Alumni Success: Julia Lechner, From NJ to LA

Rowan alumna Jula Lechner (at left) was the Rowan mascot, WhooRU, while a student here.

Julia Lechner is a Journalism graduate of the 2009 class from Pitman, NJ (Gloucester County). She reported for the Courier Post while she was still an undergraduate along with DJing for Rowan Radio and being the school mascot, Whoo RU. She worked for E! News after she graduated and is currently a senior writer with CBS Interactive.

Julia Lechner HeadshotWhat did you like the most about Rowan?

“I really liked the community feel on campus. It felt like professors really knew me and cared to get to know their students. There was also always a lot of stuff to do on campus.”

What were some extracurricular activities that you did?

“Along with working for the Rowan Radio and being the mascot, I tried to attend the intern fairs that they held on campus, and that’s how I attained my first job at the Courier Post.”

How did attending Rowan impact your decisions about your future career?

“Rowan is really centrally located near a lot of work opportunities because you’re right near Philly and not too far from New York. Getting my job at the Courier Post really helped me find out what career I wanted to pursue, and I have Rowan to thank for connecting me with Courier.” 

What got you interested in your field?

“I really enjoyed storytelling and that’s really the heart of journalism, I just love hearing others’ stories and what they are passionate about. I loved interviewing people who loved what they were doing.”

How did Rowan help you achieve your goals?

“I fully took advantage of all the things on campus — the career fairs, tutoring, working [with] my advisors to help me find the right workload for me. And because of that I was able to finish my degree in three years.”

How did Rowan help prepare you for your current job?

“I very much appreciate that Rowan helped me achieve my goals academically while I was still working for the Courier Post. Working and going to school taught me time management, being professional and other things that just classes won’t teach. Something that I remember from the Journalism program specifically was that all the professors were still active in the field and had insightful experience, and this was during the recession so they did not sugar coat the working world, which I appreciated. All the advisors and professors really wanted to help any way they could.”

Do you think you would have had the same career path if you attended a different university?

“No, I don’t think I would have. I would not have got my first job from the career fair at Rowan, and that job led to where I am now.”

Was there a specific mentor that you would turn to if you had a problem about anything?

“I had several, such as Kathryn Quigley, who I still keep contact with — she had extensive experience and knowledge about her field. She goes above and beyond for her students and still roots for them even after they graduate.”

What is your favorite accomplishment in your field? 

“I really love seeing people sharing on social media something that I wrote (even if it’s negative), because something in it was something that they thought was worth sharing. Another accomplishment would have to have been meeting Richard Simmons and getting a hug from him!

What would be some advice for students who are on their way to graduating?

Julia with her co-workers at CBS interactive
Julia with her co-workers at CBS interactive

“Take advantage of all the resources on campus, have resumes and portfolios ready and don’t be afraid to ask someone to look over them. Also keep in touch with people — you never know what opportunities they might have for you!”

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Story by:
Justin Borelli, senior advertising major