By Helen Murphy
Helen is a senior majoring in English Literature and Art History in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and participated in the 2017 Media Career Trek in New York City.
In late August, Northwestern Career Advancement took students to job sites across the country to connect with alumni and learn about various industries. I partook in the Media Trek in New York City along with other students from various fields of study, ranging from incoming sophomores to seniors. Overall, we visited nine companies in two and a half days, which made for a busy few days!
We had a jam-packed first day with visits to four different media companies from all different areas of journalism. We started the day at 30 Rockefeller Place visiting NBC Universal. At NBC, we learned about their extensive internship and post-grad opportunities, as well as their famous page program. The next stop of the day was New York Magazine. We talked to Northwestern alumni from all the different areas of the magazine, from The Cut, their fashion blog, to Vulture, their television and film blog. After New York Magazine, we headed to the Quartz Office. Quartz is a newer digital media company that is on the cusp of the new era of journalism. We discussed how many outlets are pivoting to video rather than editorial content, and how it’s useful for aspiring journalists to diversify their skillset beyond writing. We ended our first, very busy, day at the New York Times, where we engaged in a panel discussion with Northwestern alumni who work at the Times. The topics ranged from general career advice to what the New York Times is doing specifically to cover politics in the age of the Trump administration.
On our second day, we visited three sites: InDemand, Vox, and TIME Inc. InDemand is a company that supplies movies and sports coverage to cable companies. It was a nice visit because it was an area of the media industry that was different from the editorial journalists we had spent most of our time with. Vox, like Quartz the day before, is a newer digital media site that is focused on ushering in a new era of digital journalism through video and interactive articles. At the TIME offices, we were able to meet with Northwestern alumni from different TIME publications including Sports Illustrated, Real Simple and TIME. The journalists we talked to at TIME, all recent Northwestern graduates, discussed the hiring process and job application process they went through after graduating.
Our final day, we had two site visits, both with business-focused publications. We started the day at the Wall Street Journal, where we talked to a panel of three reporters about reporting on business and economics, and how to earn and keep a source’s trust. We also got a tour of the Journal’s large and hectic newsroom, which was incredibly cool to see. After visiting the Journal, we headed over to our last visit of the trek— Bloomberg Media. At this round-table discussion, we talked a lot about the set-up of the Bloomberg offices that is all designed to encourage transparency between higher-ups and employees.
Overall, the Media Trek provided us with the unique opportunity to connect with journalists who have careers that many of us aspire to have. We were able to ask questions, get advice, see newsrooms in action, and network with professionals. We came away from the trek more informed about careers in media and journalism, and with connections to help us achieve those careers.
Northwestern Career Advancement leads career treks to organizations in Chicago throughout the year. The application period for summer multi-city treks typically opens in spring.