Founders Scholarship winner Sandi Halimuddin: “I finally feel empowered and ready to take the next step”
Sandi Halimuddin, 22, graduated earlier this year from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism and international relations and previously interned at The Seattle Times and Seattle Weekly. Halimuddin was the recipient of the 2013 Founders Scholarship, which covered the cost of registration and travel for the 2013 AAJA National Convention in New York. In the coming weeks, Halimuddin will return to New York in the next month for an internship at the World Policy Journal.
As part of her scholarship, Halimuddin shared her convention experience for AAJASeattle.org.
When I first heard about the AAJA Convention in New York, I was terrified. While my mentor (former AAJA National President) Sharon Chan described the event as a fun networking and learning opportunity, the thought of shamelessly self-promoting myself in front of well-established people in the journalism industry made me nervous. As a recent grad looking for an entry-level reporting job, the career fair, workshops and networking events are excellent resources, if not a bit daunting. Luckily, AAJA Seattle chapter members gave me great advice on how to make the most out of the annual convention.
First, my mentors encouraged me to come prepared. In addition to preparing an elevator pitch, resumes, business cards and a website with clips, it’s important to do your homework on the companies at the career fair. Sharon encouraged me to do research on media companies, their notable work and current job openings. Speaking with recruiters at the career fair was easier and more meaningful when I showed knowledge of the company and asked specific questions. While working the career fair may not immediately lead to a job, I found that speaking with recruiters helped me gain a better understanding of what my goals and expectations are.
Second, my mentors recommended that I meet as many people as possible. At big events such as these it’s too easy to hide in the corner, tweeting at celebrities and friends. While I had my share of awkward moments standing in the middle of the room looking for someone to talk to, I found that reaching out to people is not as frightening as it seems. Most people at networking events are genuine, friendly and eager to speak with people who are equally as passionate about journalism. Developing connections with fellow convention attendees is a good strategy to establish your presence in the industry, find mentors and learn from people you respect. It’s also comforting to have fellow journalism friends to keep in touch with throughout and after the convention.
Finally, my mentors in the AAJA Seattle chapter insisted that I follow up with recruiters, editors and fellow journalists I met during the convention. While it might be hard to stand out in such a busy and well-attended convention, a prompt and thoughtful follow-up letter or email goes a long way. Even if there are no current job opportunities, showing initiative and establishing relationships with people in the industry can be helpful in the future.
While I was initially hesitant about attending the AAJA Convention, I’m so glad I went this year. I met a lot of wonderful, helpful people at the convention and gained more confidence navigating the professional world. I also now have a more realistic understanding of the possibilities in the journalism industry. Following the AAJA Convention, I finally feel empowered and ready to take the next step in shaping my writing career by moving to New York City this month.
Here are the details:
Who: Young people (ages 16-24)
What: Engage with young changemakers as they design a high-fidelity mobile app to solve a social issue.
Where: Impact Hub Seattle, 220 2nd Ave S., Seattle
When: October 12, 9am-4pm
For more information about Ashoka Seattle’s mission, vision and approach, click here.
For any students out there who would like to attend next month’s convention in New York, the AAJA D.C. chapter has one stipend for a student member available. The stipend will cover the cost of registration for the national convention next month.
To apply, please submit your résumé and include a statement (500 words max) answering the following questions:
1. What do you hope to gain from your experience at this year’s convention?
2. Describe your involvement with AAJA.
*All recipients will be asked to submit a brief summary of their experiences for our website.
Please email your applications by Friday, July 26, 5 p.m. eastern time, to Seung Min Kim: email@example.com.
Several students were recognized during the Northwest Journalists of Color (NJC) Scholarship reception on June 4.
