Words by: Kishanda L. Burns

SJGC students at Journey’s Interest Meeting. Photo by: Kishanda Burns


Are you interested in sports? What about the media industry? Or even news in general?

Look no further, class of 2021. The School of Journalism and Graphic Communications (SJGC) is the right place to be!

You’re probably wondering how could you get involved when you’re only a freshman, have no credits, and have no volunteer hours? Psh! There are many ways to get involved in SJGC! You can actually start off volunteering for News 20 at Five. But, first, here are some tips on becoming a journalist while in school.

Journalism Degree (a website that is informational for those who are interested in becoming a journalist or pursuing an education in journalism) specify that before anyone climb up a ladder to becoming a journalist, one must build their writing talent. “To become a journalist, some intrinsic skills are necessary achieve success.” Writing in journalism is imperative because no matter what route you want to take (reporter, producer, social media outlet, etc.,) there will be writing. Writing is everywhere in journalism. The Associated Press Stylebook (also name the AP Book) will become your best friend because in journalism. The AP Book is where you go to make sure you’re using the right word, grammatically wise. The AP Book will be something that you need to carry every day when you’re in SJGC. Just in case you’re unsure if you’re using the wrong word or not.

Another tip that is recommended is getting a good education. Meaning, stay focus in all of your classes, even your electives. In journalism, there will always be something new that you will learn and there’s nothing better than getting an education in journalism. “A solid education is an investment in your future.” Your course curriculum and staying in touch with your advisor to make sure that you’re on is right track is important and it cannot be stressed enough!

Jasmine Howard, a third year psychology student at University of South Florida, encourages every incoming freshman to make sure that they stay on top of their education. “Getting an education is imperative. But, there’s nothing better than getting an education in your field. That’s why you have to stay on top of it,” said Howard.

Afriqiyah Lanier, online editor for Journey Magazine, said that being a journalist allows one to report effectively. “What I like most about being a journalist is being able to effectively report what I know and what I see.” Lanier also express how one is able to experience being a journalist at such a young age.

Kalen Johnson, a senior public relations student from Tampa said that she likes how SJGC force students to be proactive and ambitious. “You have to be self-motivated and really be hungry towards achieving your goals,” said Johnson.

Secure an internship! The earlier, the better because that way you’ll start experiencing now instead of your third or final year in college. Securing an internship while in college will go a long way, especially when it’s time to graduate and you are job searching. Securing an internship will prep you for your dream job and by the time you have your dream job, you will already have the experience that is needed.

Johnson also said that her experience in SJGC has been excellent thus far. “I love the professors and through J-School, I’ve been able to receive a lot of feedback and advice on the steps to take in order to get where I’m aspiring to be in my field.”

Now, the moment that you have be waiting for… how to get involved when you don’t have any credits or any volunteer hours!

In SJGC, there’s always a way to get involved. From National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) to News 20 at Five.

In fact, Lanier got involved by joining NABJ. “I decided to join NABJ to learn the things that I didn’t know as a journalist,” said Lanier.

The National Association of Black Journalist is an organization for African-American journalists, student and even professionals. News 20 at Five is FAMU’s own news show staffed and produced by SJGC student journalist. There’s also The FAMUAN, Journey Magazine and WANM 90.5 FM that are also staffed and ran by SJGC students.

As a freshman, you can get involved by volunteering, getting to know the student journalist and getting more information on The FAMUAN, Journey Magazine, News 20 at Five and WANM 90.5. Even if you want to expand your brand, you can network because journalism is all about networking. There’s many ways to go about it, you have to step out of your confront zone.

Welcome to the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications! Volunteer, learn and network!

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