Here’s the story of how I started teaching journalism. While I’m a journalist for my day job, I’m also an Adjunct Professor of journalism at USC at night. I’ve taught classes for graduate and undergraduate students.
I was always interested in teaching, but journalism was my calling in life.
I started my journalism career at 15 with a front-page exposé for my town newspaper.
And I fell in love with it right then and there, going on to get my master’s at Columbia University and then working for a number of media outlets.
Part of the reason I wanted to get my master’s degree was because I knew many universities allowed journalists to teach if they had that degree.
My original plan was to be a journalist for a few decades before becoming a professor. But that’s not how it worked out.
Right before I became a professor, I met a woman who was teaching at night while also working full-time as a journalist. Although it sounded like a lot of work, I was interested. I did some research, asked a lot of questions and set a plan. I wanted to start teaching – at the time I was 29. So a few decades ahead of my original goal.
I was living in L.A. and I wanted to teach at USC. I respected the school and knew they had a great program. So I reached out and started networking, looking at positions available online and sending emails to people at the university. I eventually connected with the school, inquiring about some roles they had open.
USC saw my resume and experience and offered me my first class. Since then I’ve learned from some other amazing professors, I’ve taught a number of classes and I’ve grown my skills not only as a teacher but also as a journalist.
I think moving my plan up a few decades was extremely beneficial for my career.
Teaching keeps my skills sharp, and I learn from my students as they learn from me.
And there you have it, that’s how I became a journalism professor.