HABJ Hosts Mentoring Breakfast for Area Students

HABJ Hosts Mentoring Breakfast for Area Students
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Area high school and college students at HABJ Mentoring Breakfast


By Ameena Rasheed
Navigating through today’s ever-changing job market can be a struggle; however, the Houston Association of Black Journalists assisted local college students in their quest for employment with its annual mentoring breakfast at the Houston Chronicle on December 1.

This year’s breakfast included several panel sessions, including how to become indispensable in a newsroom, the growing demands of television and radio journalists, and the ins and outs of social media.

Hard work and persistence were some of the reoccurring themes during the program.

“I was surprised to hear the professionals say that they love when ‘you bug’ them,” said Texas Southern University broadcast journalism major Sijourney Porter.

Porter and other students learned that frequently sending emails and calling a mentor or potential employer could be the factor that sets them apart and helps them get that dream gig.

“The most important thing that comes across is not actually your resume, but your enthusiasm,” said Houston Chronicle sports editor Nick Mathews. “Don’t be shy; that’s the worst thing you can do.”

With the popularity of blogging and social media, students were advised to quickly dive into this new digital world.

“I will spend maybe 30 seconds on a resume, but then I want to look at the clips, tweets and social media or something that gives me a sense of how you work, write and think,” said Houston Chronicle senior editor George Haj.

Students were also advised to apply for internships.

Melinda Spaulding, co-anchor for FOX 26 News at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., started out her journalism career in print with Entertainment Weekly and learned early on that writing was going to be her “ticket” to a successful career.

“I have always worked on my writing first, everything else came secondary,” Spaulding said.

She added that working in the broadcast field is not a beauty contest.

“You cannot build a career based on your face,” she said. “Your brain, mind and skill set are most important.”

More than 100 students from TSU, University of Houston, Prairie A&M University, Houston Community College and area high schools attended the breakfast.


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The Social Media Correspondents use multiple social media platforms to report on pertinent issues. The founding editor is journalist and Texas Southern University Journalism Professor Serbino Sandifer-Walker @sswalker (Twitter). *We are the first team in the nation, with a professional and collegiate news group, to use multiple social media as a reporting tool. We tell stories dynamically using a myriad of social and multimedia platforms. We are especially interested in telling under told stories in underserved communities. We use mobile phones and tablets to capture video, audio, photos and live events in the communities we cover. We live tweet and have a newsfeed on Twitter at #TwitterNewsChat. We're always thinking outside of the box.

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