Rowena Li (BSJ 12) experienced a big change early in her career, and she credits Medill for giving her tools to be successful in her new line of work.
Rowena reported for KULR-8 in Billings, Montana, for her junior residency quarter, worked as a field producer for Chicago's WGN, and was part of the Medill Innocence Project (now Medill Justice Project). Because she loved these experiences, it was a no-brainer to take a TV job after graduation. Rowena was hired as a general assignment reporter and videojournalist for the Grand Island, Nebraska, bureau of 10/11 News. While she continued to develop her love of reporting and storytelling, she discovered that the television newsroom environment was not for her, and she changed paths.
“Medill opened up the doors for me to gain a lot of exposure and experience before I even graduated,” Rowena says. “[That has] been useful in securing jobs as well as performing above and beyond in those jobs.”
Rowena is now in San Francisco and working as Marketing Associate at the personal finance website NerdWallet. Rowena manages a team of content marketers who develop data-driven content and she assists the newest verticals in gaining traction with consumers and reporters. Previously, Rowena managed media relations for a number of verticals and worked with content and data analysts to develop new content for the website. Rowena says she uses the same communications skills she’s honed over the years while simultaneously picking up new business and management skills along the way.
“Let's talk about the Medill F,” she says. “I never got one, but it sure instilled a keen sense of attention to detail in me, one that has often given me an advantage over the years. Most importantly, it taught me that a journalism degree can take you a lot of places. So check back with me in five or ten years, who knows where I'll be?”