Journalists speak at first alumni Nexus event

Carissa Diaz, Reporter

Alumni media journalists returned to Bakersfield College as guest speakers for Nexus’s Career Series. Their interview gave students a chance to become familiar with a career path and gave tips on building oneself in the workplace.

On Sept. 18 Nexus hosted its first Career Series event of the year with guest Jeremy Price, President of iHeart radio Bakersfield, and Derek Jeffery, Vice President/General of KGET TV, Telemundo and CW Bakersfield.

The event was hosted at noon in the Fireside room, students gathered with their lunch and came prepared to take notes. There were desserts and choice of drinks provided for everyone.
As the event started, President of Nexus  Tracy Hall explained what the Nexus organization provides for the students. The alumni works with present students on career development, networking, philanthropy, and community service. The philanthropy projects include a Career Speaker Series, which bring alumni back to BC to educate the students.

The adviser, Angela Paquette, who is good friends with the alumni journalists, led the interview.

Bakersfield native, Derek Jeffery, graduated from Stockdale High School. He then attended Utah University where he was on an athletic scholarship and received his Bachelors in Science in Broadcast Journalism. He also completed many courses at BC. In 2004 when he returned home, he began working as an unpaid weekend intern for KGET.

Jeffery decided that he needed something more so began working as a sales account executive and was then promoted at the station to general sales manager after four years. As the years passed, he was promoted to vice president and general manager of KGET, Telemundo and CW in 2014. He is now married to an alumni Renegade with two children and has a brother who is in the Renegades Hall of Fame for athletics.

The other speaker, Jeremy Price, was also born and raised in Bakersfield, California. He graduated from Foothill High School. Price attended University of California, Los Angeles and Vanguard University of Southern California.

He started out as a general sales manager for CBS Radio-Fresno in 2006 for a year and then went on to become director of digital sales for 5 years. In 2009 he was General Sales Manager for Mega 97.9 Oldies until 2013 where he did Cumulus Media, Mega 97.9, and KWYE 101.1. He now is a Market President of iHeartMedia, which runs 5 radio stations in Bakersfield: KDFO 98.5FM, KBFP 105.3FM, KRAB 106.1FM, 800AM KBFP, and 970AM KHTY.

Jeffery spoke on his life growing up and  said he knew he wanted to become a journalist. He was also very sure of wanting to be involved with television. He had a big dream to become the next big sports broadcaster, but once he received his degree he had a hard time finding his way into a journalism job. “I realized when I came home that a paper degree that you have is wonderful, but it’s very, very hard to get your foot in the door,” said Jeffery.

Price added that, when he attended college he wanted to become a history professor, but decided to go into business. While he sold suits he came across a radio editor and that’s when he changed his mind. They both expressed how someone is never really sure of what they want to do in life and that it’s fine. “If you’re confused about what you want to be when you grow up, I was too,” said Price.

Paquette asked the men about resume tips they would like to share with the students. They agreed that most of the time it’s based on networking, who you know in the business. It’s more helpful to know people because they’re the ones that can put in a good word for you or show you how to go about the business.
Another big resume tip is being involved in the community. By taking time out to volunteer, you can open up many opportunities for yourself. It shows you care about people around you. After you send in a resume, it is best to call to show you’re ready and if you have to keep sending in the resume.

Jeffery is involved in many associations such as Kern Country Broadcaster Association Board, the Police Activities Board, and Smile for a Lifetime Board, Bakersfield West Rotary International, and served eight years on the American Heart Association and Donate Life board.
Price is involved in Bakersfield West Rotary International, The Salvation Army, Coalition for Urban Renewal Excellence, Hume Lake Christian Camps, and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The journalists described the value of being a Renegade is great because the students have a community to lean on. Especially being from the community, students have a greater chance of being involved. By connecting with students around you, it is a way of expanding your network. “Use local connections any way as possible,” Derrick stated.

A big step students take with beginning a career is taking an internship. Price and Jeffery gave tips on getting an internship position explaining that many students who are graduating this year apply in May, which means you’re going up against many students at one time. If you apply and reach out earlier you have a greater chance of getting that spot.
In terms of characteristics they look for confidence, being able to strongly communicate and impress in every way possible. It is important to have experience; they look at it as giving time to what you want to do.

The young generation, 18-25 years of age, have a reputation of not wanting to work hard or at certain times of the day so students have to prove to managers they can. As president and managers of big company’s, Price and Jeffery say they look forward to working with the young generation.