By Gabriella Miller
Jennifer Siino Resnicke (News, 2011) distinctly remembers one Halloween horror story from her time working for The Orion at Chico State.
It was midnight and she was working on a video project—and had been for eight hours. As she went to finish up, it failed to upload. After releasing her emotions through tears, she pulled it together and pumped out a few more hours of work to get it done.
“Looking back I have no idea how I didn’t go crazy, but that’s how it is in college,” she said. “You work harder than you thought was even possible.”
Among other pursuits while a journalism major, Resnicke worked for The Orion, writing for the entertainment and opinion sections, and points to these experiences as ones that greatly prepared her.
Writing for the opinion section, she learned how to find her voice as a columnist, something she said students can lose in classes when the focus is becoming a better news writer. While with The Orion, she also served as the opinion editor and managing editor.
“The Orion is best described as a roller coaster," she said. "It was always about 20 percent excitement and 80 percent soul-crushing stress. In the end, it was totally worth it, but I’ve never been so stressed out in my entire life.”
Along with work at the paper, Resnicke gained a variety of skills in her college courses. Specifically, she references good writing habits, attention to detail and technological competence.
“I didn’t realize this until I left Chico State and started working with other journalists, but the courses are so much more in-depth and practical than much of what my peers in the field had experienced,” she said.
Resnicke says the department’s offerings of JOUR 325, “Magazine Writing,” and JOUR 320, “Mass Communication Law,” put her “miles ahead of other journalists” who came out of programs that were based in a more traditional communication studies curriculum. Chico State’s Department of Journalism and Public Relation focuses on a profession-based skills set that emphasizes multiplatform storytelling, diversity and inclusion, and ethics.
Upon graduation, Resnicke began writing for the Chico Enterprise-Record. The transition from weekly publication to daily was a big change, but she said Chico State provided the tools she needed to succeed.
After her time with the Enterprise-Record, Resnicke picked up work as a freelance writer in the Sacramento area, closer to home (she’s originally from Fair Oaks).
Today, Resnicke has standing relationships with three publications in the Sacramento area, but admitted that freelance writing can be challenging, as most publications aren’t able or willing to offer spots for new writers.
“If you can happen to be there in that moment when they’re in need, you can get your foot in the door and hopefully establish yourself as one of their go-to writers,” she said.
Resnicke also works at Herrig & Vogt, a Roseville-based law firm, as an e-discovery specialist and legal assistant, which is a somewhat drastic shift from her other journalistic work. This job provides her with stable work and she’s still able to freelance on the side.
These days, Resnicke is a bit of a homebody in her free time, hanging around her home with her husband and seeing friends. She calls writing a hobby, along with photography. She and her husband go to Folsom Lake and he serves as a subject in her photos.
Five years down the line, Resnicke hopes to be writing as much as she does now, if not more. She hopes to one day try her hand at creative writing.