By the time most student are twenty years of age, they’ll be somewhere in their sophomore year, just starting to figure things out and maybe starting their first or second internship. By the time Aaron Edwards was twenty, he was graduated from Ithaca College where he was editor and chief of The Ithacan, already snagged an internship at the Associated Press London Bureau and wrapped up a fellowship at the New York Times.
On Tuesday evening, Aaron Edwards spoke with the Society of Professional Journalists, via Skype, about his recent and past accomplishments and gave some of his best tips to get ahead in the field.
Edwards, who has interned not only at the Associated Press and The New York Times, but CBS News and The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, said that one of the greatest pieces of advice he had ever received was, “Listen, before you’re a one-man band, you have to learn to play the tuba.”
Translation: Yes, many journalists are told that they have to be well rounded and familiar with many different platforms, but it is just as important to have a go-to skill as well.
Because students could relate to Edwards’ age, it was easier to see his accomplishments as actually being attainable.
“I thought the meeting was excellent! It was amazing being able to talk to a New York Times reporter who’s out age. It was really inspiring to hear his story,” said Xander Zellner, sophomore journalism student.
Since speaking with SPJ, Aaron Edwards has taken a position at Digital First Media as a news producer.