High Point University president, Dr. Nido Qubein, tells students that faculty and staff will do everything they can to make sure students succeed, but that the students must do their part. That advice paid off for recent graduate Sarah Roof.
“I’m pinching myself that I have such a great job,” says Roof.
Roof graduated from HPU with a degree in journalism on May 4, 2013. Two weeks later, she began her career at WCVB in Boston, the seventh biggest television market in the country.
“I thought my first job would be in the middle of nowhere,” says Roof. “But at HPU, everyone told me they believed in me and that I had potential to start in a major market.”
Roof is now an assignment editor at WCVB. She works in the hub of the newsroom, searching for interesting stories and breaking news, confirming facts and making sure the big stories of the day aren’t missed. Roof says she loves her job, but that she never even considered journalism until attending HPU.
“I had professors who were really passionate about journalism, and their passion rubbed off on me,” explains Roof. “All of my professors in the School of Communication worked as a team to prepare me for this. I really miss them all.”
Roof says her advisor Dr. Yan Yang, assistant professor of journalism, helped to keep her on the path to success.
“Every time I had an advising meeting she would ask me, ‘What is your goal? Has it changed at all?’ If it had, she would work with me to rearrange my plan and made sure I reached those goals.”
HPU gave Roof the support and knowledge she needed, but she also knew she had to do the work. The summer before her senior year, Roof landed an internship at WCVB that ultimately paved the way for her career.
“One of the other assignment editors acted as a mentor to me during the internship,” says Roof. “At HPU, they taught us to make sure we see the whole picture, and this woman let me do that. She encouraged me to try every position in the newsroom and work with everyone.”
When the internship concluded, she continued to stay in touch with WCVB.
“When I called at the end of my senior year for a reference, they suggested I apply for the position at WCVB. I was shocked when they hired me. Most of the people there have been in the business for 20 years and know the industry inside and out. Now, I’m just trying to be a sponge and take in everything they have to teach me.”
Sarah says the best advice she can give to current HPU students is to network and connect with as many people as possible and get to know professors on a personal level.
“My professors were the reason I wanted to pursue this career, and they’ll be the reason I succeed. They are a wealth of information, advice and connections that I find invaluable, even after I left HPU.”