By JILLIAN SORCAN
At first sight, Kristen Chick looks nothing like many might picture a foreign correspondent to be. The soft spoken, petite young woman from Alabama looked more like a college student than someone who just stepped off a plane from Cairo the day before her presentation at UMD. Shyly laughing and admitting that she still gets nervous before interviews, Chick talked all about her career in journalism in a helpful, realistic way that aspiring journalists could take a lot away from.
Chick is quite the daredevil in the sense that she hopped a flight to the Middle East after graduating from the University of Alabama, and landed there with no place to live and no job to support herself on. Being fluent in Arabic, she quickly found work writing for The Daily Star, a newspaper in Lebanon. "With the decline of journalism opportunities in the U.S., there are more opportunities abroad," Chick said, and mentioned that it's a very good idea for journalism students to learn a second language.
As she spoke more about her experiences overseas, it started to make more sense as to why writing for a foreign newspaper might be a good job choice. Chick said that there probably would've been opportunities for her to write for local newspapers in Alabama, but that didn't interest her as much as writing for a more large-scale newspaper. She divulged that working abroad might be the best opportunity for young journalists because there are many English-written newspapers all over the world.
Kristen Chick also threw out some useful tips for aspiring journalists, stressing how important it is to know how to write a good pitch. Since Chick is a freelancer, she knows how difficult it can be to get a story idea to go through. For freelancers, she underlined how it's not a good idea to do all of the work and research before the pitch, because if the pitch isn't approved, then the journalist just did a bunch of work for free. Another tip she mentioned was to get an internship, because experience is the best thing.
Thinking it was going to be a dull presentation turned out to be untrue, because Kristen Chick was quite inspiring, especially as a woman in the audience. Chick seems very gutsy and bold, someone who stops at nothing, and someone who knows exactly what she wants from her career.