If the weather is clear, you can see almost all of London from the top of the London Eye observation wheel. Alyssa Guzman '21 couldn't have known it at the time, but she could see all the way to her future.
For her high school graduation, Guzman's grandparents treated her and her twin sister, Haley (above, in the London Eye with their "Oma") to a London vacation. Guzman fell in love. She always hoped to get back to London; even a few months ago she was daydreaming about another London adventure. As fate (and a lot of hard work) would have it - she'll be traveling to the capital of England in three weeks... to start her career.
This spring, Guzman got a LinkedIn notification about a job posting in her field. The Daily Mail - a British newspaper published in London (with offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Sydney) - was looking for reporters. Guzman, a communications major with a focus on journalism, was ready to launch her writing career, and she regularly reads the Daily Mail. She read the job post, and...
"I panicked! I immediately emailed Dr. (Rebecca) Taylor (an award-winning newspaper reporter) and told her, 'I don't know what I'm doing!' We hopped on a Zoom and talked through it. She helped prepare me for a potential interview."
The prep work would come in handy. From more than 300 applicants, the shortlist was whittled down to 30. From there, 15 applicants were granted interviews, then eight advanced to a roundtable session (which was effectively a mock pitch meeting) followed by dual rounds of interviews with an editor and the head of editorial. Then, six were selected to interview with the publisher, and five were given jobs. Guzman will work out of their New York City offices, but first she'll spend seven weeks training in London.
"Alyssa is very talented and demonstrated a strong work ethic in various internships to further her career goals."
Rebecca Taylor, J.D., professor of creative arts, director of the journalism program and the communications major
"Peter Sands from the Daily Mail told me I had an 'impressive resume' and I fully account that accolade to the journalism classes I took here at Siena, but especially my independent study with Dr. Taylor. The articles I wrote and time I spent writing them really gave me a taste of the journalism industry and the expectations that go with it. I spent an entire semester writing three feature articles on various topics, like women's shelters in a pandemic - which was one of the first writing samples the Daily Mail saw from me - the Black Lives Matter protests, and about young women and skincare. Without these articles or the experience of getting to be a real journalist for the first time with LOTS of personalized feedback and inside secrets, I don't think my resume would have been as strong as a contender as it was. This independent study was definitely worth it! With a little time to grow, the communications major will be one of the best things Siena has to offer."
Alyssa Guzman '21