Transitioning from Television Journalism to Graduate School

Ever since I can remember, my friend has talked about becoming the front office manager for a sports team. Well, his aspirations are about to transition into the next step of his journey. He is currently enrolled in his capstone class for the broadcast program at WVU, and creating pieces for WVU News’ weekly shows. I’ve often heard him be asked what he wants to do with his broadcast degree and he simply says, “nothing”.

I was sometimes confused by this answer. So, one day I asked him, “hey man, why did you decide to take broadcast if you don’t really want to do anything with it?” He responded:

“Dude, I feel like after going through journalism classes and having to create broadcast packages, that I am pretty much prepared for any situation that can come at me.”

This resonated with me. I thought back to when I was a show director at WBOY, and remembered witnessing the story assignments that the reporters had to go out and capture. I remembered the packages and video that they created, and the diverse situations that they were exposed to. It made sense what my friend had said. Journalism, and more specifically, broadcast, prepares you to be ready for anything that may be thrown at you.

He will be attending Wingate University in August for their graduate program in Sports Management. There is no doubt in my mind that the skills he has obtained from WVU’s broadcast program will put him in a top notch position to help him succeed in reaching a goal that has driven him since day one.


  1. What skills specifically did he learn that will enable him to do well in graduate school? I’m just curious. I wonder if I had the skills to enter graduate school or if I learned them along the way. I think maybe a little bit of both.

  2. I haven’t had WVU News, yet, but I’m definitely starting to feel the same way. I entered WVU’s Broadcast program knowing that I didn’t want to be a reporter, but wanting to work in production. And the more reporting I do, the more I know I don’t want to do it. So I’ve been looking into other careers that a background in journalism are well-suited for. From translator to celebrity manager, this list provides a description of all kinds of jobs that people with backgrounds in journalism are considered qualified for.

  3. There is not really a way to prepare for graduate school, from what I can tell. Yes, honing your skills and learning as much as you can are important tasks to tackle, but if the program you enter is like WVU’s J School grad program, you’re on the ground journalism skills will not be that important. Here, the program is much more about thinking about journalism and understanding the theory (and varying viewpoints) behind the technique. Undergrads tend to focus on the nitty gritty technical aspect. They learn how journalism works. In grad school, you learn why journalism works.

    They go hand in hand, but being good at one doesn’t make you good at the other. This is both awesome and terrible.

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