My Education: BA, Journalism & Mass Communications, Kansas State University
My Prior Experience: I worked as a reporter for the Times Record of Troy, NY, as an editor for Northeast Woman magazine (Troy, NY) an as an editor for National Trade Publications (Latham, NY).
My Company: I manage three trade associations and publish a trade magazine.
Job/Career Overview: I manage the business of three trade associations that serve the needs of car wash owner and operators in New York state, Connecticut and New Jersey. I manage their membership databases; plan, organize, promote and run their business and board meetings. I also serve on several industry-related boards. I publish a quarterly trade magazine called the Northeast Carwasher that mails to 2,500 owners and operators of car washes up and down the East Coast. This publication includes sections for each of the five East Coast car wash associations. I plan the editorial content, manage the contributions, edit the magazine and sell the advertising for the product. I also work closely with my art director on the design and layout and act as the liaison with my printer. The magazine is 100 pages, "perfect bound" and printed in four colors. I employ a summer intern who works closely with me on the entire editorial process and also is able to write some feature articles and interview car wash owners and operators for experience and clips.
More Insights: Being my own boss and running my own business is great. However, if I had it to do over again, I would have gotten a second degree in business. I think it would have helped my business grow faster and also would have helped me in running my life. I would recommend doing this before jumping into the workforce as it's hard to work and get a second degree.
To become a great reporter the skill you need most is the ability to really hear what your interviewee is saying to you and not just the answer he gives to your question. You must be able to read between the lines.
The best part of my job is being my own boss and working out of my home. The worst part of my job is that it never goes away because I work out of my home. Also, since I only employ a part-time intern, the work doesn't get done when I'm sick. However, being my own boss outweighs any of the above issues. Still, you need to be very disciplined in order to run your own business. You also need to be a risk-taker and willing to put in the hours needed to be successful.
Intern while in college to ensure that this is the line of work you want to pursue.
Find a mentor (a working professional who can guide you). Ask lots of questions and don't be afraid to make a mistake. That's how you learn and grow. Put more than 110 percent effort into everything you do. Did I mention that you need to ask a lot of questions? Never assume anything.
Triple check your facts and then check them again. Always be accurate in your reporting.
Have goals and work hard every day to attain them.