#NABJ14 Checklist for Students

According to the countdown on our homepage, the NABJ 2014 conference will be on full force tomorrow!

Wow! It’s time for the huge crowd of talented journalists of color to join in Boston and make #NABJ14 the greatest convention yet! We are excited for the members of NABJ-NU that will be attending, as well as any undergraduate (and graduate too) student heading to Boston to “get ‘er done.”

Just so you have the best conference experience yet, here’s a list we’ve compiled of things you should definitely put in that packing bag!

  1. A friend
    1. Not someone who’s side you plan to be glued to for the entirety of the convention. Instead, bring another budding journalist buddy for moral support. The idea is that you both are there and on the grind.
  2. Business cards
    1. Keep these wherever you go, because you never know when you’ll run into a writer of the magazine you’d love to intern for or an anchor for the news station at which you want a job. You can get almost 300 for FREE from Vistaprint, or you can make it even more trivial by using Microsoft Word.
  3. Your elevator pitch
    1. This should be about 30 seconds and is basically a quick synopsis of YOU and YOUR BRAND. Though short and concise, make sure your elevator pitch is persuasive and impressive.
  4. Your résumé
    1. …And tons of copies at that. Think of your résumé as your networking handy gadget, it should always come in handy when you want to “show your work.” Make sure it isn’t too overbearingly long (1 page should suffice) and have some colleagues look over it before you give it the final approval stamp.
  5. Professional clothing
    1. Yes, you’ll be away from mom and dad. Yes, you’ll be surrounded by other young adults. Yes, you’ll be in the wonderful city that is Boston. BUT this is a convention before it is anything else. Remember why you’ve come, and dress a such. Google is there if you need help.
  6. Grooming & styling products/supplies
    1. This goes along with #5. No one will take an unkempt person seriously. Whatever you need to make yourself look like you are about your business – BRING IT.
  7. Your smile and enthusiasm!
    1. Sometimes, through all the professionalism talk, we forget to genuinely enjoy our surroundings. It IS a convention (see #5), but don’t be miserable. Don’t leave without having yourself a good time. And bring back stories (and souvenirs)!


And there you have it! For those who are preparing to attend #NABJ14, especially those in our beloved “Medill Mafia,” rock out like we know you can and have an excellent time.

Are there any things that you thought would be on the list but weren’t? Let us know in the comments!