$5,000 in scholarship were presented to the four NJC scholars:
Joella Ortega discovered her passion for journalism during her junior year in high school while working on the yearbook staff. When she got to Western Washington University she quickly transformed into a full-fledged reporter. She realized she could no longer live without the rush of investigating, reporting, writing and editing: “The process of creating and publishing an article thrilled me like nothing had ever thrilled me before. I became a mad newswoman, eager to take on all aspects of this 24/7 lifestyle of living. I can make a change by using any medium available to me.” Joella’s goal is to pursue a career in new media journalism. She wants to live and breathe investigative reporting, create works that cannot be ignored, works that wake up a sleeping society to the heartbreak of far away lands – and she is confident she will not fail: “My generation will be the one to alter the face of journalism as America knows it; I know my hope for being a part of this shift is not in vain. I can make a substantial change along with my peers. I want to be a part of this new and improved system of reporting. I will succeed in my education, and I will succeed in my future career as a journalist.” She was chosen specifically for the Comcast Multimedia Scholarship, which was funded by Comcast.
Holly Martinez is currently attending Seattle University, majoring in journalism. She is the first in her family to go to college: “I want to prove to my younger siblings that they can do it too, no matter how hard it is and no matter how big their dream may be.” In addition, “The fact that I am a woman in a traditional Hispanic Catholic household also contributed
greatly to my desire to write and to be given the tremendous honor of serving as a voice for groups that are oftentimes left voiceless. I’ve learned to embrace my culture while also challenging it.” She started writing poetry in elementary school and was first published in third grade. She says as time progressed she became more interested in journalism and advocacy work. She has written for the school paper and was hired as a freelance writer for Equal Voice News after being awarded a fellowship opportunity with them. She also did internships with former Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, KOMO-TV and Comcast. Holly said she would like to be political analyst and one day run for office where she plans to use journalism to reach voters and constituents and attempt to make real changes in the community.
Charmaine Riley Is a student at Western Washington University where she is majoring in journalism and writes for the campus paper. She says for years, she thought college was a gateway to money, and that was the only reason why anyone went to college. But now she knows journalism is where she belongs: “I am studying journalism at Western Washington University because I love learning. Learning is a stereotypical answer but I am not studying journalism to learn about stereotypical topics or ideas. I want to learn by researching topics, investigating contentious issues, and telling the stories of people who
are unable to tell the stories themselves.” She says journalists may be innovative by posting on Twitter or interviewing sources from halfway around the world on Skype, but promoting new ideas to fight ignorance would be a significant and simple advancement within the industry.
Elyse Tan currently attends Western Washington University where she is majoring in Journalism and writes for the college newspaper. She is also online editor for the student publication, Klipsun Magazine. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of Western Washington University’s Public Relations Organization. rowing up she spent the majority of her time after school at the cash register of my mother’s restaurant with a jar for college funds. She is the first in her family to attend college. Since her first creative writing class she has been using writing as a personal and professional outlet. She is not deterred by the challenges of the industry: “I find it exciting that new technological advancements and social media have made news more accessible than ever before. Although some may suggest that print publications are dying, I have faith in the profession and know that there will always be a demand for efficient, truthful news in whatever medium readers choose to get it.”
Seungkyul Joseph Park of Highline Community College was chosen for the Founders’ Scholarship. The scholarship pays for airfare and registration to attend the annual AAJA Convention, which will be held this year in New York City. Park is currently studying communication, journalism, art history and minoring creative writing at the community college, with plans to transfer to the University of Washington. He has worked at the student-run newspaper at Highline Community College, The Thunderword since last year and became the paper’s arts editor last fall. Joseph’s passion is in fashion journalism and he jokes that in the future, he will execute a hostile takeover of Vogue, Vanity Fair, or The New Yorker. One project that that he is very proud of was when he organized a fashion editorial in honor of Referendum 74, which legalized gay marriage in Washington state. He and his friends decided to organize a photo shoot that represented gay love through the lens of fashion to complement an editorial column on why the referendum should pass. The piece was titled, “GLITTER AND BE GAY: An editorial on Referendum 74.”
