David Yarger graduated in three years from Niagara with a bachelor of arts in communication studies. The Class of 2017 grad from Niagara Falls, N.Y., worked as a freelance writer during his undergrad, then later secured his current position as Niagara-Wheatfield/North Tonawanda Tribune Editor with Niagara Frontier Publications.
How did you secure the opportunity?
After college, I waited about a month or so and began looking for employment. It’s funny, because when I heard the job opened up, I was working at my part-time landscaping job. When Joshua Maloni (an adjunct professor in the communication studies department) gave me the call inquiring if I had any interest, I jumped on it and saw it as a great kick start to my career. I went in a couple days later for the interview and was offered the job on the spot. It definitely was a huge accomplishment to myself.
What did you do on a daily basis?
On a daily basis, I look for the best and most relevant news content to fit in my weekly paper. The Tribune goes out on Thursdays to the Town of Wheatfield, Town of Niagara and the City of North Tonawanda. My job requires me to go to government board meetings, political events, school events, sporting events and much more. On average, I write anywhere from 2 to 10 articles per week. In addition to covering events, I receive a large quantity of emails. With those emails, I determine what content is proper for my paper. I also edit the releases as they are received.
Most importantly, what have you learned?
I’ve learned that to be successful in this business, you can’t be afraid to go out and meet new people or challenge yourself to go to bigger and better heights. I try to get out to as many events as I possibly can, and I feel like that has helped me become a bigger influence in my coverage areas and also improves my knowledge of whatever it may be that I’m covering. I’ve also learned that kids shouldn’t be afraid of the “adult world.” Coming out of college, “adulting” can seem like a crazy task to handle. If you went to Niagara, or plan on attending NU, the guidance you get from the faculty completely helps pave your path to success in the “adult world.”
What advice do you have for future students?
Don’t be afraid of a tall challenge or something that seems too difficult. If you want something badly, go out and climb the ladder one step at a time. With my job, I’m constantly on the run and going from place to place. It may seem strenuous and stressful, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything, because I know I’m just improving myself as an editor by going out and doing as much as I can. Also, stay organized. The more organized you can be, the easier things will be for you.
How did NU's Office of Career Services help you?
When I was nearing the end of my time at Niagara, I was unsure of where my career would lead me and how to get started. With the help of Career Services, I was able to set up my resume properly and begin looking for opportunities in the workforce. I also feel that people underestimate the career fairs that are put on. Take advantage of those events, because you never know if your future employer could be there. Plus, you gain contacts that will likely give you additional help or recommendations to become a better professional. Events like those work. Picture me, my senior year, as I went to a communications career fair and talked with Niagara Frontier Publications. A year later, I was at the same career fair, but this time representing NFP. It was a surreal feeling, but students should realize, that can happen to them, too.