‘09 Grad Dresch Shares Career Tips From ABC News

‘09 Grad Dresch Shares Career Tips From ABC News

Bianca Buffamonte, Associate Editor

The journalism classes at Wantagh High School were fortunate enough to have a special guest give us some inside viewpoints on pursuing Journalism as a career, October 29. Jackie Dresch, a professional in Broadcast Media and a Wantagh High School graduate, gave about 60 students in three classes information on her exciting profession.

The 23 year old graduated from Wantagh High School in 2009. Dresch received her bachelor’s degree at Syracuse University in 2013 and then immediately accepted a job at ABC News in New York, as a Production Coordinator. Nine months later, she was promoted to Production Associate.

“I absolutely consider myself lucky for landing a job at ABC News before I graduated from Syracuse,” said Dresch. “At the same time, I’ve always thought that you make your own luck. The extra effort I put in gave me an advantage when I applied for an internship with ABC News Nighline my junior year.

“After I finished my internship I stayed in touch with the producers I worked with throughout my senior year and in April; the Executive Producer of the show called me and offered me a job after graduation!”

At her recent visit, Dresch reminisced about her experiences in high school and mused over some comical moments which created smiles. She communicated with three classes openly and made the students feel comfortable.

“I thought she was very well spoken,” said Lily Newland, an editor of The Warrior. “She gave me hope that there really are great opportunities in the future for people who enjoy writing.”

“The journalism classes I took throughout high school inspired me to pursue a career in the field,” says Dresch. “Although I didn’t pursue print journalism, the skills I developed while writing for The Warrior prepared me for writing for broadcast and my classes at Syracuse.”
Dresch shared some of her most interesting stories she has worked on in her professional career. One bizarre and intriguing story, stuck many of the students. A piece called ‘Snake Handling’ and aired on ABC News in February this year. She came up with the idea for the piece, pitched it successfully and then wrote it.

The story is about a specific church in Kentucky, where members pray with poisonous snakes as a ritual. It was significant towards society because it argued the right of religious freedom. Dresch showed the clip on the Smartboard and explained it to students.

While Dresch enjoys Broadcast Media, she mentioned her ABC News position left her with little free time.

“Working at a major news network was incredibly exciting and stressful,” she said. “There’s always so much going on- you need to be a step ahead of the game and anticipate the needs of the show and the story you’re working on that day. At first, I definitely had to adjust to the late nights and long weekends. Friends understood that I would have to cancel if there was breaking news and I had to stay at work. For a while, I didn’t have much of a social life but it was okay because I loved the work that I was doing.”

Recently, Dresch accepted an impressive position as an assistant to the CEO of HBO. “While I anticipate a lot of pressure with this new job,” Dresch says. “I can already tell that it is different from the kind of pressure in news.”

Jackie Dresch highlighted the important steps she took in order to achieve the success she has today. Her talk provided great insight into how to succeed in the highly competitive and fast-paced world of broadcast journalism.