Along with the NJC and Founders scholarship, the Seattle Association of Black Journalists (SABJ), a longtime NJC supporter, presented the Patricia Fisher Scholarship to Ashley Wells. Wells is a freshman at the University of Washington. She is majoring in journalism and plans to pursue a business sales certification. She writes for a newspaper for the Greek community, volunteers in the community and is active in multiple student organizations.
Along with the presentation of the scholarships, Monica Guzman, a digital life columnist for The Seattle Times and Geekwire, presented a keynote speed on how she survived and learned from her early job experiences. “Journalism is a set of carefully-managed relationships,” she said. She also explained why she was excited about the contributions of the current generation.
The Northwest of Journalists of Color scholarship and reception would not be possible without our sponsors:
Comcast came on as a sponsor for the second year in a row, this time funding one of the scholarships.
During the reception, Steve Kipp, vice president of communications for Comcast’s Washington region, spoke and explained why Comcast supported the program. Comcast has played an instrumental role not only in sponsoring this year’s Comcast multimedia sponsorship but providing valuable job experience to students, including several NJC alumni. Thank you for your support!
An already great reception was even better with delicious food from Pho Bac. The Vietnamese restaurant has several locations throughout the Seattle area.
KING 5 hosted this year’s reception. Assistant news director Cheryl Carson greeted the audience during the reception.
Finally, a big thank you to everyone who attended this year’s reception. See you next year!
This year’s Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship reception will be from 6-8 p.m. on June 4 at KING 5 (333 Dexter Ave. N. in Seattle).
Doors open at 6 pm. Light food provided by Pho Bac and non-alcoholic drinks will be served.
The program will start just after 6:30 pm and wrap up by 8 pm.
Five aspiring college journalists will receive scholarships from the Northwest Journalists of Color, a consortium of four minority journalist groups in Washington State. The 2013 recipients include Western Washington University students: Joella Charis Ortega, Charmaine Riley, Elyse Tan, and Seattle University student, Holly Martinez. Joseph Park from Highline Community College will be awarded the Founder’s Scholarship, which covers a student registration for the 2013 AAJA National Convention in New York City.
The Seattle Association of Black Journalists (SABJ) will ask be awarding their Patricia Fisher Endowment Scholarship at the reception.
In attendance will be the scholarship winners’ family and friends, as well as news executives and journalists from the local community and this year’s NJC Scholarship judges: Brent Champaco (Gig Harbor Patch.com), Sonya Green (KBCS FM), Melissa Santos, (The Olympian) Christina Twu (International Examiner) and Lori Matsukawa (KING5 TV).
Come enjoy food and drink, meet this year’s Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winners and support the future generation of storytellers.
For more information and to RSVP for the event, click here.
(Students only, but feel free to pass along the message!) If we don’t have enough student sign-ups by March 27 at 1 p.m., we will open up the event to AAJA Seattle members.
STUDENTS: Don’t miss this great opportunity from AAJA Seattle!
â€œPersonal brandingâ€ is about more than having a matching logo on your business cards, blog and Twitter profile. Itâ€™s about having a voice that people recognize in the industry and in your own personal sphere of interest. Itâ€™s also about knowing how to promote your voice — and yourself — to the people who care. We can show you how to get started. In this AAJA Seattle crash course, join producers from The Seattle Times and other regional media outlets to learn how to start (or improve) your blog and use social media strategies — skills that you can use in your personal lives, and carry into the newsroom. Oh, did we mention weâ€™ll have pizza?
Note: this is open to any student (not just UW). Â We’ll also be answering questions about applying for the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship program. Applications for the NJC Scholarship are due April 15. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.
You MUST RSVP! You can do so here.
When: Wednesday, March 28
Where: Mt. Baker Training Room, 6th floor, Seattle Times building, 1000 Denny Way, Seattle, 98109
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE for students; $10 suggested donation at the door. Cash or credit card only, please.
If you’re driving you may need to pay for parking. There are SOME guest parking spots in the lot outside The Seattle Times building that are free as well as paid street parking.
Questions? Email Sona Patel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-310-0336.
To renew your AAJA membership visit aaja.org.
