Q&A with a Journalism Alumna: Learning the Necessary Tools
Stephanie Ressler, RWU Class of 2016JournalismAlumni
Stephanie Ressler, from Hillsdale, New Jersey, graduated in 2016 with Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She was hired right after college as a Production Assistant at NBC Universal and has quickly been moving up the ranks. Currently, Ressler is Associate Producer for NBC's nationally syndicated talk show, Maury. She talked to us recently about how her experience at RWU and how she's applying the skills she learned in the Journalism program:
Why did you major in Journalism?
Because it matched my interest in video production and television. I also minored in Film Studies, which paired well with my degree. What I love about the journalism major is that there are so many different paths to follow. A journalism degree can open so many doors in the media industry. You can become a reporter, producer, writer, director, editor, photographer, or copyeditor. You can do television, film, multimedia, or digital. There's so much to do.
Looking back, can you reflect on your experience in the program?
I felt vigorously challenged in all my classes and that I was learning the necessary tools I'd need to enter the field. I felt like my professors cared about me and that my classmates were supportive and rooting for my success. There was only about 15 of us in my graduating class, and because of the small size, the professors really gave personalized attention to each student and what path we wanted to follow with the major. I boast to my friends and colleagues about Professors Michael Scully and Paola Prado all the time. No one else I know had such positive and influential relationships with their college professors.
Are there examples of skills you learned while at RWU that you are applying now?
Nothing can really prepare you for what your career is going to throw at you, but the projects I did at RWU really helped me on my path. I feel like the drive and motivation that my professors instilled in me stayed with me, even in my new position. For example, as an Associate Producer, one of my jobs is that I am liable for the legal aspects of each episode that I produce. Media Law and Ethics was one of the hardest classes in the journalism major and, at the time, I really never thought I would need to know half of the things I was learning. I realize now how important that class was.
"My experience with RWU Journalism helped me become a well-rounded multimedia journalist. This has helped me become better equipped to do my job, which ultimately helped me move up so quickly. I owe so much of my success to my experience at RWU, I will forever be grateful."