College grad finally lands full-time job

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A little over a month ago, I wasn’t sure I would ever be offered a full-time job writing. I had done plenty of part-time and freelance work, but for most of the time this summer, while my friends from college who had wisely chosen STEM fields were off planning tropical vacations with their paid time off, I, who had majored in communications, was busy scrolling through online job boards and responding to classified ads.

That all changed when I received an unexpected email from Tony Clark, the publisher of The Tidewater News, informing me that he had an open position available and that one of his colleagues at another paper had recommended me.

The day after my interview, I was offered the job. It was one of the shortest turnaround times from application to final answer I had experienced since the day an automated HR computer system sent me a form mail rejection letter a few minutes after parsing my resume, listing my high school as my name and my then-current job title as Christ (I had been doing some freelance work for a church at the time.)

But, now that I’m officially a staff writer, one of the assignments I’ve been given is to write this introductory column. So here it goes:

I’ve lived in Smithfield since 2011. Before that I was a lifelong resident of the greater Allentown area of Pennsylvania. My last position was with The Smithfield Times. I’ve enjoyed writing since high school and was a writer/editor for both my high school and college papers. I write fiction as well as journalism (just not in the same publication) and hope to be a published novelist someday.

I like seafood and Mexican, and unlike most northerners who usually gag at the mention of southern sweet tea, I have developed an addiction to the stuff.

So far, I’ve covered several city and county meetings, where I had the opportunity to observe some ongoing points of contention between the local city council and school board, I’ve interviewed an FHS graduate who is now on his way to becoming a celebrity chef, and I’ve traveled all the way to Courtland to photograph what ended up being the largest pumpkin at this year’s state fair — at nearly 1,000 pounds!

Thank you Tony Clark and Tidewater Publications for bringing me on board.

STEPHEN FALESKI is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. Contact him at 562-3187 or