The next generation of journalists graduated in 2020 into a challenging job market unlike any other. We spotlighted them last summer, shared advice from their role models, and are checking in with them to see where they are now and what they’re learning about journalism.
Name: Nicola Wenz
School: University of Southern California
Where are you working right now? Is the position full-time, part-time or an internship?
Wenz: I just started working as a full-time associate producer with Spectrum News 13 in Orlando, Fla.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on the job search?
Wenz: The biggest two lessons I learned on the job search are persistence and patience. I (no joke) applied to more than 500 internships/jobs/part-time jobs around the world. I got rejected from every single one of them. I then learned about the power of LinkedIn and establishing personal connections. I started messaging every single news director I could find on the Internet. One man believed in me. He told me I needed to wait a few weeks until a position opens up and that he will not forget about me when the time comes. Fast forward six months later, I left Los Angeles after five years and am now thriving in my new environment. It only takes one person and when the right time comes, others struggling like I did will be in the exact same boat. Keep going, don’t stop.
What do you wish you had learned as a student that you’re learning on the job?
Wenz: I honestly have to admit that my professors prepared me extremely well for the position I am currently in. I have a deep understanding of how a newsroom works, how to structure a show and, most importantly, how to be a good writer.
Have your journalism goals changed since graduation, and if so how?
Wenz: Since graduation, my journalism goals haven’t changed much. Moreso, it is the world around me that changed. The world made it harder to find a job, therefore less motivating after graduation to feel accomplished. It took a lot of deep breaths and mental power to find ways each day to apply to new positions, stay healthy and not let the idea of being unemployed get in my way. I feel as if most students are so eager, they don’t realize only one or two months have passed by. For us, it feels like an eternity. I tried to remind myself of this, which 100 percent kept me motivated each day.