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Your journalism career can take off with cherubs

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Cynthia Wang, left, with her friend, Angela, when they were cherubs in 1998. Photo provided by Cynthia Wang

Four Medill cherub instructors say this program launched their journalism journeys. The skills they learned in the cherub program sent them on their way to diverse careers, they say.

Medill alumni Mary Lou Song, Elyssa Cherney, Bret Begun and Cynthia Wang attribute their success in professional journalism to the cherub program.

“I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know when I got to cherubs,” Begun said. “As I went to college and got jobs after I graduated, I continued to use what I learned at cherubs as the scaffolding for building up more skills.”

For Cherney, cherubs was a crash course on everything she was to learn at Medill. The curriculum ranges from learning how to write a basic lead, to pitching, reporting, and writing a 700-word trend story in one week.

With a profession in celebrity journalism, Wang reflects on the unlimited support she received from her instructor, John Kupetz. She still remembers the individual conferences she had with him.

“The care he gave in his critiques and the attention he paid to me during those conferences let me know that I could improve, I was on the right track with my career, and that I could find caring people in this business,” Wang said.

From the minute they enter the lecture auditorium to the day they move out of East Fairchild, cherubs grow as journalists alongside each other. The critiques and feedback students receive from their instructors put cherubs ahead for college and prepare them for their careers.

“Curiosity drives the questions I ask,” Song said. “Writing drives all the communication that I have to do for my work, and the sense of community drives everything that I love about working with teams. Those are three really big things that I still carry with me from the program.”

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