By Kyle Marsh
Former editors-in-chief Emily Browne (class of 2003) and Nick Brancaleone (class of 2005) came to speak to The Independent staff to discuss their collegiate and professional experiences in journalism.
According to journalism teacher Mary Buckley-Harmon, she invited the graduates so the journalism students could see the relevance of journalism and English skills after high school.
Browne attended Northwestern University in Chicago, where she majored in magazine journalism.
After graduating, she worked as a press assistant for a politician in Washington D.C, for the attorney general of New York City, and on a political campaign in Manchester, N.H.
She is now living in New York City, working for Sunshine, Sachs & Associates, a public relations firm that represents actors such as Ben Affleck and Demi Lovato, according to her sister, senior Piper Browne.
Brancaleone had a different experience. After graduating from high school with “three great years of journalism,” he attended Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where he majored in public relations and minored in business.
After graduating, he worked at Holmen Public Relations in New York City, which was a very “cut-throat environment. You are really thrown into it, and you have to shine, or you are thrown out,” he said.
Currently, he is working at a fishing cooperative stationed in Gloucester. Brancaleone said he is considering getting his MBA or moving on to a “normal” business environment.
Both Browne and Brancaleone credit much of their success to their high school journalism class.
“AP courses and journalism were very helpful. You know how to construct a sentence, and your professors will be impressed by you right away,” Brancaleone said.
He credited his editing, interviewing, and basic writing skills to his high school English and journalism classes.
Browne shared similar thoughts.
“Nothing has helped me more than writing skills. A lot of people don’t have them. I can communicate and get what I want so much better,” she said.
Students in the journalism class were thankful for the experience.
“I thought it was really great to get their perspective, after having done exactly what we do and taken their skills beyond the classroom. It was also beneficial to ask them specific questions about their college experience with journalism, if they chose to pursue it, and their jobs after graduation,” senior Maura Driscoll said.
“I thought it was really beneficial because I never really realized how journalism affects not only communication careers, but many other writing classes in college,” junior Ellen Burgess said.
Buckley-Harmon also found the talk helpful for the students.
“They said everything I would have scripted for them. It really shows how the skills that they use in high school apply to their jobs – whether it be speaking, listening, writing, or simply treating people well,” she said.