What I’m reading: media-related articles that recently caught my eye

I read some great pieces in the past two weeks that have stuck with me. I’m sharing them to inspire conversation in others, as they have in me.

“The Forbes digital content model and power of the long-tail,” by Rachel Bartlett on Journalism.co.uk.

Lewis D’Vorkin, chief product officer at Forbes, found that 50 percent of the site’s traffic is generated by content that is at least 30 days old. To someone who has been told that journalists have to churn out content constantly in the digital age and that stories are old news nearly as soon as they’re uploaded; I was shocked.

When D’Vorkin explained what he realized to be the “long-tail” of the content, it resonated a bit more with me. An interesting read for anyone who is also interested in the business and analysis of digital media.

Young People Let Digital Apps Dictate Their Identities, Say 2 Scholars,” by Marc Perry in The Chronicle of Higher Education

This article explains that when the internet first gained traction among teens it was thought that it would be a great way for then to express and find themselves. However, the opposite effect is being seen. Teens are deciding who they are early and it is almost permanent because of how social media publicizes it. They are essentially branding themselves when they aren’t even freshmen in high school.

‘The pressure is to consolidate and to post and to have as many friends and likes as possible,” [Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist] says, ‘not to experiment and to learn from one’s more or less successful attempts.'”

“Dear Young Creatives: Forget Overnight Success,” by Haniya Rae on Digiday.

As a young person starting out their career, I took this piece to heart. Sometimes I get caught up in my passion and ambition, expecting my life and career to move as quickly as my mind. It is good to be reminded to slow down. Success takes time.

If you love the process, it shouldn’t matter how long it takes. If you love what you do every day, I would want it to take longer, because then you can continue to do it every day,” Jeff Ng tells Rae.

Breaking News: Resources for covering shooting,” by Anna Li on Poynter.

I was in the MSNBC newsroom when the LAX shooting occurred. It is the biggest breaking news that I have worked on since beginning as a PA, and it was overwhelming. This piece has great tips and resources for journalists covering a shooting.

“AOL May Sell Patch or Deepen Cuts,” by Tom Risen on U.S. News and World Report.

As a Connecticut native, I am very familiar with Patch.com. There are 67 Patch sites in Connecticut. I have many friends who freelanced or worked as editors for the company. I was sad to read that they are struggling and that many have been laid off.


Transitions from UConn to the NBC page program to MSNBC

Well, this summer has been a whirlwind.

May: The Page Program

Me and my start sisters on our first day in our Page suits. (From left: me, Kitty, Camille, Theresa, Liz)

Me and my start sisters on our first day in our Page suits. (From left: me, Kitty, Camille, Theresa, Liz)

I was accepted into and began the NBC Page Program on May 27th. My brain was flooded with hundreds of pages of NBC Universal history, facts and stats about NBC shows, brands and talent. I joined a program filled with about 60 of the most interesting, intelligent, talented and funny people I have met.

Before graduating I was worried the program might not be the best choice for me. I wasn’t sure if it would set me back a year in getting a more permanent job.

Well, all I can say is, I am happy I ignored that fear.

Being a page was the best choice I could have made. It allowed me to explore other career paths besides hard news and gave me a glimpse into a variety of NBC departments. I learned more about working in media and broadened my network within the company. Now when I walk through the halls I have a deeper sense of belonging.

June, July, August: PR

During my time in the program I had the opportunity to spend three months on an assignment in the NBC News PR department. I quickly learned that publicists do everything for a brand that nobody really knows about.

The women in this department shaped me into a better employee than I could have dreamed I would be. I learned the ins and outs of NBC, the work flow and the protocols. They taught me how to present myself in a professional and appropriate manner.  They taught me how to work quickly and efficiently. And, they gave me my first taste of what it is like to have real responsibility in an office. Every day I knew my work had an impact and purpose, which was intimidating at times.

By the time I left something happened that I did not expect: I loved PR. While I don’t think I have the guts or stamina to work in PR long-term,  I now have a deep respect for the people that do and a better understanding of how vital their role is.


After my 12 weeks came to an end I took a much appreciated vacation to Ludlow, VT. My wonderful boyfriend, Kevin, helped me process leaving the PR department, hid my phone when I tried to check in with my coordinators and got me to actually relax (which, for those who know me, is a feat.)

We hiked Mount Okemo, twice. We built a fire every night. We bought fresh groceries that made for some delicious meals. We went horseback riding. We watched TV. We saw sites. And we spent some peaceful, quiet, quality time together.

When I returned from Vermont I jumped back into the page routine giving tours and selling the coveted tickets to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. After being away for three months I was thrilled to be back on the tour route.

The Offer

On September 19 I was filling in for an assistant to a TODAY Show producer when I got an offer from HR to start as a production assistant that day at MSNBC. I was stunned. This was the job I hoped to get since I ended my internship at MSNBC’s The Cycle a year ago. It was the job I was aiming for after my time as a page. And yet, I hesitated.

I was beyond grateful to be offered this job. I know how lucky I was to be given the opportunity to work as a PA for a huge network early in my career. And I knew it was the job I wanted.

I hesitated because I loved being a page. I loved the program, the people, the opportunities and even the tours (most days.) I wasn’t sure I was ready to leave all of that, yet.

In the end, I decided to take the PA position. I knew it was an opportunity I could not pass up.

Off to MSNBC

I started as a graphics producer for Weekends with Alex Witt on September 21.

