More than a dozen School of Journalism undergraduates participated in a very stimulating “Professional Friday” outing in Manhattan on Oct. 13. In visiting, Cosmopolitan magazine and Bloomberg News, one of the highlights was meeting Charlie Pellett, a veteran of Bloomberg’s radio station, WBBR and, notably, the voice of the New York subway system.
For many years, Pellett has been advising passengers to “step to the rear of the train” and other such bits of advice for a safe and happy riding experience. Pellets was a warm and gregarious host, among other such Bloomberg stalwarts as Rob Urban, one of the editors, and Katherine Burton, one of the finest hedge-fund beat reporters in the world. Pellets even brandished a well worn copy of SOJ Professor Jon Friedman’s 1992 co-written book, “House of Cards: Inside the Troubled Empire of American Express.”
For the students who aspire to have a career in radio news, Pellett cautioned: “You need to ask yourself not about the pay package, but ask yourself, ‘Am I prepared to work New Years Day?'”
Pellets also reminded the students that he wanted to be first but it was more important to be right.: “When in doubt, leave it out.”
The Bloomberg representatives made a convincing case for telling the students that, despite what they may be thinking, business and financial news is quite lively and anything but boring. The Bloomberg building alone, which resembles a spaceship, proves that business news can be exciting.
At Cosmopolitan, the SOJ students learned a hardleson: While big-time fashion journalism has a lot of glamour and glitz, it requires a serious journalist to make a magazine as legendary as Cosmo. The SOJ class met many senior editors at Cosmo and each of them boasted a serious resume to go along with solid credentials.
Sure, it’s fun to work in the Hearst building but it takes a lot of dues paying to make it to the big time.
Reporting by Alexandra Jorge
Photos by Jun Yong Ahn & Sabrina Liguori