The Dinah Eng Leadership Fellowship widens opportunities for mid-career AAJA members pursuing the strategies and skills needed to enter news management and advance within its ranks.
Fellows receive up to $1,000 for leadership or management development courses (or up to $400 for the 2014 AAJA Executive Leadership Program Introductory Session). Fellowships are to be applied to event/seminar registration fees and, if applicable, can assist with travel, meals and hotel expenses.
To qualify for the Dinah Eng Leadership Fellowship, each applicant must be:
- An AAJA 2014 member
- In a management position or demonstrate managerial potential
- Recommended by their supervisor
Note: Candidates must commit to submitting a post for the AAJA website at the end of their training experience about how the fellowship advanced them along their management path.
Click here to start your application. Please have a resume, letter of recommendation and professional head shot ready. The application deadline is Monday, March 17.
All required materials must be received by the deadline to be considered.
Questions? Contact Justin Seiter at 415-346-2051, ext. 107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dinah Eng, a columnist for Scripps Howard News Service, is the founding director of AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program. She headed the establishment of ELP in 1995 when she was AAJA president. In her 15 years as the director, more than 400 AAJA members graduated from the program with surveys showing that 55 percent of graduates received at least one promotion at their company or at a new company after completing ELP.
Over and over in the news industry we point out that even as professional communicators, we don’t always communicate well with other journalists. AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program (ELP) helped my classmates and me to highlight instances of that cliché, but more importantly, ways to stop it from popping up again.
We did that through being open and honest about challenges we each have faced as employees. We shared experiences that didn’t necessarily go well in the past, and most of us–including those reading this–have been there. Disagreements with a boss or colleague come in many varieties. But one thing that seems true regardless of circumstances is that when two parties don’t see eye-to-eye, someone probably hasn’t clearly expressed what needs to be said. And not to give the wrong idea about how the two-and-a-half days went: it wasn’t just some pity party. Like any program worth your while, we didn’t just share; we each walked away with lessons we can use in the future.
The most concrete rule about that: be clear with expectations. That goes for the worker and boss alike. Ultimately, if that happens, it becomes a win-win for the whole industry. Happier employees, we hope, will do better work. And one day they may make better bosses.
It’s been three months since I completed the Executive Leadership Program and I’m finally writing about it! I give props to my colleagues Jacqueline Howard and Leezel Tanglao for being more prompt with their entries. I suppose conquering procrastination is still a work in progress!
In all seriousness, I realize there is a benefit to waiting a few months to write about my experience. Now that I have some distance from the program, I can see that the value of my ELP experience has been reinforced daily.
I did not experience a huge outward change when I completed ELP a few months ago. I still have the same job. I still have the same editors and the same co-workers. But my attitude and how I approach my career has changed for the better.
I now seek out opportunities to take ownership of my career. Many of these opportunities are small. They include things like making an extra effort to anticipate my editor’s needs when presenting an idea or finding new ways to collaborate with colleagues in different areas of the newsroom.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t doing these things before. But through the wisdom of the trainers and facilitators at ELP, I better understood how these deliberate day-to-day actions could help me reach my short- and long-term career goals.
The more I took ownership of my job and my career, the less bothered I was by things I couldn’t control. When I let go of the idea that everything in life, including my career and industry, needed to be fair, I felt freer to go after what I wanted.
I still have bad days. But I know that I can rise above those bad days and that even my struggles can be part of the journey toward a successful career.
Another highlight of my ELP experience was the great people in my class. The diverse life and career backgrounds of the ELP class of 2013 led to a wide variety of perspectives when discussing different topics. And after nearly three days of intense training, I came away with not only a certificate of completion, but with deep connections and friendships that will stay with me regardless of what happens in my career.
I don’t think my words can adequately explain the ELP experience. But I can say that completing ELP will provide the tools and skills one needs to advance in one’s career.
What would you do if you had three whole days just to think about you? To focus on what it is you really want out of your career, out of life, how to get there. Sounds like a luxury, right?
But it’s actually something everyone needs to seriously consider doing. For me, AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program was the perfect excuse.
One of the biggest lessons I took away from participating in ELP this summer was that we really have two jobs: our day job, and our career. Just like we hone our story-telling skills every day at work, we need to be regularly exercising our career-building muscles, too.
In the day-to-day grind of 24-7 newsrooms, there often isn’t that “right moment” to stop and think about our career in a big picture kind of way. There’s always some other work assignment, some viral video to repost on Facebook. But oftentimes we use the busywork as an excuse not to address the heady questions.
One of the pleasant surprises about ELP was that you learn about yourself even when you’re just listening. Hearing others open up, you realize things about yourself even if you aren’t the one in the hot seat sharing trials or experiences.
I left the program charged up and I know a lot of my colleagues did, too. Already in the months since our training, two of my fellow graduates have changed jobs and taken their careers in bold new directions. Both said without a doubt that ELP helped them take that extra step and negotiate from a stronger position.
Could I have skipped ELP and read a career book and come out with the same results in the end? Maybe, but it would have been tough slogging. There also isn’t another leadership program out there specifically tailored to our Asian American experience as journalists. ELP put me through the paces and helped me really process and understand the underlying concepts.
I know I’ve become a more effective communicator, a tougher negotiator, a more focused journalist and thinker. As I transition into a career as a freelancer, I know my newfound ELP skills will come in handy.
Applications for the 2014 ELP Introductory Session are now being accepted. Click here to learn more about the application process and apply today. And, find out more about ELP, and read ELP reflections from the other 2013 Dinah Eng Leadership Fellows Jacqueline Howard and Leezel Tanglao.