Name (First and Last)
The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, Chicago, IL
Financial Development Assistant and Associate Producer, CRIS Radio
- Graduation Year (list as "Month Year")
B.S. News-Editorial Journalism
- Minor and/or Certificates
Writing and reading, socializing with family and friends, swimming and traveling to new places
Career Information & Advice
Please answer each of the following questions with as much detail as possible while keeping your answers succinct (aim for 2 - 4 sentences per question).
- What are your job responsibilities/duties?
My main job duties include researching prospect donors (with an emphasis on foundations) and writing our Chicago Lighthouse blog titled Sandy’s View, which can be found at www.sandysview1.wordpress.com. This blog has over 3,500 readers from over 60 countries including the United States, El Salvador, Australia and Germany, and covers topics of interest to the blind and visually impaired communities. I am also a contributor and producer for The Beacon, a weekly radio show covering topics of interest to people with disabilities and veterans. The show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on WCPT (820 AM) is recorded at the CRIS (Chicagoland Reading and Information Service) radio studio at the Chicago Lighthouse.
- What does a typical day look like?
My days consist of researching and interviewing guests for our radio show and for the Sandy’s View blog. This often also includes writing the blog posts and recording radio interviews. I also assist our financial development department with research and other tasks as needed. My days might also consist of attending different outreach events. In other words, no day is the same, and I usually do a little bit of everything on a typical day!
- What do you most enjoy about your job?
I really enjoy interviewing and getting to know new people. We see people from all walks of life at the Chicago Lighthouse, so there is always something new to learn. Writing our blog and recording radio interviews also gives me the opportunity to learn about new topics I would have probably not discovered otherwise. Receiving feedback from readers and listeners lets me know I am making a difference in the lives of so many people through my recorded and written work.
- What is the most difficult aspect of the job?
I work in a fast paced environment given my many job duties and responsibilities. Although this can be hectic and even stressful at times, it has shown me how to multitask and prioritize the various things I have to get done on a daily basis. Nevertheless, I am very passionate about helping others, so this is a very special and rewarding job.
- What on-campus activities were you involved with? Where did you gain relevant experience?
I was involved as a reporter for The Green Observer for a few
semesters. I was also involved with the Division of Disability
Resources and Education Services, where I was often invited to speak in various disability-awareness panels. Finally, I and other fellow journalism students recorded several video interviews of students with disabilities; these interviews were about their experiences as students with disabilities at Illinois.
- How did your experience at ILLINOIS and in the College of Media prepare you for your professional life? For this specific position?
Although I received my degree in News-Editorial Journalism, I feel that a lot of the knowledge I gained at Illinois can be applied to other areas. For example, thanks to the many journalism courses I took I learned the importance of gathering and verifying all information prior to sharing or publishing it. The rigorous academic program at Illinois helped me by giving me great exposure to the professional world and therefore preparing me for this and other positions.
- What advice do you have for students interested in this field?
While the field of journalism and reporting can sometimes be hectic, it is a very rewarding career in many ways. I urge anyone who is interested in this or related fields to pursue their goals and dreams. Illinois has an excellent journalism program, and its knowledgeable faculty and staff will help you achieve all of your dreams and goals.
- What is one thing that you know now that you wish you had known when you started in the field? When you graduated from the College?
While all of the faculty and staff always emphasized the importance of networking, I never realized how helpful it can be in finding a job in this field. I feel I should have focused more on networking with other professionals as a student, but at the same time I am satisfied because I realized this shortly after I graduated.