Melanie Anzidei, an alumna of the 2009 Becton Regional High School graduating class, is making front page news — literally. Recently, the journalist has had two front page stories published in The Record newspaper, both revolving around Black Friday and the Thanksgiving holiday. Her biggest break, “Thanks for the Deals,” was published this past Friday.
Melanie graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University in Madison where she majored in communications and minored in journalism, graphics and Italian. In college, she was a staff member of The Pillar, the university’s newspaper, a player on the soccer team, and even studied abroad in Italy. She then proceeded to go to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she completed a 10-month program that ultimately landed her a job at The Record.
The Becton graduate first applied for the job at one of the most well-known New Jersey newspapers when it was brought to her attention at a career fair offered at Columbia University. “Schools will really help you if you let them,” said the young journalist.
Although her passion for journalism was sparked by various teachers she had throughout her career, her eighth grade English teacher stood out to her. She credited the junior high instructor for teaching her everything she knows about writing and uncovering her true love for it.
Furthermore, when attending Becton, her four years were filled with endless hours dedicated to soccer practice and clubs. Melanie’s favorite activities were varsity debate, Model Congress, track and being a part of the Cat’s Eye View where she started as a staff member and soon moved her way up to Editor in Chief.
Moving on, as a member of The Pillar, the university’s newspaper, she began as part of the staff, worked her way up to a role as news editor, then managing editor, and finally earned the title of Editor in Chief. She frequently stressed how important it is to participate in your high school’s or university’s newspaper because having the experience and it being on your resume will greatly benefit you, if planning to be a journalist.
Her current position at The Record is an editorial assistant for the business section, which gives her the opportunity to work in the field as well as behind the scenes. A normal day for Anzidei begins with her completing any assigned task, which is followed by her searching through a database of constantly updated news stories. It is her responsibility to gather the most interesting or informative news stories centralized in northern New Jersey, to be summarized or published, with credit given to the Associated Press, either online or in the newspaper. Sometimes she is required to work outside the office interviewing people or reporting for an upcoming story.
Anzidei spoke very highly of the people and environment at her job, claiming it is, “a great learning experience.” Even though she did not have an excessive amount of prior experience, she noted how “everyone understands the position you are in and wants to help you grow and learn. They respect you more that you are young since there are not many young people,” who are pursuing their dreams.
The former student noted that The Record is like her second home, for it has been a constant in her life ever since she was little. She was always used to reading the comic section of it while her dad would read the stories to help perfect his English. Growing up in northern New Jersey helps her connect with the stories and opportunities found through this newspaper.
Anzidei’s future plans involve her moving up the rank in her flexible position to reporting. The Becton graduate hopes to become a respected reporter. Her dream position, nonetheless, is to cover sports because she feels there is a lack of women in the spotlight in that area. Additionally, she one day wants to work for a magazine. “A cover story for Rolling Stone, now that would be amazing,” she said.
Anzidei wanted to leave the readers with one piece of advice: “To anyone considering going into this field, the most valuable thing to do is to gain experience, whether through internships, blogging, a job, or most importantly joining your college or school newspaper, because no matter how small it may be, every opportunity can help you.”
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