Meet Ivan Natividad (Georgetown-SCS Class of 2013, Journalism)
Ivan Natividad, a 2013 graduate of the Journalism master’s program, recently landed a job as a staff writer for The Union newspaper in California. While studying at Georgetown, he worked for Homicide Watch D.C., an experience that inspired his Capstone project. Read on to hear about his most memorable piece, advice on applying for your first job and more.
Why did you choose to attend Georgetown's Journalism program? How did you hear about us?
I heard about the Georgetown program through the school’s website. At the time, I was a youth advocate in San Francisco and I was thinking of switching career fields. When I applied to grad school, I also got into a program in New York.
I chose Georgetown instead because of its extensive staff of working journalists. I wanted to learn from professionals who were still in the game and in their prime. The program also allows students to work during the day and to go to school in the evening, which is easier on the pocketbook.
Tell us how your degree from the Journalism program has helped you in your current job.
For my job at The Union, they ask us all to be able to perform across multiple news platforms, i.e., video, photography, digital and print. The Georgetown program prepared me for this job because I was able to learn all of these different platforms without having to focus on just one. The program gave me the skills to apply to any job on the market and to feel confident that I could do anything and everything an employer would ask of me.
What advice would you give students on how to land their first journalism job?
Apply to everything. Be open to jobs that you might not like, in areas you don’t want to live in, because those opportunities could end up being better than you initially thought. Network. And ask your faculty for advice – they know the game and what to do to get a job.
What do you think is the biggest challenge young journalists face? How can they overcome that obstacle?
It’s different for every individual. But I would say that going into a new job, or new career field, it is really easy to tell yourself that you don’t know what to do, or that you don’t know the answers. But you do.
Be confident in your decisions. Follow your gut and stick to your guns, but admit when you are wrong. Hard work and quality reporting are best served by being comfortable with yourself.
Don’t be afraid to mess up. Everything is a learning process and you just need to jump in head first. Throw yourself in the fire, be persistent and work hard for the stories you are drawn to. I’m still learning to do all of these things, and I think that’s what you have to realize. Everyday is a learning process.
What's your favorite thing about your job?
I get to cover two beats I have absolutely no experience in: business and education. Learning new things every day - that’s my favorite thing.
What's the most memorable piece you've published … and why?
My Capstone project was definitely my most memorable piece. At the time, I was working for Homicide Watch D.C., and I decided to dig deeper into the experience that mothers of murdered children have once their child is gone.
I formed lifelong bonds with some of these mothers and I learned so much about myself and about the strength of character and heart that people have when faced with something so unimaginable.
This story also taught me how to interview subjects in a very emotional setting. You can’t learn that in a book.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Like every journalist, I want a Pulitzer Prize and I want to serve the community with my reporting, in a positive way, wherever I am.