Meet the Press

Representatives from some of the most widely recognized names in journalism were in the Rattler’s Den Thursday and Friday as the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication presented the third annual Journalism Career Fair.

Dressed in professional business attire, students carrying resumes, portfolios and video clips raced through thirty- minute interviews and spoke to representatives who looked as though they had a moment to spare.

Among the recruiters were several employed FAMU alumni, including Jamal Branford of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Heidi Otway of the Herrle Communications Group and Peter A. McKay of the Wall Street Journal.

Otway, who earned her broadcast journalism degree in 1992 and now works in public relations, was impressed with the quality of FAMU’s J-school students.

“I’m just amazed,” she said enthusiastically. “The students here today are much more experienced. If I had known then what they know now, there’s no telling where I might be.”

Students with a range of backgrounds attended the fair in anticipation of landing an internship or job opportunity.

Troy Griggs, 20, a junior graphic design student from Gainesville, was on the hunt for his first internship.

“I would love to intern at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,” Griggs said.

The AJC interview was his first of the day. After his interview, he smiled confidently and said, “I think it went well.”

Some students were not as pleased with the career fair as others.

“There’s mostly newspaper representatives here,” complained Alicia Clark, 20, a junior public relations student from Miami,

According to Pearl Stewart, a professor in the J-school who coordinated the event, there were two representatives from public relations.

There were more print representatives looking for interns than public relations representatives.

“The response from the print side has been overwhelming. They’re looking harder. They say our students are outstanding. They say they have well constructed resumes and that they’re easy to interview.”

Joe Grimm of the Detroit Free Press supported Stewart’s statements. Grimm had made repeated trips to Tallahassee to meet and interview FAMU students.

“We’ve had quite a few Rattlers at the Free Press,” said Grimm, the paper’s recruiting and development editor. “We know that Famuans are going to be team players. They work hard and they work well with others. Across the board, they have a good work ethic.”

Meredith Clark can be reached at