Senior Producer, NPR
Jinae West | Journalism | Class of 2010
Jinae West, '10, was always committed to searching for big and bold opportunities, which pushed her to step outside of her comfort zone when it came to gaining journalism experience.
Jinae got her start in audio storytelling as an intern at NPR. That internship led to a full-time position, and she spent eight-and-a-half years working for well-known shows like All Things Considered and TED Radio Hour, covering key events like the 2016 presidential campaigns and election and the Pulse Nightclub shootings. After a brief stint at National Geographic working on podcasting in 2019, she recently returned to NPR as senior producer for the news/pop culture podcast/radio show, "It's Been A Minute".
“When I got into audio and radio, I didn’t think it would be this lucrative," she says. "Podcasts have really taken off, and there are actually a lot of companies looking to make podcasts and looking for audio producers. It’s a great field to go into and the demand is definitely there.”
Before starting her professional career, Jinae held seven internships, gaining much relevant field experience. Her first internship at the Washington Post, set the tone of the rest of her college experience and even into her professional career.
“I applied for that Washington Post internship thinking, ‘there’s no way I was going to get it'."
Jinae advises students to “go after things that you might not think you’re qualified for because the worst thing that can happen is they say no, while the best is you can actually get it."
“It’s a launching pad for your resume and the rest of your career."
Her other internships included roles at The Colbert Report, The Onion, Las Vegas Sun, The Moth and WKSU. She credits much of her success to the opportunities at Kent State. At Kent State, she got involved with the Kent Stater right away, as well as the Burr Magazine and Fusion Magazine, which bolted her into a career in journalism. Working at these publications and gave her a foundation of knowledge on how to write, construct a story, interview people and approach random people on the street for quotes. These skills gave her “a little more confidence going into these internships, than I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she says.