Articles Archive for July 2010
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A couple of months ago, the articles I wrote for my local paper stopped getting edited and I began to worry about the quality of my work.
If ever I doubted the importance of connections in the media industry, I’m now a believer. I’m a week and a half from being back on the job market, and after months of sending out applications with little to no response, an opportunity may have reared its shiny head. I had a successful interview yesterday for an associate editor position at a magazine whose name I won’t mention as to not jinx myself. It ended with an invitation back next week to meet the publisher. Before jumping up and down and giving myself a big pat on the back, I need to pay credit where credit is due: to an editor.
It just so happens that this editor works at VIA (where I’m finishing up a six-month internship) and she’s a friend and former colleague of the editor-in-chief at this anonymous magazine. In fact, she’s a big part of why I applied to this magazine in the first place, and she was kind enough to phone the editor early on to sing my praises. This scenario reminds me a lot of my application process for VIA–where my former editor from the UCSD alumni magazine knows two editors (including the editor-in-chief). Are we starting to see a pattern here or am I having a deja vu? There may well be seven degrees of separation, but to get a journalism job these days, it’s better that you only have two.
I’m so convinced of this pattern, in fact, that I’ve almost given up applying to jobs where I don’t have a strong referral. In case you’re still skeptical, let’s take a few other examples of interconnectivity. Two editors at VIA used to work together at Stanford magazine, where (surprise, surprise) my former editor at the UCSD alumni mag also worked. Three editors are also former colleagues at Men’s Health and they followed each other, one-by-one, to VIA.
In my most recent round of applications, besides this magazine whose name I will not mention, I only got one other call back–from the editor at the Monterey County Weekly, for which I interviewed in the past. While I’m not too much more qualified to work at the paper than I was the last time around, I think I got a call simply because I was a familiar name and face. In today’s economy, when editors are deluged with hundreds upon hundreds of resumes, they’re going to latch on to those people who provide even an extra ounce of comfort. Maybe it comes from a friend’s stamp of approval or a prior meeting that proved the applicant isn’t crazy.
Knowing this, I even contacted my friend’s mother’s co-worker’s brother who worked at Surfer magazine to try to get an upper hand on that application. (It didn’t work out, but it was worth a shot.)
While I recognize that you still have to prove yourself, and I haven’t given up all hope on personal merit, sometimes connections are the only way you’ll get a chance. If nothing else pans out for me, at least this experience has been a good reminder to treat every opportunity as a stepping stone to the next bigger thing. Even if you don’t see your current job or internship leading anywhere, foster relationships with your colleagues, and they just might help you land a job at an unnamed magazine a few years down the road.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to jump for joy.
If ever I doubted the importance of connections in the media industry, I’m now a believer. I’m a week and a half from being back on the job market, and…
Serena’s finally got her hands on a new camera all her own!
I’m happy with the video learning experience, considering it was a quick-and-dirty interview in a noisy lab that was really just a glorified closet full of fish tanks.
I’ve mentioned before that shooting video during still photo assignments has become a habit of mine. During a roller derby bout I had plenty of time to take some clips, so without further ado, here is Battle on the Bank III featuring the San Diego Derby Dolls vs. Team Legit.