MSU alum and National Geographic editor's career advice: "You just have to start"

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Susan Goldberg

Story by Marie Orttenburger
Video by Archit Batra
Michigan State University alum Susan Goldberg, now the editor in chief of National Geographic magazine, recently advised MSU students to  “make bold choices.”
Goldberg, who is also editorial director of National Geographic partners, graduated from MSU in 1984.
The university recently awarded her an honorary doctorate, and she delivered the fall commencement address.

As a student at MSU’s School of Journalism, Goldberg cut her journalism teeth at The State News, working there “morning, noon and night,” she said. After her junior year, she received an internship at the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The internship ended, but Goldberg stayed and became a full-time reporter. She dropped out of school to keep the job.
Goldberg later became a reporter at the Detroit Free Press. While there, she completed her remaining credits in night courses at MSU. She went on to become an editor in several different newsrooms until she found herself at National Geographic two years ago.
Marie Orttenburger, a student at MSU’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, recently asked Goldberg about her career.

What did you do as a student at MSU?

How did you get your first job after you graduated?

How did you transition from reporting to editing?

How did you get your job at National Geographic?

What advice would you give to a student who wants to eventually work at National Geographic?