Degree: Sociology and African-American Studies
Graduation Year: 2005
Residential College: Wilson
Activities: Black Arts Company, Club Field Hockey, Wymon’Stage, Resident College Advisor, Sociology Department Student Advisory Committee
Current Occupation: Reporter / Anchor / Multimedia Journalist in Providence, Rhode Island
Her Campus Princeton: How was your Princeton experience?
Nneka Nwosu: Over all, it was great. I have very fond memories. I go back for reunions. I think in the past six years I have gone back five times. My best friends are from Princeton. It wasn't perfect all the time, but I wouldn't have chosen anything else. As a black female, I did at times feel left out from mainstream Princeton society; I did find ways to integrate myself.
HCP: What do you wish you knew when you were at college student?
NN: I wish that I was more confident, in so many different ways. In high school, I was the student body president, editor of the paper. At Princeton, everyone is good at what they pursue. I was part of the club field hockey team, but I wanted to join the track team. I talked to the coach and gave him my times and distances. He said that it was possible for me to join the team if I worked the entire summer to make my times faster. I got scared. I was intimidated by Princeton. Princeton is not solely academic. We do have a Division 1 rating for our sports skill. I did do a lot on campus, but I wish that i wasn't as scared. Especially as a girl; if I was as confident as am now, at twenty-nine, as I was then, I'm sure I would have had an improved social experience.
HCP: What was the most important lesson you learned at Princeton (in or out of the classroom)?
NN: I learned to relax. Maybe you can't tell, but I am sort of tightly wound. My friends made me not take myself to seriously. After I left college, I wondered why did I stress so much about papers and exams and boys.... everything works out. Thinking back, I don't really remember the lectures; sure, I learned a lot, but it was my time with friends that I remember. Just chill out. You don't go back to reunions for a lecture, you go back to see your friends.
HCP: When were you certain that you wanted a career in journalism?
NN: I guess I always ways thought about it. Almost everyone at Princeton goes for a career in law or medicine. Junior year, everyone applies to internships. None of them excited me. So, I applied for some journalism internships and contacted some Princeton alumni. I didn't get a job, but I was able to list their names in my cover letter. At Princeton, although we don't have journalism as a major, I took classes in the sociology department about communications. A guest lecturer from National Geographic came my sophomore year. We took a tour of the studios and I realized that this is what I wanted to do. I got an internship at ABC News and then received the Princeton Media Scholarship!
HCP: What do you love about your job?
NN: I like being there as history happens. The thing's that I feel responsible. Journalism is definitely a public service, letting people know about what is happening around them. People always remember Peter Jennings reporting on 9/11. Besides that, I enjoy meeting new people and the story telling.
HCP: What is your advice to students hoping to enter your field of work?
NN: Because I went to Princeton and Columbia, I thought I would walk into CNN and immediately become an anchor. I felt entitled. I always felt like I should be here already. My experiences made me a wise reporter. My advice is to be patient and work hard. You have to earn your stripes. You have to be willing to do things you never thought you would ever do. After all, you have to start somewhere. Nothing is beneath you. Get over that.
NN: Over the summer, the university’s decided to ban freshman rush (this will be in effect starting the fall of 2012). What are your thoughts on the situation?
NN: I wasn't into sororities. My roommate freshman year did rush; I don't know if I have an opinion. I didn't join an eating club or a sorority. I'm not interested in groups that are exclusive, well not exclusive, but exclusionary. However, all of us do love Princeton for its exclusivity. But, I'm not sure if I am the best person to answer this question.
Wanna know more about Nneka? Visit her website here!