Journalist reaches for new challenges in Boston

For the September issue of Aurora Magazine, Sara climbed her first fourteener.

For the September issue of Aurora Magazine, Sara climbed her first fourteener.

Meet another unique, unusual and amazing NFPW member.

Sara Castellanos recently moved to Boston from Colorado. While in Colorado, she covered the Aurora theatre shootings in July 2012. She was also one of the co-vice presidents of membership for Colorado Press Women.

Name: Sara Castellanos

City and State: Boston, MA; previously Denver, CO

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Current member of Colorado Press Women, previous co-chair of Membership.

Years a member of NFPW: three

In a paragraph, tell us a little about you.

I grew up in Lakewood, Colo., attended Green Mountain High School, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Denver. I had several newspaper internships in and after college, but I was most recently the city reporter for the Aurora Sentinel and Aurora Magazine. I held that position for nearly four years, and then moved to Boston in October to become a technology reporter for the Boston Business Journal. I’m a bookworm, a former competitive figure skater, a Food Network addict, and this past year I got into running for fun. I ran the Bolder Boulder 10k this past summer, which was an amazing feat for someone who, throughout all her life, could barely run a quarter of a mile without wanting to collapse.

Any career advice you would give?

Three pieces of advice:

1) Work hard in college. And not in the hole-yourself-up-in-a-library way. Get real, live newspaper experience. Intern at newspapers and magazines, even if they’re unpaid. Do your best to network with people there, and maintain those relationships after your internship ends. Both full-time jobs I got after college were because of internships I had in college.

2) Maintain ties. Networking can be hard and time consuming, but if you put in a little effort, the rewards are endless. Keep in touch with previous bosses, professors and classmates. Email them every so often to keep them updated on your career. With LinkedIn and Facebook, networking has become even easier. But don’t underestimate the value of a one-on-one coffee meeting or a handwritten ‘Thank You’ card.

3) Be optimistic, even when times are tough. News of newspapers shutting down and cutting staff is more grim than ever. There have been several times when I considered leaving journalism. But then I’d get a chance to write stories that might have otherwise gone untold. That’s powerful, and it’s worth remembering that it’s a skill, and a valuable one.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I had a good singing voice. I’ve always secretly wanted to be a pop star. (Embarrassing.) Instead, my 20-year-old sister got the good singing and dancing genes, and those are just a few of her many talents!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Any part of Italy. I studied abroad in Rome and not a day goes by when I don’t yearn for a bottle of house-made Italian wine, spaghetti bolognese and the richness of Italian art and culture.

What book are you reading?

The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Also on my nightstand is The Talisman by Stephen King and Personal History by Katharine Graham.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Most people don’t know that I lived in The Netherlands for two years, from ages 7 to 9. The French fries always came with mayonnaise, which bothered this ketchup-lover a lot. It was a great adventure, and as a family, we traveled all over Europe while living there. I was too young to fully appreciate Holland then, and I hope to go back during tulip season someday.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Colorado Press Women has been great to me, and I’m so glad I joined. I think it’s important to band together as female journalists, especially during this time of uncertainty in the media world. We can empower each other while growing our professional networks and building our resumes with awards. I hope that through NFPW, I can inspire other young female journalists to be persistent in their journalism careers. I want young journalists to always fully appreciate the qualities of journalism that drew me to the profession in the first place: talking to interesting people and telling their stories.

Ways to follow you:

Add me on Linked in at http://www.linkedin.com/in/scastell, visit my professional portfolio at http://saracastellanosportfolio.wordpress.com, and follow me on Twitter at @BosBizSara

In the photo she is shown climbing her first fourteener.  Here’s the story: http://theauroramagazine.com/coloradical/coloradical-the-height-of-living/ (and yes, I did suggest she enter it in the NFPW communications contest.)

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One Comment on “Journalist reaches for new challenges in Boston”

  1. Ann J. Lockhart Says:

    We’re glad Sara got this journalism opportunity in Boston, but we sure hated losing her from Colorado Press Women. I love her advice to others here.


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