The Undergraduate Journalism Information Session took place at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute last Thursday, the first of its kind to introduce college students to faculty members and alumni. Roughly 80 eager-eyed undergraduates listened to the alumni panel formed by Carolina Moreno, Latino Voices editor for Huffington Post, Joe Coscarelli, culture reporter for The New York Times and Nicole Phillip, associate producer at ABC News.
Before the panel began, members from NYU’s Journalism Institute covered the bases for journalism students. Director of career services Sylvan Solloway spoke on preparing resumes and cover letters, undergraduate student advisor Sasha Panaram briefly outlined the academic requirements and acting director Mary Quigley shared her wisdom on how to secure potential internships. “Journalism, as an industry, is incestuous,” Quigley told the attentive audience, highlighting the importance of building contacts and networks to get their foot through the door of prestigious publications.
Newly minted undergraduate student advisor Sasha Panaram was part of the organizing committee for this event. She shared that the panelists were selected from recent graduates who have advanced quickly in their careers. Despite not yet hitting their 30s, the alumni speakers dished out thoughtful advice to budding reporters.
Carolina Moreno is a Hispanic journalist who covers Latino and immigration issues at Huffington Post. She hopes to help young journalists feel empowered by the color of their skin. “That’s going to make you stand out,” Moreno commented on being a minority in the newsroom, “that perspective is what’s missing.” She takes her job very seriously, saying that it is an honor to be the voice of women of color. “The future is colorful,” she proclaimed boldly.
Joe Coscarelli, who concentrated in media criticism while a student in NYU, knew he wanted to be a music critic early on but decided to tackle of broad range of issues first before diving headfirst into his destined field. As a young reporter he covered metropolitan affairs and political events as a means of gaining a broader experience. He describes his job at The New York Times now as a balance of fun and seriousness, with his latest stories ranging from popular culture to mass incarceration.
Nicole Phillip had her start in journalism producing and covering hard news stories for Hurricane Irma. She did not expect to do on-camera work, but has since covered the elections and is even starting her own talk show.
One student posed the question of which resources members of the panel wished they had taken advantage of during their undergraduate years. All the panelists agreed that current students should try their best to study abroad if they can. Moreno studied away in Buenos Aires, whereas Phillip spent a semester in Florence.
Izzie Ramirez, a sophomore in the Liberal Studies Program at NYU, said that she was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the panel. She was originally skeptical of whether she will find such events useful, but was surprised to find panelists who spoke on topics she was interested in including activism and food.
“Journalism is more experiential than any other majors,” moderator Solloway said. It allows for the most real world experience, differentiating it from any other major in NYU.
By Ziqi Lin