Not long after graduating from the Stony Brook University School of Journalism in May 2013, Philly Bubaris and Gavin Stern moved to Washington, D.C. for their first professional jobs.
For Stern, the move was planned. For Bubaris, it was not.
“I received an offer on Thursday, finished my internship with Bloomberg Televison on Friday, packed my apartment and drove to DC on Saturday, and started my job Monday morning at 9 a.m.,” Bubaris said in an email. “The whole thing was surreal… And still kind of is.”
Stern spent his first day at the White House, where President Obama awarded Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter a Medal of Honor.
“It was exciting, frightening and sad at the same time,” Stern said in an email. “My hands
shook as I changed camera lenses – if I dropped it, the thunk would interrupt a nationally televised event. These mixed feelings were transient. I fell back on my training and it was mostly an out of body experience.”
He has fallen back on his training from the School of Journalism in others ways, too. As part of his fellowship, Stern oversees six interns and is passing on his skills in photo, video and writing. He is also responsible for developing story ideas and working on the SHF Wire website.
Bubaris was hired as the D.C. coordinator to help manage the flow of content and people between the New York bureau and the D.C. bureau.
Her first day was a bit more by the book– setting up her email account and touring the newsroom.
She wasn’t in New York for AJAM’s launch, which is where the network’s control room is, but she watched it on TV from the D.C. bureau.
“The whole room went quiet and when the screen said ‘Al Jazeera America’ I got the chills,” Bubaris said. “But then we all got back to work because news people don’t stop, not even to watch their own launch.”
Being a part of a startup is an experience in itself, but throw in the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the G20 summit and a potential strike on Syria and, well, as Bubaris said, it gets out of control. She’s had three days off in her first month working there.
Still, both Bubaris and Stern said they are loving every minute of their jobs and are excited to be working with talented people at such reputable organizations.