(More) Studio 20 Grads Settle into their New Jobs!

The recently graduated Studio 20 class has been so busy getting right to work that we had to write up a second installment of our jobs post. Here’s a sampling of a few more alums who are making their mark on the news world:

Niel Bekker | Social Products Editor for The Huffington Post

What does your title mean?  I work with the tech and editorial teams to produce interactive features and tools that improve the news experience for users. Is that a bit vague? I’ll go further: I get to help build things that people will use on our site.

What’s the best part of the job?  It’s all still very new, but the fact that I get to work with ideas, to be involved at the inception of things that The Huffington Post’s many, many users will either love or hate, is very exciting.

What skills that you picked up from Studio20 have come in handy so far? I’d say that the program’s laser-like focus on iteration—improving your ideas again and again until they’re almost perfect—has helped me to produce much better work.

 Ruth Spencer | Community Coordinator at The Guardian US

What does a Community Coordinator do? I create user-driven features for The Guardian US (stuff like this and this and this). Overall, my job is to make The Guardian’s news coverage as open and social as possible. The Guardian is all about taking conversation as seriously as content so one of my biggest priorities is finding active discussions across the web—both on and off our site—and integrating them in our work.

What’s the best part of the job?  Working with an awesome group of people who are just as excited as I am about digital news. No one is talking about “the transition” at The Guardian—everyone’s already crossed over to the other side.

What skills that you picked up from Studio20 have come in handy so far? Thank god my job requires me to work with so many different kinds of people (staff, partnerships, users) because at Studio 20 I learned the value of collaboration. I know that the best work happens when multiple perspectives and ideas come together.

Todd Olmstead | Community Assistant at Mashable

What are your responsibilities at Mashable?  On a daily basis, I’m engaged in managing our presence on different social networks such as Twitter, Linkedin, and Foursquare. I spend a lot of time interacting with our commenting community and moderating comments. I’m trying to build up our Tumblr as a community presence and aggregator of interesting bits on Mashable and across the web. I also get to write about stuff that we want our community to specifically respond to, whether that’s live chats, contests, open threads, or polls.

What’s the best part of the job?  Being part of a dynamic news environment is really great, but being part of one with a lot of young, energetic, intelligent people is even better. You might guess that Mashable is a really social news organization, and that comes from having really fantastic colleagues.

What skills that you picked up from Studio20 have come in handy so far? I think that Studio 20 teaches you how to be independent and quick on your feet. I don’t write a lot of news, but often the question that I have to answer is: “What’s the best way to connect with our communities?” That requires judgment similar to the way an editor makes news judgment. It also requires a really deep understanding of what’s going to be meaningful to a certain user base, which means you can’t post exactly the same things to Facebook as to Google+.

Lately we’ve been working on personal branding training for our reporters and editors, where we really get to inform them and help them understand how to optimize the ways that different networks are used. I think that’s a big picture, critical thinking skill and that’s what Studio 20 is all about.

Colin Jones | Associate Community Producer at New York Daily News

What do you do?  I do a lot of things at the Daily News. My responsibilities vary from day-to-day depending on what news is breaking and what projects we are working on. Right now, I help our Social Media Editor Anjali Mullany* manage our Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms too. I regularly help brainstorm ideas with Anjali about how we can better engage and inform the Daily News community as a whole.

What’s the best part of the job?  I get to work with one of the greatest news organizations in the world in a time of definite flux and change. One of the best aspects of working at the Daily News is that I engage with a lively and diverse community of users on a daily basis. Community interactions are different every day and that is thoroughly exciting.

What skills that you picked up from Studio20 have come in handy so far? Studio 20 taught me to think on my toes in this time of change in the media world. I am able to adapt, strategize and focus at a moments notices, which is crucial at an organization like the Daily News.

*Anjali Mullany is herself a Studio 20 grad, class of ‘10.


All photos courtesy of Nasry Esmat.