University of Oregon

Alumni Perspective: International Student Pursues Journalism in Bay Area

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Rochelle Riva BargoNever before have I had the opportunity to learn about the job search process through the perspective of an international student. That changed when I spoke with Rochelle Riva Bargo who’s currently a contributing writer and intern at New America Media and a Client Relationship Manager at Davidzon Associates in the Bay Area. Here’s her story:

Rochelle was born in the Philippines and moved to Hong Kong when she was seven years old. She first set foot in America in 2006 while participating in a high school exchange program in Portland. Her experience in the states instilled in her a desire to pursue higher education in Oregon. In January 2008, she enrolled full-time as an international student and an International Cultural Service Program scholar at the University of Oregon. She graduated from the School of Journalism with a degree in Electronic Media and Magazine Journalism in December 2011.

In order to continue living in the United States, Rochelle obtained a visa, which allows her to work in her field for one year. “What I love about the U.S. is that I am given a chance to be independent, and for the last six years I’ve spent here, I’ve learned to be a lot more independent than how I would have if I stayed in Hong Kong,” she said.

Rochelle began seeking jobs and internships within the journalism industry. Her first job offer came from CBS New York, but the high financial burden of living in New York forced Rochelle to decline the offer. This didn’t deter her from staying on top of her job search on the west coast.

Networking, the School of Journalism’s Twitter (@SOJCcareers) and online job boards have been the most beneficial for Rochelle in her job search. Using these resources, she learned of an opportunity with New America Media (NAM) in San Francisco. At the time, she was living in Portland, but was ready to relocate. Within two weeks of applying, the ethnic news corporation hired her as a contributing writer and an editorial intern.

Rochelle now works part-time at NAM and part-time at Davidzon and Associates as a Client Relationship Manager.

Her tips for success include:

  • Intern in your industry
  • Stay persistent and motivated in your job search
  • Personalize cover letters for each company
  • Land interviews by finding people you have a connection to within desired companies

Thank you and good luck in San Francisco, Rochelle!

If you would like assistance locating a job in a new area, or for other career guidance, give us a call today at 503.412.3701 or email us at careerpdx@uoregon.edu.

You can also stay connected to the Career Center in Portland by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or connecting with us on LinkedIn.

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