Special Report

Why NYU?

Why NYU: The Coursework is Only the Beginning


June 8, 2024


Special Report: Why NYU?



Editor’s note:  This article is part of our “Why NYU? Your Story Starts Here”  branded content* series explaining what it is like to attend NYU’s American Journalism Online master’s program with testimonials from current students and recent grads, Learn more about the program here.  

Let’s face it: graduate school isn’t easy. 

At AJO, we want you to succeed, so in addition to world-class faculty, we offer support services to help you get through graduate school with all the skills, connections, and confidence you expect from an education at NYU.

Career and Pitching Services

Once you start at AJO, you’ll get a weekly email from our Director of Career Services, Prof. Julia Dahl,  highlighting internships, fellowships, and job opportunities in journalism.

Prof. Dahl will visit your first class, Reporting the News, to talk about how to best use the program to position yourself for work when you graduate, and to encourage you to meet with her one-on-one throughout your time at NYU.

“I want to help every student map out their goals and take the steps necessary to reach them,” says Prof. Dahl, who has worked across the media landscape – from entertainment and women’s magazines, to non-profit news, to tabloids, to a legacy broadcast network.

From resume and cover letter consultations, to interview prep, to help pitching your ideas to major publications, Prof. Dahl is available to AJO students and alums.

A writing coach

Malak Saleh has worked as an editor at Bloomberg, Yahoo!, and now Politico – and when you enroll at AJO she becomes, as she puts it, your “writing wingman” — skilled at taking your work from idea to publication. 

From helping you hone an angle, to structuring a longform feature, to copyediting, to approving interview questions for a source, Malak meets one-on-one with students at all stages of the writing process. She live-edits your work so you can build rapport and really understand where you strengths and weaknesses lie.

“If a student is advanced, I push them to challenge themselves,” she says. “If they’re new to journalism, I hold their hand and give them the tools they need to bring their writing to publication level.”

The mentor network

Getting work in journalism requires skill – and connections. AJO’s mentor program, led by AJO alum CK Smith,  matches students with professional journalists working in the field you’re interested in to help guide and inspire them. Our mentors include journalists at CNN, Rolling Stone, Reuters, Bloomberg, Cosmo, and the New York Times, among many others.

And the mentorship program produces real results: Alum Lindsay Ray Martin got her first job in journalism —as a Broadcast Associate at CBS News’ 48 Hours — through her mentor there. Alum Sarah Parker’s mentor, an editor at Dance Magazine, commissioned several pieces from her. Other graduates have published articles with the help of their mentors, including Raegan Scharfetter’s feature on sabotage at the Dallas Zoo for National Geographic and Shirley Ojeda’s personal essay for the San Diego Union-Tribune

Success coaching

If you’re feeling stuck, then visit Betty Ming Liu for coaching in a judgment-free zone. 

You can explore anything that bothers you, from writer’s block to finding your voice and the need for more self-care, to managing time, past traumas, and personal life challenges. Instead of advice or counseling, Betty helps you listen to your authentic self –– until you find the clarity to move forward.

“Coaching helps AJO students feel seen and heard in new, creative ways,” says Betty, who is a professional certified coach, veteran journalist and professor. She is available for group coaching and private, one-on-one sessions.

*Did we fool you? These articles look like journalism, but they’re actually what is called “branded content.” Branded content is content – written, audio, video – that mimics journalistic work but is paid for by the brand or company (in this case, AJO) that publishes it. It is, basically, a kind of advertising.


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