Alumni Profile: Stephanie Rex, editor of Forest Hills-Regent Square Patch
Monday, August 15, 2011
Meet Stephanie Rex
Major and degrees earned at Point Park: B.A. in journalism and mass communication with a minor in photojournalism
Graduation year: 2007
Job title/current employer: Local editor of Forest Hills-Regent Square Patch
Hometown: Erie, Pa.
Now living in: Edgewood
Why did you choose to attend Point Park?
Originally, my life goal was to become a big Broadway star, and I even had a scholarship for musical theater. But the day I came to Point Park, I changed my major to photojournalism because I felt that’s what was in my heart. Then I discovered that writing came naturally to me and started doing some work for The Globe. And when I walked out of the room on the first day after taking Bill Moushey’s reporting class, a huge spark went off in my brain — I wanted to be a reporter, and there was no doubt about it.
How did Point Park prepare your for your career in journalism?
Point Park truly prepared me for a career in journalism because the professors are experienced, currently working in the field and always stressing the importance of internships paired with making connections. The professors help you learn the importance of all aspects of career building, from strengthening your skills to building a resume and networking with people in the business.
What was one of your favorite experiences while you were at Point Park?
Working on the student newspaper was a time I will never forget that was filled with challenges, good friends, brand new experiences and learning the ropes, hard work and discipline required to be a journalist. We had all the tools to take away so much from that experience: guidance from some of the most talented people in the business, the opportunity and the freedom to make it happen ourselves.
What advice do you have for prospective students entering the journalism program at Point Park?
Go after exactly what you want and go hard. No one is going to hand you a career as soon as you graduate, especially in the current climate of journalism. Allow yourself the freedom to explore other avenues, like public relations and nonprofit experience, if you’re curious.
One of the most important pieces of advice is to talk to people who have been in this business their entire lives. They know what they’re talking about, and they’re willing to help you. I still talk to some of my professors, and I still need their advice. I stay in touch with all of my former editors. When you’re a writer, you’re always working to improve. That should never change. Also, get experience. If you don’t do an internship now, how do you know you really want to be in this business?
What advice do you have for students considering a job in online journalism?
Learn how to adapt and gain as many skills as you possibly can! With Patch, I take photos every single day for the site. I’m not a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, but I can get the job done. My minor in photojournalism is certainly paying off now! Make sure you learn how to shoot and edit video too, even if you know you want to focus on writing. Being able to adapt to change is key to working in online journalism. Technology and ideas change every day — and you need to be willing to roll with it. Honestly, I think that’s half the fun! But the most important advice is believe in yourself — cheesy, but true. It’s a tough market out there. Keep pushing forward, and you’ll get what you want.
What is your favorite thing about your job at Patch?
My favorite thing about working for Patch is the fact that we are going back to the roots of community journalism in a modern way. I am amazed at the story ideas I find every week. I also love that we have the freedom to make our individual sites everything we want them to be, and I love that Patch is all about right now — and looking toward the future. Patch is a part of the change in journalism.