E-Net News

Alumna's classroom connection leads to first job in NYC

A chance group assignment her senior year, led broadcast journalism major Julie Morse ’13 to a job at NBC Nightly News.  

Erin M. Turner ’15

Julie Morse ’13 first discovered the power of networking her senior year at Elon, when she was paired with Doug Williams ’13 to create a long reporting piece as part of her “60 Minutes” Master Class.

After producing a story on anonymous Twitter accounts at Elon, Williams decided to share it with his dad, Brian Williams, the news anchor for NBC Nightly News.

“We were ecstatic to know that Brian was very impressed,” says Morse, a broadcast journalism major who got a chance to meet him during Commencement weekend. “He was our Commencement speaker but, more importantly, he was a parent of a communications student. ... I was lucky enough to tell Brian my interests and my future career goals. We had a lot to talk about since I am a news junkie and so is he (obviously).”

That meeting led to a phone call after graduation with an offer to apply for a job as a desk assistant at NBC Nightly News in New York. “Next thing I knew, I was moving into my Midtown apartment and getting my own NBC News ID badge,” Morse says.

Morse shared some insights with E-net about her work experience so far and the power of networking.

How has your experience at Nightly News been so far?

The past six months at NBC Nightly News have been amazing; it still doesn’t seem like real life that this is my job. I do anything and everything—from researching stories to typing out interviews verbatim. I have been able to do really great things, like going on location with Brian to places such as the Jersey Shore on the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, Dallas for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination and most recently to Washington, D.C., for the State of the Union Address. While traveling has been amazing, I have also been able to work on some great pieces with some very intelligent people. I feel like I learn something new every day and cannot see myself getting bored.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

Assisting on the shoot for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. It was my first business trip and an honor that someone of my age was invited to travel with the anchor of America’s No. 1 newscast. I did the research for all of the producers and found the character that we interviewed for one of our pieces. It was a three-day trip of hard work but memories I will never forget. I have my press pass, and I do not think I will ever get rid of it.

How has this experience affected your career?

This is the first step in my career, which I hope will be long lived. I have been able to see the full routine of an amazing newscast. I even was able to write one item on a holiday. It is one thing to learn about your career path but there is nothing like being thrown into your career. The people at Nightly News have taken me under their wings to make me the best journalist I can be.

How has your Elon education prepared you for the workplace?

Between my class and my extracurricular activities, I was well prepared for the workplace. My classes were hands on; I learned the importance of being on time and participating in conversation. When I showed up to my first internship, I was extremely prepared. I think my internships are what got me a job. I interned three times; all were in my field but very different from each other. That’s how you learn a variety of skills that will prepare you for your future.

How important would you say networking has been for you? Do you have any advice for any alumni who are looking to enhance their network?

Networking is what got me my job. I think it’s important to remember that the people you are networking with are very busy. Keep your relationships; do not just message someone when you need something.

What would you advise current students to do in regards to landing a job post-graduation?

Apply to everything and anything that is interesting to you. The more interviews you have under your belt, the better. And who knows, the one job you might think is out of your league is the one that is the perfect fit for you. It’s also important to remember that we are young enough to change positions; you are not stuck in this job in this city. Sometimes it’s easier to try jobs in order to rule out what you don’t want to do.

Keren Rivas,
2/21/2014 9:50 AM