Students meet with local journalists for speed networking event

SPJ UW held its Fall speed networking night Dec. 3 in the Communications building on the UW campus, giving interested student the chance to meet and talk with local Seattle journalists.

The guests of the night were Lauren Foster, Assistant Editor with 425 Magazine and South Sound Magazine, Casey Jaywork, staff writer for Seattle Weekly, Venice Buhain, News Editor at the Seattle Globalist and incoming Seattle Asian American Journalists Association President, and Travis Quezon, Editor in Chief of the International Examiner.

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Travis Quezon advised students who are about to graduate and looking for journalism jobs to network, freelance and aim high. Publications are always looking for reliable writers, he said. Quezon shared some of his own stories of being a freelancer for Reuters and Bloomberg, as well as serving as editor for publications including the Honolulu Weekly and The Hawaii Independent before joining the Seattle pan-Asian publication the International Examiner.

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Lauren Foster said one of the things she enjoys most about her magazine work is connecting with people and learning how they live their lives. The flip side of this is sometimes having to write things people won’t like.

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Venice Buhain said she liked the research element of her job, something not many other jobs have. She advised students to read a lot of other people’s work and borrow the best elements. Writing quickly on deadline is a skill that improves with practice, she said. Sometimes following a structure or formula can help with this.

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Casey Jaywork said his favorite thing about his job is meeting with city leaders in the morning and then the homeless in the afternoon. He said as long as a writer has a strong portfolio and clips, no one cares if they’re a student. Writing quality, reporting ambition matter most in building a good portfolio, he said — prestige of the publication “probably” matters as well.

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