña: I’ve learned that the amount of awards won and skills you list on your resume is not always enough. Especially now in this time of COVID, there are employers seeking skilled and seasoned journalists. This can make it harder for those of us fresh out of college. 

Have your journalism goals changed since graduation, and if so how?

Ruiz-Peña: They have changed only slightly. I knew eventually I wanted to teach journalism, but it seems to be coming into fruition closer than expected! 

How are you taking care of yourself and staying motivated right now?

Ruiz-Peña: Lots of prayer, time walking around, staying busy and remembering my goals. 

Read Ruiz-Peña’s original profile here.

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