Tidewater News welcomes new employees

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, September 24, 2008

FRANKLIN—Two months. Two weeks. Two days. Those are the time lengths that Ryan Outlaw, Heather Joyce and Christina Licud have been working at The Tidewater News, respectively.

Originally from Ahoskie, N.C., Outlaw pulls double duties at The Tidewater News, serving as a graphic designer and webmaster.

With his position, Outlaw is turning a hobby and a pastime into a career.

“In my spare time I like to build and fix computers as well as learn new Web site design and coding techniques,” said Outlaw, who will finish his bachelor of science degree in graphic communication in the spring at Chowan University.

“I wanted a field with a solid history but strong future potential,” said Outlaw. “Little can even compare to the excellent graphic communications program at Chowan University.”

Outlaw said he has career ambitions but is willing to change them “depending on where life takes [him].” For now, he is enjoying working “in an environment that is never boring.”

Said Outlaw about his current position: “It’s wonderful working with a group of people that have a great sense of humor and enjoy their work even when the pressure is on.”

He continued, “So far everything has been great.”

Joyce shared Outlaw’s views about workplace environment and added on.

“I love what I do,” she said. “‘Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work,’ as Aristotle once said.”

Born in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Joyce, whose parents both served in the Navy, has moved all along the East Coast.

Currently, she calls Newsoms her home.

Before taking up her position as classified account executive, Joyce had an entirely different job. She worked as an industrial sandblaster and painter. Despite her different career choices, Joyce’s main goal is to become a radiologist upon finishing school.

Joyce said she admires working hard to “get to where you want to be.” The fast-paced environment and the newspaper production process were qualities that attracted her to working at The Tidewater News.

A graduate of Old Dominion University, Licud received her bachelor of arts in English, with a minor in marketing. Working as a staff writer for the university’s student newspaper, the Mace & Crown, influenced Licud to pursue a career in journalism.

“I initially came in as a civil engineering major,” said Licud. “But working with the paper really reminded me how much I loved writing.”

Writing had been a passion and a hobby for Licud since a young age, but even still she was unsure about pursuing a career in English. During her senior year in high school, she opted to major in engineering, believing it to be a more promising field.

“Engineering meant a guaranteed job after graduation, and one that paid well too,” said Licud. “Getting a degree in English was a little riskier. A lot of people think that all you can do with an English degree is teach, and for a while, I was one of those people, too.”

But even with ambiguities about obtaining an English degree, Licud made the switch from engineering to English four semesters into her college career.

“I told myself I’d rather do something I loved than something I really had no interest in, regardless if the benefits were better,” she said. “And I had a few faculty advisers who assured me that practice and persistence in my field would eventually lead me to the career I wanted.”

Licud continued working her way up at the Mace & Crown, from staff writer to assistant editor to section editor and finally editor-in-chief.

“I knew if I wanted to be a journalist, I would have to get as much experience as possible,” she said. “Mace & Crown offered that for me.”

The paper led the way to other opportunities for Licud. Her experience at the publication helped her land an internship at Hampton Roads Magazine and also assisted her in getting a few freelance gigs, for publications such as MIX Magazine and Tidewater Teacher Magazine.

Most recently, her experience opened the door to her first job post-graduation: a staff writer position at The Tidewater News.

“I’m equal parts nervous, excited and eager,” said Licud about starting the new job. “I’m ready to put everything I’ve learned in the classroom and in the college newsroom into practice.”