Journalism Majors Receive Advice at J-Jobs Boot Camp

Posted on 10/2/2013 1:21:01 PM

The Journalism Department’s Society of Professional Journalists hosted its fifth annual Journalism Jobs Boot Camp for journalism majors pondering professional prospects. Tweets tell the tale.

The hash tag #JJOBS13 took over social media on Thursday, September 26, 2013, with two Indiana University of Pennsylvania journalism alumni arriving on campus for the annual Journalism Jobs Boot Camp

Mike Wilson (’11), a former SPJ president, is now working as a sports editor for Mainline Newspapers in Ebensburg. Andrew Carr (’09) is a cops-and-courts reporter for the Carlisle (Pa.) Sentinel. Both told journalism undergrads in Eberly 121 how to succeed after they leave IUP. 

With about three dozen students in attendance, questions flowed. Journalism Department chairwoman Michele Papakie tweeted, “Sitting at the J-Job Boot Camp… so proud of my colleague, our two alumni, SPJ and all of the j-students who are here tonight. #JJobs13.” 

Carr elaborated on how technology has helped him and his readers when he has been on the job out in the field. Twitter has allowed him to report events live with photos and brief teasers of news developments.

Carr and Wilson agreed that rejection in the hunt for jobs will happen, a lot. On the other hand, persistent graduates will be successful. 

“Take full advantage of internships,” Wilson advised. “They are professional settings and give you a real-world scenario.” 

Both agreed that it is never too soon to network. Wilson said the key is who you know, not what you know.

Papakie responded with a tweet: “You’re right Mike, it is WHO you know to GET the job; but, WHAT you know will help you to KEEP that job! #JJobs13.” 

At the conclusion of the hour-and-a-quarter event, members of the audience took the speakers’ advice and chatted one-on-one with both. 

For more information about IUP’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, contact faculty adviser David Loomis, Ph.D., at

Department of Journalism