PERSONAL CAREER BRIEF
A graduate of … Redwood High School (California)
Now working as … Public Information Officer I-Social Media Specialist, “in charge of representing the State Board of Education and State Office of Education Leadership and Programs on various social media platforms. These include a WordPress Blog, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter account, Flickr account and YouTube Channel.”
Employer … Utah State Office of Education
Check out this website … http://UtahPublicEducation.org
Current Events was her favorite class in high school because …“I didn’t realize it, but this course focused on the geo-political issues of the day sparked an interest in politics and the media that inspired me to become a reporter and to work in public relations for a government agency, which is my current occupation.”
Elizabeth’s first job … Gift wrapper at a small chain of department stores.
The worst job? Call center worker “because the work entails encountering a lot of disgruntled, annoyed people and doing very repetitive tasks while sitting all day.”
A Career Highlight … Elizabeth was named the 2009 Utah Radio Reporter of the Year by the Utah Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Advice to students: “If you are interested in a career, go for it. Be persistent.”
And more …
About Elizabeth’s most significant training beyond high school:
“There were two critical opportunities I sought after college that were instrumental in getting me started on my career path.
- I realized after graduating with a degree in Literature from UC Santa Cruz that I missed writing on deadline. I considered going to graduate school to be an English teacher in high school or at the college level. But I soon realized it was the act of writing I missed and so began to pursue options for becoming a journalist. I turned to a local alternative monthly paper published and called the editor to ask how to get into the business. She asked me to come in and we chatted about editing, reporting and talked about some story ideas I had brought in with me. Soon I was helping proofread the paper before it went to press and contributing music reviews and features. For this work, I was not paid very much. But the experience, my “clips,” helped me land a full-time job at a newspaper.
- Around this same time, after college but before I had really gotten started on my career, I took a community college course in radio to get over my shyness. I was so nervous about public speaking and thought that this course would help. It was designed to train new volunteers for a community radio station and after the course ended, I became a late-night volunteer music DJ at the station. Many years later in my career, I pulled on this experience to transition from being a newspaper reporter into a public radio reporter. Without that class, I would never have been able to get my job covering the Utah Legislature for KCPW.
Some specific strategies for learning more about jobs that interest you:
- Call organizations that interest you, contact individuals within the organizations who have jobs you think you might want, and ask them how they got there and what you can do to get started in their field.
- Don’t undervalue volunteer positions or internship opportunities, even if they are unpaid, because the personal contacts you make and the work you do in these positions will help you when it comes time to apply for a full-time, paid position in the career of your choice.