- Name (First and Last)
Ed Sherman Co.
Free lance journalist
- Graduation Year (list as "Month Year")
- Minor and/or Certificates
Career Information & Advice
- What are your job responsibilities/duties?
I work as a freelancer, which means I wear many hats. Mainly, I specialize in writing about sports media, working as a contributor to the Chicago Tribune and Poynter. But I also have several other gigs, including co-hosting a golf radio show on WSCR in Chicago. I am also involved in developing a Jewish Baseball Museum in Chicago.
- What does a typical day look like?
As a freelancer, you have to do a lot of everything to make end's meet. So on a given day, I normally am working on several things, often at the same time. I could spend a couple hours on a column and then work on developing our Jewish Baseball Museum website.
- What do you most enjoy about your job?
As a freelancer, I enjoy the freedom to pick and choose what I want to do, and the opportunity to report on subjects that truly interest me. The variety is fun. And above everything else, as a journalist, you get to interview interesting and often high-profile people. That still is enjoyable after all these years.
- What is the most difficult aspect of the job?
Well, there's the other side of the coin as a freelancer. It is a struggle to get people to commit to you for work, and even harder to get them to pay for it. If you could get 50 cents on the dollar compared to 2006, you're doing well. Hence, the reason why freelancers have to take on so much work.
- What on-campus activities were you involved with? Where did you gain relevant experience?
I lived at the Daily Illini. I went into the basement of Illini Hall on my first day on campus to join the paper. I always say it was a turning point in my life. I went from covering intramurals as a freshman to covering Illinois football and basketball, which included traveling with the teams. It was an incredible experience for a college journalism student.
- How did your experience at ILLINOIS and in the College of Media prepare you for your professional life? For this specific position?
I believe the U of I and the College of Communications, the name of the school back then, laid the foundation for my career. The Daily Illini was like working at a professional paper, and I had some memorable professors who had a profound impact on my development as a journalist.
- What advice do you have for students interested in this field?
Write, write, and write some more. Journalism truly is a field where you get better with repetition. Try to get as much experience as possible. Also take time to study the business. It is changing by the minute. The more you know, the better prepared you'll be for that first job.
- 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?
I quickly learned when I started my first job at the Tribune the premium placed on hard work. If you work harder than everyone else, you will move up quickly. Editors value someone who never says no to an assignment, because plenty of writers do.