10 Tips For J-School Students

Yes, my friends, that’s right. I’m in Journalism. That makes me a “J-student”. Journalism students are so cool and too busy getting the news and delivering it, we don’t even have time to say the word “Journalism”. Thus, we use terms like “J-students” like “J-school”.

So, because I have little time on my hands, I’ll get to the tips.

Photo by berbercarpet.

Photo by berbercarpet.

  1. When asked by a fellow journalism student during an interview, “What is your favorite thing about living in residence?”, do not answer “Well, the walls are pretty thick, which comes in handy.” I did this today. I tried to explain that that’s not what I meant… but I was busy trying to pull my foot out of my mouth.
  2. Always try to keep up with the news, even if it’s about boring old politics. (I’ve recently discovered that when certain political figures put their foot in their mouth, it’s kind of hilarious.) Also, keep up with local events, especially if you’re not from the area in which you are studying.
  3. Become friends with sites like CNN.com, Newsvine and Wikinews.
  4. Learn to write faster than a normal person’s brain even works. (Or, if all else fails, buy an audio recording device. My good old mp3 player has one built right in!)
  5. Buy a notebook with a coil binding and, if possible, a hard cover. That way, you can flip it over and lean on it as you jot notes down.
  6. Become pals with your instructors. (Or, at the very least, don’t be an idiot in class.) They could easily become your best asset when it comes to applying for jobs and needing a recommendation.
  7. Learn the basics of iMovie. The way news is broadcast is taking an interesting turn- the web. A lot of news rooms now need their employees to know a little bit about making videos for the web and iMovie is used most commonly.
  8. Be able to name at least 3 serious journalists (Hint: Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly are not “serious” journalists) so when someone asks you who your fav is, you can actually answer it without looking like a complete tool. (This happened to me not too long ago. After a series of “ums”, I finally thought of someone: Ryan Porter, a blogger for MSN.ca. Funny guy.)
  9. Do not compare yourself to the other students in your class. This will either make you cocky or, most likely, depressed.
  10. Be on time. Do you think any crazy and stressed editor is going to care that your roommate kept you up all night long? Not a chance. Grab a coffee and get prepared for life in the real world, sweetheart.

For more great tips, check out this article at J-Source.ca.

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One Response to “10 Tips For J-School Students”

  1. Great tips. It’s been 25 years since I was a J-schooler — Carson Daley was still in short pants — but not long ago I revisited my experiences and wrote about the things that most benefited me from the experience. I blogged about it at Journalism education in the digital age. Scroll down to the bottom to see my five points.

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