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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Ilan Ben-Hanan

Class of 2000, Bachelor's


What are the top three skills journalism students should learn in college?:

1. Find out who your boss is. I can’t stress this enough, even the most amazing job can be absolutely awful if you find yourself working for the wrong person. 2. If the job is far away, please visit first. I imagine everyone visited USC at least once before deciding to attend, and this should be no different. Talk to people, see how morale is, both at a personal and professional level. 3. Professionalism - When you graduate from USC, you may feel old because you’ve spent four years at the same place and you’re the oldest of your peers. But as soon as you get out there, you realize what a kid you are, and worse yet, everyone else realizes what a kid you are. Youthful enthusiasm and exuberance is on your side, but try and temper it a little.

What were your duties at ATVN? :

Sports Anchor

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

ATVN does an unbelievable job providing students with the knowledge they’ll need, not just in television, but also in the working world period. It’s an excellent training ground for responding to pressure and deadlines and collaborating with peers.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

Are you really willing to move anywhere, or do you just say you are? I always told myself I’d never leave California, but when a dream job comes along, I picked up and moved to Connecticut, even though there are only 10 nice days a year here. If you really have passion for what you do, follow it wherever it takes you.  Also, take advantage of the Trojan Family! We’re always glad to help.

What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:

You have little or no leverage. Don’t waste your time negotiating. Take what you can get and start working hard. Once you’ve proven yourself, there will be plenty of time to negotiate. 

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