Alton Telegraph‘s Lifestyle Editor and Reporter Jill Moon remembers gathering around the dinette table with her family on Sunday mornings when she was a teenager. They each would read their favorite sections of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Moon said her favorite was the Everyday section. It was moments like these that influenced her decision to pursue a journalism career.
Video by Bridjes O’Neil
Webster University alumna learned real-world knowledge from professors
Moon came to Webster University as a junior after she studied at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park. She was a non-traditional student who worked as a freelance makeup artist to finance her college education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in December 2005, with an emphasis in global journalism. She loved Webster’s “global approach” to learning. She took advantage of an opportunity to study abroad in Vienna.
Moon landed internships at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Alton Telegraph. However, it was the Telegraph that offered her a permanent position immediately after graduation.
“Jill’s greatest strength is her eagerness,” stated Telegraph City editor Dennis Grubaugh.”She’s very passionate.”
It has been nearly seven years since Moon graduated from Webster. She still considers Webster University adjunct faculty member Ed Bishop as one of her mentors. Moon said Bishop brought real-world experience into the classroom.
“He really taught me everything I know,” Moon said.
Bishop has worked at Webster University for 20 years. He worked an additional 20 years prior to Webster as a Riverfront Times editor.
“I like the idea that some of my students have become successful using things that I’ve learned and then taught them,” Bishop said. “Now, they’re learning even more on their own and passing that along to someone else.”
How successful are Webster graduates?
Webster University uses the Graduate Followup Survey to track how successful its alumni are after graduation. The 2005-06 Success Report PDF states that 65 percent of graduates from the School of Communications (SOC) undergraduate program were professionally employed. According to the 2009-10 Success Report PDF, only 38 percent of the SOC undergraduates surveyed are currently employed professionally.
Grubaugh is a frequent visitor at SOC Internship Expos. He estimates that the Telegraph has ten to twenty interns over a 10-year period.
“Webster has been very good about indoctrinating their students with journalistic skills,” Grubaugh said. “Everyone has come to the table with traits you seek in a reporter.”