Journalists and Alabama graduates share career advice

Senior journalism majors at The University of Alabama are quickly approaching graduation on Saturday. Some students have landed their dream jobs, while others are still searching on job engines and looking for post-graduate internships.
Journalists and students revealed useful tactics to gain a potential employers attention and be successful at their job. The May 2016 College of Communication and Information Sciences graduating class had 404 graduates. Two hundred forty-four students took part in a survey that reported that 69 percent had jobs upon graduating in their field.
Tasha Smith, program manager of career services at UA, works with students who are looking for careers after graduation, helps build resumes, cover letters and conduct mock interviews.
“There is a plethora of ways that students get their future jobs including internships, networking, crimson careers and on-campus job-fairs, which seem to be the most popular,” said Smith.
Charean Williams, a Texas A&M alumnus, has been covering the NFL for 23 seasons. Her position at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram requires her to build relationships with players and post daily updates to the website and her personal Twitter page. Williams was the first female Pro Football Hall of Fame writer and first female president for Pro Football Writers of America.
“Get to know players on a personal level rather than a professional only level. Talk to these guys about life, about what’s going on in the world, they love talking about basketball more than anything else in the world,” said Williams.
Steve Hennessey, the associate editor for Golf Digest in New York City has been with the publication since he graduated from Penn State University in 2011. His responsibilities include writing and editing for the magazine along with blog posts on Golf Digest and
“The more experience you have the better. You’ll be more attractive to a potential employer. General journalism skills and being able to take videos and edit with software are most important,” said Hennessey.
Dan Wolken, the national college football reporter for USA Today graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2001. He was the editor-in-chief for the Vanderbilt Hustler, college basketball reporter for Memphis Commercial Appeal and national sports columnist for The Daily. Wolken is featured on sports radio talk shows and podcasts weekly while having an engaging Twitter fan-base.
“Internships outweigh your GPA in this industry. Experience is more important than a subpar GPA because that typically gets overlooked,” said Wolken.
Alli Cohen, a public relations graduate of the fall 2016 class, has had two internships since, with hopes of locking a job. Cohen was a public relations director at the Capstone Agency on campus for two years before landing an internship with Adult Swim in Atlanta that lasted three months’ post-graduation.
“I moved to Seattle two weeks ago for another internship and I’m hoping the company will hire me after,” said Cohen.
Taylor Neuman, a graduating senior earning her degree in telecommunications and film, has had seven internships throughout college. The internships did not lead to job offers, but they helped her create content for her reel as a reporter and learn from experiences to where she had everything she needed to apply for jobs.
“You really have to somehow make yourself stand out or else you won’t get hired. You also should make sure you have enough content to show to future employers on all spectrums so they can see what you’re capable of. It’s not easy but starting early is the best decision,” said Neuman.
Neuman received an offer from wvns 59 News in West Virginia as a reporter and multimedia journalist. She applied for the job on with no connections to the news station. Neuman gave rising seniors a valuable piece of information for their application process.
“Reach out to everyone, make as many connections as possible. Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Someone you’ve met in your past that you kept in contact with may be the way into your future job,” said Neuman.


Massages With Happy Endings

The Dallas Observer  is a good weekly newspaper that informs us about certain events or things going on around the Dallas area. It has ads, stories and many many more ads throughout the whole paper. It is hard not to pay attention to these ads because 90% of them are a little on the floozy side. Advertising night clubs, many “hotline bling” numbers and even offer services like massages.

Massages don’t sound too bad until you see the way The Dallas Observer advertises them. At least half of the ones on there use the same exact strategy to pull customers in. They use women.

They show woman barely dressed who look over the top sexy in pictures almost bigger than the ad. Most of them are pictures of young Asian girls but there were a few of other ethnicities being shown.

It seems as though showing off their own bodies helps their business more than just advertising the different types of massages they can provide. Many stating to having no plastic surgery done to their bodies in hopes of getting more clients.

I decided to call to ask a few questions in hopes that at least one would agree to answer a couple. Out of ten businesses that I called no one agreed to participate.

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The first place that was contacted was Doll House. It is advertised by a non-Asian woman on the ad. Surprisingly a woman with a thick Asian accent answered the phone and said the owner was not there to answer the questions at that time.

One place strictly asked for your name before the phone ever rung and they would decide on whether or not to answer. Of course after hearing my voice and fake name provided they did not answer.

Other places just gave out a number where you would call and it would give you pricing. Massages by Ashley was one of those places offering a 30 min. massage for $80 and a full hour for $100. If you wanted to book an appointment she provided a different number to call.

