Few can say that their first job after college was with the Wall Street Journal.
Just a few years after graduating, students who minored in journalism already applytheir Hillsdale education to their full-time jobs at news publications.
I checked in with three recent graduates to see what they are doing now and how their time at Hillsdale has advanced their career.
Victoria Marshall ’21: Editorial fellow at the New York Post
Victoria Marshall came to Hillsdale for politics, and journalism didn’t cross her mind until she bumped into then editor-in-chief of the Collegian, Nicole Ault, at the Source. After attending a few meetings, Victoria said she fell in love with the environment and people in the Collegian office. She said she knew she had to give journalism a chance.
In her time as an undergraduate, Marshall received the Dow Journalism Program (DJP) scholarship and served as a staff member for the Collegian.
She later interned for the National Journalism Center and National Review.
A journalism fellow through the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Marshall now lives and works in New York City, where she is on the editorial board for the New York Post.
Marshall writes daily editorials for the Post, an experience that not many journalism fellows get.
“I’m really surprised and really thankful that they give me the opportunity to write every single day because I was thinking a fellowship would be more like a glorified internship,” Marshall said.
Marshall said that because the Post has a very punchy, irreverent tone with its editorials, she has had to adapt and grow her writing voice to fit the paper’s overall tone.
She said her time writing opinion pieces for the Collegian allowed her to embrace the editorial style of writing while helping her develop her own unique voice.
“The Dow Journalism Program is just really helpful to students in getting them good jobs, good internships, and good contacts,” Marshall said. “Mr. Miller is great at keeping everyone connected and making sure we all stay in touch, so the journalism alumni network is amazing.”
Marshall’s dream is to work as a columnist or an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal, but for now she’s considering attending graduate school to study English and gain more experience before becoming a full-time writer.
Kaylee McGhee White ’19: Political commentator and writer at the Washington Examiner
Kaylee White’s interest in journalism began when she visited a Collegian assignment meeting during her freshman year at Hillsdale.
“I fell in love with journalism,” White said, “I love that journalism allows me to intertwine politics and storytelling.”
White joined the journalism program and worked for the Collegian for four years, later interning at the Detroit News, Weekly Standard, and Orange County Register.
Based in Washington, D.C., White is now a full-time commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.
“On a typical day I write about three op-eds on varying topics, depending on what the news cycle is like,” White said. “When I’m not writing, I’m meeting with sources, conducting interviews, or representing the Examiner on different TV networks.”
White noted that real-life journalism is different from working for the Collegian.
“Most real life journalists don’t care at all about the standards and practices we were taught,” White said.
“They care much more about a narrative than fact-finding.”
Nicole Ault ’19: Assistant editorial page writer at the Wall Street Journal
Formerly the editor-in-chief of the Collegian, Nicole Ault is now a full-time employee of the Wall Street Journal, a dream job for many DJP students.
Ault began writing for the Collegian in her first semester at Hillsdale, and through the encouragement of DJP’s directors, she declared a journalism minor to complement her economics major.
“When I came to Hillsdale, I knew I liked writing but wasn’t sure exactly what to do with that,” Ault said. “The Collegian and internships during college confirmed for me that I wanted to pursue it.
Ault lives in New York City and writes for the opinions section of the Wall Street Journal.
As an opinion writer, Ault said that her day “can be any mix of hunting for story ideas, proofreading, working on a writing project, reading articles or court opinions, and interviewing.”
Ault noted that the specific journalistic styles and practicalities are different for each paper, but that the principles she learned in the DJP are universal to quality journalism.
“The fundamentals of research and interviewing and clear writing — and deadlines — are the same,” Ault said, “Collegian reporting and guidance from professors helped me hone writing and reporting skills and opened doors to internships and my job.”