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Senior Saturday a tradition for JSchool seniors, alumni

Feb 12, 2013

Seniors in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism respond to a question from keynote speaker Allie LaForce, BSJ '11, at the Senior Saturday event conducted Feb. 9, 2013, on the Athens campus of Ohio University. / Photos by Megan Westervelt

Senior Saturday a tradition for JSchool seniors, alumni

By Kerry Tuttle

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 12, 2013)—For the eleventh year in a row, Scripps seniors and alumni filled Anderson Auditorium in Scripps Hall to tackle the hurdles seniors face upon graduation and seeking a job in a competitive industry.

The Senior Saturday event, sponsored by the E.W. Scripps Society of Alumni and Friends, featured résumé critiques, portfolio advice and job hunting strategies from a panel of alumni professionals. More than a hundred seniors registered for the free event.

Recent alumna Allie LaForce, BSJ ’11, kicked off the event as the keynote speaker. LaForce graduated from the Honors Tutorial College with a degree in broadcast journalism and is currently a co-host of the late-night show, Lead Off, on CBS Sports Network. LaForce spoke about her time at Ohio University, controlling your attitude and having a positive work ethic.

“Life is a continual process of working hard and improving. That’s what OU prepared me for,” she said. “It’s a changing business, and you have to control your attitude because that’s all you can control.

LaForce also spoke about the importance of personal branding. She said that, in the age of the Internet, managing social media profiles to make sure one is presented in a positive light to employers is extremely important.

"Everything you do is being watched and documented,” she said.  

Senior strategic communications major Sienna Tomko attended the event and found all of the information very helpful. “The advice has been great and I hope to kind of utilize that in the next few weeks and the next few months when I’m applying for jobs.”

Scripps Howard Visiting Professional Andy Alexander finished the large group presentations by encouraging seniors to reach out to Ohio University alumni even if it will not result in a job. “Some alums will give you invaluable advice even if they’re not hiring,” he said.

Alexander also urged seniors not to be afraid to start small by getting the best job possible, without fixating on landing the “ideal” job. Recommendations on résumés and cover letters were also given, with Alexander stressing that they both must be absolutely perfect. Pressure in the auditorium seemed to mount with seniors taking furious notes and asking for answers that might help them figure out the unanswered questions about their future.

Before the seniors split into smaller groups to get more focused attention from alumni who helped with the event, Alexander finished with this final piece of advice:  “Don’t panic. You will get a job. You can’t screw up your career before age 30.”

To learn more about the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, visit scrippsjschool.org.