I’m excited to welcome you to our new SCJ career site, which is part of Dean Schriner’s effort to form an integrated team of counselors dedicated to your success! These are indeed challenging times, and we’re also here to help you navigate that new reality. I thought I’d take a moment to tell you a bit about myself.
After graduate school at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, I eventually landed in Washington, D.C. as an associate editor of Air & Space Smithsonian magazine, where I reported nationally and internationally, and was an assignment and book reviews editor. I remain on the masthead as a contributing editor and have worked for that publication in some capacity since 1996. Previous to that, I did some newspaper and business journal reporting.
I became attracted to magazine journalism in grad school because I have a life-long interest in aviation–a product of my grandfather’s service in World War II, my dad’s airline career, and my service in the Air Force. Air & Space Smithsonian allowed me to make a living writing about a subject I was passionate about. Then it all changed: I was on my usual morning drive into Washington on the morning of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and by the time I got to my office, the Pentagon had been struck, and within a few days, I was back on active duty in the Air Force. That detour sent my life in a very different direction, and after some more twists and turns, one that ultimately led me here–writing this note to you while in quarantine.
Why the long story? The main thing I’ve learned in my journey is that sometimes we get panicked about the idea that “a major equals a career,” and we feel great anxiety about that first job as the single indicator of the success or failure of our hard work in college. But, the truth is, your career has some challenges and surprises in store for you, and will take you to places you never would have expected.
I began teaching at FIU in 2016, which was actually my first job in a way–my undergraduate program was in education, so 25 years later, I was finally working in a career perfectly aligned to my degree!
So, think expansively about the skills you’re learning while you envision your graduation, and be open to new ideas–you may land a first job perfectly aligned with your studies, you may choose graduate school, or that perfect job may be three jobs in the future and even more aligned with your passions. Wherever your story takes you, just know that the future is absolutely wide open with possibilities!
That’s where your CARTA Career Team comes in. I’m looking forward to chatting with you and helping you find that path.