Try to be ahead of the game

Bonnie Turner, Alumnus: Content Producer, CNN International

 

Describe your career path. What choices did you make? How did you use your time in college to help you along in your career path?

While in college I took as many media studies/ journalism classes as I could. I also wrote and was an editor for the college newspaper. In addition to my classes, I had a paid job with WOR Radio, which I did at night. Starting in my junior year, I took advantage of being in NYC and interned at WABC at the assignment desk and CBS News in the press office. I had great experiences through all of those which prepared me for my career, yet none of them offered me a job after graduation. After I graduated, I went on to freelance at CNBC as a production assistant. I didn't particularly like financial news, but it allowed me to build a skillset into working in the TV news industry. From there I got a full time job at CNNfn and after that with CNN U.S. in Atlanta and then CNN International. Without taking those internships and taking that job with CNBC, I wouldn't be where I am today.

 

What advice do you have for English majors or English graduate students as they prepare for for careers? How can they stand out in a competitive job market?

It's great to have a BA, but you need to gain job experience while in college. I would suggest taking as many internships as they can while in college. I would also suggest looking into the type of career path they'd like to take based on their major and thinking about how that career path would develop over time based on new technologies. For example, if you want to get a job as a TV producer, how can you translate those skills to producing digital content or digital mobile content? Try to be ahead of the game, rather than focusing so much on the present. I'd also suggest minoring in something - International relations, economics -- additional skills, knowledge that you can use along with your intended career.