Get your tickets now for AAJA Seattle’s biggest fundraiser of the year! This year’s banquet will be held on Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. at Acquabar in Belltown. Silent auction proceeds will go toward the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship, which has supported more than 100 college students since the mid-1980s.
Highlights of this year’s banquet include:
- Up-and-coming Taiwanese American comedian Yola Lu
- Photo booth by Ava Van of Ava Van Photography
- Full 8-item dinner
- Performance by Trackademics
- Dancing after 10 p.m.
Our emcee for the evening will be Elizabeth Dinh, reporter, KOMO 4 News.
Ticket prices will go up, so get yours soon: http://lunarnewyear2012.eventbrite.com/
All ages welcome.
By Gina Cole
To use a metaphor that sports writers may jibe me for: some of my peers at Western Washington University seem to view college not as the season opener to adult life, but as merely a scrimmage. â€œSure, weâ€™re doing the same things, but they donâ€™t affect our record right now.â€
It sounds implausible that members of the digital generation who document their lives on social networks would delude themselves that way. But letâ€™s forget about Facebookâ€™s bottomless memory and humor them for a moment, because they almost had a major impact on our schoolâ€™s interpretation of the First Amendment.
On Oct. 26, the Student Senate at Western introduced a resolution that would have allowed sources to back-edit Western publicationsâ€™ content. It proposed that students or alumni featured in a publication could, one to 10 years later, tell the publication to delete the content and wipe it from the online archives.
Iâ€™m guessing most people reading this are journalists. While you folks pick your jaws up off the floor or try to control your incredulous laughter, Iâ€™ll explain the reasoning behind the proposal. More
Three years ago, AAJASeattle.org was re-launched on the WordPress platform. Happy birthday, AAJASeattle.org!
AAJA should be proud of this little website. It’s an important community resource in the online landscape of Pacific Northwest journalism sites. Don’t believe me? I too was shocked when a research study that came out at the 2010 Journalism That Matters conference put aajaseattle.org on the map – literally. Use the Zoom (+) button below and look at the center of the map.
Over the years, as the site’s founding editor, I’ve watched it grow and become a part of our chapter’s strategy for building community online and reaching out to members hungry for training, mentoring and jobs.
My vision for AAJASeattle.org was and still is a place for our members – especially students and freelancers – to post their profiles, share links to their stories and offer emerging, diverse journalists a platform to display their storytelling in new media (and maybe get constructive comments). I think it could realize that vision with a staff of three to five dedicated volunteers.
The chapter’s costs to keep the site up are minimal – a server hosting account and domain name – but the content our authors contribute is priceless.
The blog post items, which chronicle chapter news and turbulent times of our profession, come from members willing to donate their time. And sometimes we get photos and videos posted of chapter events.
With no advertising, no dedicated staff and sporadic blog posts, the site has attracted nearly 7,000 visits over the past year (yes, we track it using Google Analytics). We set up the site so that @aajaseattle sends out a tweet for every new post.
Now it’s time for a new editor with fresh ideas and energy to assume the duties and nurture the site’s evolution.
This is a great VOLUNTEER opportunity for anyone who hopes to be a web producer, blogger or site manager some day.
Skills you will develop as site editor:
- Blogging about a community.
Recruiting and managing contributing writers.
Tracking and interpreting site analytics.
Managing the WordPress platform.
Skills we’d hope you have or are willing to learn if you want this gig:
- Knowledge of basic HTML tags and how to tag content to improve search.
Knowledge of any blogging platform, i.e. WordPress, TypePad, Tumblr, Blogger.
Proficiency in editing copy.
Editorial judgment and basic understanding of libel, privacy and copyright.
The time commitment is minimal – an hour a week, perhaps – but you could spend more time if you want to create something cool. Definitely something to list on your resume when you apply for jobs at news websites.
If you’re interested in volunteering, please email Sanjay Bhatt, chapter president/aajaseattle.org editor, at email@example.com. Please write “AAJASeattle.org – Editor” in the subject line. Thanks!