Spectacular Asian Massage answered the phone speaking English but as soon as I told them who I was and what I needed the woman suddenly didn’t speak or understand English and immediately hung up. Making it seem like they were hiding more than just spectacular massages.

After several voicemails left and many calls no one wanted to provide any sort of information. It is certain that not only real woman advertise for this type of business but also transexuals have their fair share of ads in The Dallas Observer.

Cuba came along way.


Picture is courtesy of Laura Vargas, by Laura Vargas.

The taboo has been broken. The Cuban boarders are open for Americans to travel there. Although, this recently happened Cuba has an untold story about its people. Although,this recently happened Cuba has an untold story about its people.

Similar to the United States, Cuba has had its share of racism/caste system within its borders. Now that Americans can visit, they will notice that the majority of the population is Afro-Cuban. According to native Cuban Laura Vargas the percentage of Afro-Cuban is between 33 percent to 62 percent. Of course this depends on who you ask.



Blanqueamiento is a political, social, and economical practice that is literally means whitening. This is whitening was meant to “improve the race.” Improving the race involved marrying a pale person and producing lighter-skinned children. In that time period it was obviously beneficial to have lighter-skin. Throughout the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro saw the inequality of life that racism/prejudice had produced. After he cemented his rule, Fidel Castro made racial inequality a crime. Mrs. Vargas gives a brief statement on how the social caste system affected her and her family.

“Personally, it didn’t affect us since my family is not racist and, we treat everyone equally,” said Mrs. Vargas.

Now with years of reforms that has taken place, things have improved in the society. There is no discrimination in Cuba. According to Mrs.Vargas , in 1891 Cuban independence fighter Jose Marti wrote an essay titled “Nuestras America.” Mr. Marti said there is not  races in Cuba therefore, there is no racism. The unity of Cuba depended on the people seeing themselves as Cuban, instead of using ones racial identity. So in this era Cubans identify themselves as Cubans instead of using their racial identities .

“None discriminates against your color anymore. Inter-racial marriages are extremely common in Cuba. In fact, the most famous sports athletes are black,” said Mrs. Vargas.

Although, Mrs. Vargas said that prejudice no longer exist, a survey was taken at North Lake College and not everyone agrees that racism/discrimination is extinct in Cuba. Along with this survey two others were taken as well.

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Few of us know what it is like to visit or live in Cuba. The only way to observe if racism still exist there is to travel, and view the country for yourself.



Were you ever bullied?

Logan LeDane

“During my sophomore year at Tom Bean High School I was labeled as a wanna be black person. I was on the basketball team and had multiple black friends from different summer teams I had played on. I would hang around them and I guess that got people thinking I was trying to be something that I’m not. I remember being the only white guy at school who would listen to rap music and because of that everyone started calling me a wigger. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world but it definitely got annoying. It lasted for the rest of my sophomore year then started to die down a bit.”

Muslims on Campus


The star and crescent symbol of Islam.

North Lake is a diverse multicultural community college. NLC is inclusive and helpful to make every student feel at home. But, what happened when Islamphobia hit the country?After 9-11 many people stereotyped all Muslims as terrorists. The nation started labeling Islam as a hate-based religion, this lack of knowledge or misinformation created an intolerant behavior among Americans.

Even recently some presidential candidates drag the attention of voters pointing out that ISIS is the representation of Islam and the root of evil. However, NLC’s inclusive atmosphere hasn’t been poisoned with hatred.

During the Fall 2015 semester NLC held the panel: “Islam: Myths and Facts.” The panel was a success getting student and faculty attention. After the panelists answered questions from the audience, Dr. Imam Zia, the author of Islam: Silencing the Critics said, “I would urge everyone in the future, if you really and truly want information about Islam, then interact and get involved with Muslims.”

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Also, NLC has a Muslim Student Association where Muslims and non-Muslims can interact and learn about Islam.

Sadiya Patel is the President of the Muslim Students Association, and an officer of Alpha Zeta Eta the North Lake College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Also, she is part of various clubs and organizations on campus. Photo by Alejandra Zavaleta Melara

The president of MSA, Sadiya Patel, is an example of dedication and hard work.

“My liberal side made me into an ambitious, goal-oriented feminist which combated many of the stereotypes.”

Patel is easily to recognize on campus as one of the only Muslim students that wears a Burka. Stills, a lot of people probably will think that wearing a Burka or a Hijab means oppression to women.

However, wearing a Burka or Hijab represents of modesty in her religion.

“I just grew closer to God on a spiritual level and felt like I could do more to maintain my modesty,” Patel said. “I felt that my beauty wasn’t meant for everyone’s eyes and that I could choose to be in control of my image and body.”


