Veronica Smith, MSJ, is the PR coordinator at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where she promotes Children’s services to audiences and controls Marcus Autism Center’s social media pages.
Previously, Smith was a video journalist for KAIT, an ABC affiliate in Jonesboro, Ark. She credits the Medill Career Services team and Medill’s strong alumni network with helping to jump start her broadcast career.
Smith says that her favorite part of Medill was knowing that she would get a real-life reporting experience and I wouldn’t just be in the classroom all day. I was also impressed with the Global program as well as the D.C. program. And of course, the long list of successful alum and the high ranking were just an added bonus.
“Coming to Medill was an amazing experience for me,” she says. “Prior to Medill, I had very little journalism experience, so I was a bit nervous about the program. The newsroom quarter was by far the most strenuous and most rewarding part of my experience. Around third quarter, I was more comfortable with my writing and I was starting to develop my voice and my brand. I was excited to take Chicago Broadcast because it was my first shot at video journalism. I thought it was impossible to shoot a story, interview and edit all in one day while also making the 5 p.m. deadline. I knew it would be a challenge.”
Smith credits the Medill Career Services team for helping her connect with Medill graduates in the field. Specifically, she says she got great advice about how to prepare for the job market. Better still, she was given a list of alums, one of whom was Will DuPree (BSJ10) who helped her get her first job.
“He looked at my reel and reviewed my cover letter and said he would pass my information along to his news director. We kept in touch and about two months later, Will emailed me and asked if I was still interested in the video journalist position at his station (KAIT in Jonesboro, Arkansas). A week later I had a phone interview with the news director and two weeks later I was visiting the station, where I was hired on the spot. It was amazing having Will put in a good word for me and put my work in the news director's face.”
Finally, she says, Medill prepares you for every aspect of journalism.
“The professors really care about preparing you for your future job and are available at any time. They push you, which you will appreciate later. You will learn skills and techniques you never thought you could do, and you will learn to do them well. Medill allows you to see how life would be as a real-life reporter, which was extremely helpful.”
The professors really care about preparing you for your future job and are available at any time. They push you, which you will appreciate later. You will learn skills and techniques you never thought you could do, and you will learn to do them well. Medill allows you to see how life would be as a real-life reporter, which was extremely helpful.