Mike Reiss, a New England Patriots beat reporter, came to speak to our class on Wednesday. He explained how he had a great time while he was at UMass, just like us. He reiterated how getting things right are more important than being first. For example, he told a story in which he made a typing error on Twitter, which told a different story about what Patriots player Logan Mankins was doing pertaining to his contract issue. Once its out on the internet, word of mouth spreads like wildfire.
He also gave me personally a great deal of confidence for when I have to send job applications to newspapers. He brought with him a huge stack of rejection letters that he had kept. I read about half of them and usually they said something along the lines of, “thanks for your interest but our position is filled.”
He also talked about how you have to make tough decisions in order to go far in this business. If you stay too long at one job, it could prevent you from ever getting out to do the things you really want to do. For instance, he left working for the Patriots to work for the Boston Globe covering touch football. But in due time he climbed the ladder until eventually he was offered a job at ESPNBoston.
I really enjoyed listening to him, and it made it even more comforting coming from a successful UMass alum.