ISIS has claimed so many terrorist attacks in Europe, and with the civil war in Syria, people misassociated Islam with ISIS.

Saida Elshantaf studying for finals at NLC library. Photo by Alejandra Zavaleta Melara

“Islam means peace, therefore we’re a religion that promotes peace. Just because a minority, which I would rather not call them Muslims, are promoting terror doesn’t mean that this idea applies to all Muslims,” said Saida Elshantaf, NLC student. “I respect all other religions, and I love to be in a place where I feel respected.”

Islam is a religion that actively encourage peace and tolerance, yet like in every other religion some people are extremist and have given bad reputation to the faith.

“Islam was never a religion of terror and hatred,” said Burhan Lokhandwala, NLC student. “We do not mean harm and all terrorists are not Muslims and they do not understand the real message of Islam anyways. We love everyone and we are a peaceful community.”


Soñadores, es así como DACA funciona para usted Usted puede ir a la universidad y se puede obtener becas

Dreamers o estudiantes DACA pueden aplicar a la universidad y se pueden solicitar becas para completar el sueño americano. DACA, es sinónimo de Acción Diferida para los jovences que llegaron en la Infancia. Acción Diferida es una política anunciada por el gobierno de Obama en junio de 2012. Esta política provee una subvención de dos años de acción diferida a ciertos individuos que no están en estado de inmigración legal y entran en los Estados Unidos como menores de edad. Son elegibles para la autorización de trabajo, lo que les permite trabajar legalmente en los Estados Unidos; que podrán solicitar un número de la seguro social y que pueden obtener una licencia de conducir dependiendo del estado, que viven. Las personas que califican para beneficios de acción diferida deben cumplir con ciertas pautas como esquema en la Oficina de Ciudadanía y el sitio web de Servicios de Inmigración (USCIS), bajo la consideración de acción diferida para los que llegaron a pequeña edad (DACA).

Estos son los pasos para calificar como DACA. 1. La entrada a los EE.UU. antes de la edad de 16.

Cinco años de residencia y presencia física en los EE.UU. desde el 15 de junio de 2012, apartir de 2007. 3. Estar inscrito en la escuela o haberse graduado de una escuela secundaria u otro programa educativo o tener un certificado de GED. GED es la equivalencia del diploma de educación general. 4. Los estudiantes deben tener un historial limpio, sin condenas o delitos graves. 5. Tener por lo menos 15 yrs. de edad en el momento de la aplicación, pero no más de 30 años. de la edad, el 15 de junio de 2012.

Las estadísticas muestran aproximadamente 65.000 estudiantes indocumentados que se gradúan de la escuela cada año. sólo el 5% y el 10% va a la universidad. Para aquellos estudiantes que piensan que la universidad está fuera de su alcance debido a las preocupaciones financieras y legales, no debe ser una preocupación más porque hay 18 estados, que permiten la matrícula estatal para ellos. Mientras que el reclutamiento para el programa de levantamiento de la estrella en las escuelas secundarias, tengo la oportunidad de trabajar con los estudiantes y padres de todas las nacionalidades. Algunas de estas familias no poseen documentos o los padres de un estudiante indocumentado potencial. Llegan a mí con preguntas relacionadas con el proceso de admisión y para ver si hay posibilidad de que sus hijos puedan ir a la universidad después de graduarse de la escuela secundaria.


El Dallas County Community Colleges ha sido un paso importante para un número de estudiantes indocumentados. Pueden solicitar la admisión si proporcionan toda la documentación requerida. Una vez admitidos a la universidad, pueden solicitar la Beca Rising Star u otras becas disponibles para usted. En los colegios de la comunidad DCCCD, los estudiantes completarán la solicitud de ayuda financiera o la solicitud FAFSA en papel. Se requiere una transcripción de impuestos que debe atribuirse a la versión impresa. Una transcripción de impuestos es un resumen de los datos fiscales de sus padres con respecto al año anterior. La transcripción de la declaración de impuestos proviene de los Servicios de Impuestos Internos (IRS) cuando sus padres reportan impuestos. Soñadores DACA o estudiantes con la acción diferida, se puede ir a la universidad y usted puede lograr un título de dos años en los colegios comunitarios como North Lake College y se puede transferir a una institución de 4 años. Hay fondos estatales para los estudiantes indocumentados o con la accion diferida y se puede aplicar para ciertas becas. No renuncie a sus sueños de obtener una licenciatura o de cumplir de sus metas académicas. Los sueños se hacen realidad si realmente lo desea.