For Erica Edwards, it’s the process. She started out as a computer science major but realized that it wasn’t suited for her; so she changed her major to speech communication and psychology. She really enjoyed her English composition class and decided to pursue journalism.
“I did several internships in radio and I learned so much. I got to write and report. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Internships are essential. You get to see the day-to-day activities and decide if this is something you really want to do. Every radio internship that I did I can trace to professional broadcasting,” said Edwards.
Edwards earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota.
Her first radio job as a news director was in a small market in Minnesota. Edwards cultivated contacts and after 18 months, she moved up to a larger, rapidly changing market. Additional radio stations were coming in and flooding the market, and Edwards was laid off.
Edwards then worked for an advertising agency and discovered that she hated making cold calls, so she returned to radio, managing on-air advertising traffic. She did make it back into the newsroom, but realized that things were not going to be stable for the long-term and decided to go to graduate school.
She earned a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from The Newhouse School at Syracuse University.
Prior to graduation, she was offered a job at Dun & Bradstreet, followed by a variety of corporate communications jobs.
Then 9/11 happened. Edwards moved to Dallas where she worked for a large company, and when that company downsized, Edwards joined the adjunct faculty at Richland College. She is now the lead faculty and program coordinator for journalism.
“My master’s degree enabled me to fine tune and focus my skill set. It gave me the credentials to do what I wanted to do,” said Edwards.
In reference to going back to school, Edwards said, “Do it. With your commitment, the rewards can be great. I hope I help my students understand that the secret is remembering that the education process is life-long.”
Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com