One month in and I love my job. Although a hard choice to make, it was absolutely the right one for me. I create graphics for Alex Witt’s program on Saturday and Sunday. Her show airs at 7 am, 12 p.m. and 1p.m., which means I’m up at 3 a.m. The crazy thing is that I don’t mind. I love the work that I’m doing and the show I work on. On Thursdays and Fridays I assist and print scripts for the MSNBC Dayside anchors and write the news that scrolls across the bottom of the screen, called the ticker.

I have broadened my network at NBC even more. And, I’m doing what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m working in journalism, putting out quality news on a phenomenal network.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my last five months at NBC is that my favorite part of having a job is learning new skills and taking on new challenges. Every time I have mastered a job I am excited to kick it up a notch by adding a new responsibility. NBC Universal is great company for me because there are many different departments, channels and brands that I can be a part of and because of that many skills to learn.

Another lesson I learned is that you have to jump on opportunities when they present themselves. I was hesitant to say yes to three opportunities I was given since I started at NBC, all of which turned out to be wonderful experiences. At this point in my career my goal is to say yes to open doors. There is no harm in trying new jobs, meeting new people and learning a little bit more about myself.

Goodbye UConn, hello New York City

The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind.

I finished my last week of final exams.

Attended the last banquet for The Daily Campus.

My fabulous Daily Campus staff at the banquet. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Weiss)

My fabulous Daily Campus staff at the banquet. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Weiss)

Packed up my dorm room and left my roommates.

Me and my roommates (from the left) Lindsay, Shreena, Nikki, me, Alivia and Andrea  on Horsebarn Hill at UConn. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Scheller)

Me and my roommates (from the left) Lindsay, Shreena, Nikki, me, Alivia and Andrea on Horsebarn Hill at UConn. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Scheller)

Said goodbye to all the amazing friends that I have made over the last three years at UConn.

And graduated.

Now that I am an alumni I have no idea what to do with myself. It is a difficult to wrap my head around the concept of being done with college.

I had an incredible time studying at UConn. I loved my classes, professors, friends and The Daily Campus. I learned more about myself during my time in Storrs than ever before. I learned that I want to be a journalist. I learned that I enjoy leading people. I learned how to be a good friend. I learned how to be independent but also how to ask people for help when it is needed.

Thank you to my parents Carla and John for helping me get through the last few years, both financially and personally. I would not be where I am today without them.

Thank you to my roommates who I lived with the last two years. Six girls living together in two bedrooms, with one bathroom, seems like a recipe for disaster. But for us it was a recipe for greatness. We became a family. I relied on their support, love, humor and company countless times.

Finally, thank you to my coworkers and friends at The Daily Campus. The newspaper shaped my college career and led me to find what I want to do next. Day after day of late nights, trips to Storrs Center, editorial meetings and weekend outings brought us close together. You were my other UConn family.

And now that I have left Storrs, Connecticut for the last time, I am off on my next big adventure: NBC. In two weeks I will start as an NBC Page. I am incredibly fortunate to have been given this opportunity and I cannot wait to begin.

Stay tuned to hear stories from my next chapter!

Teen Vogue publisher tells students at CMANYC13 how to stand out from competitors when applying for a media job

Jason Wagenheim's twitter profile picture. His handle is @JasonWagenheim.

Jason Wagenheim’s twitter profile picture. His handle is @JasonWagenheim.

Getting a job in media is all about setting yourself apart from hundreds of other applicants vying for the same position.

Jason Wagenheim, VP and publisher of Teen Vogue, told attendees of the College Media Association conference that he sees about 150 resumes in any given month. He cannot respond to every applicant or even look at each one. He said he looks at the candidates that stand out because of what they have done and whom they know.

“Get to know who ever you can and try to make meaningful connections with those people,” Wagenheim said.

Make connections with people in New York who work in media anyway you can. Ask you father, your boss, your mailman if they know anyone in the business. He said the old saying is true: it is whom you know.

While it is important to set yourself apart from the crowd, you must do it in a positive way.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Wagenheim said the number of resumes and cover letters with spelling and grammar mistakes is “appalling.” He showed one that spoke about “priveledge,” “producting video” and “hockeky.”

“If you don’t have time to spell check your friking resumes, what are you going to do for me at Teen Vogue?” he said.

One applicant wrote him for a job at Hearst magazines, which is his company’s archrival magazine conglomerate. Wagenheim said to research the job you are applying for. Know about the company and act as if it is your dream job.

This is Teen Vogue's logo on Twitter. They are @TeenVogue.

This is Teen Vogue’s logo on Twitter. They are @TeenVogue.

The interview

One woman walked into an interview with Wagenheim and immediately broke the ice by referencing an article in The New York Times about the magazine and Wagenheim’s work. Throughout the interview she referenced Teen Vogue and showed that she knew about it and read it.

“It showed that she cared. That she was enthusiastic and wanted the job,” he said.

It is important to have energy in an interview, he said. Sometimes applicants come in and can barely muster up a conversation. Wagenheim said it is like talking to his 7 year old. If you are not likable, you will not get the job.

From home

You can make yourself stand out after you leave the interview. Wagenheim said to send a thank you email. It should not be more than two paragraphs, it should show your appreciation and reinstate why you are a good fit for the job. He said it is also good to follow up a couple of days later with a hand written note.

If you do not get the job you should try to stay in touch so you are remembered when the next job opens up. Wagenheim said to email the interviewer periodically down the line. You should reference relevant work you are doing or mention recent news in the company. Make sure the note has a purpose, otherwise they are annoying, he said.