Career-building sessions at ONA17 that will help you reach your goals

If you’re coming to ONA17 to level up your career, you won’t want to miss these talks. From lessons on how to navigate early- or mid-career challenges to recruiting diverse newsroom talent, check out these sessions to accelerate your learning curve and achieve your goals. Got questions for our speakers? Leave them at the bottom of the page and get the conversation going!

Take a closer look at our Career Building track:

You’re #1: First timers’ orientation If you’ve never been to the conference before, it can be hard to know which of the 100 sessions to pick, who to talk to or where to go in the evenings. Luckily, you’re not alone! We’ll connect you with other first-timers and show you how to get the most out of your time at ONA. We’ll focus in particular on networking advice, with some tips for introverts and extroverts alike.

We’re ~journalists~ too: Embracing your new(ish) newsroom role For staffers who work in audience development, product, strategy or design, it can be a real struggle to get their newsrooms to understand their roles and responsibilities. When you leave this session, you’ll know how to explain your job to your colleagues as well as the value you bring to the table. Speakers include ONA Board member and Editor-at-Large P. Kim Bui of NowThis, Digital News Director Laura Davis of Annenberg Media and Senior Multiplatform Editor Elana Zak of CNNMoney. The sessions will be moderated by Senior Director of UX & Design Timothy Wong at Gannett, who will be able to draw from his own experiences here as well.

Inclusive recruitment, hiring and retention Learn how to find diverse talent for your newsroom by raising your organization’s profile, building relationships with recruits online and in-real-life, developing sponsorship/mentorship programs and more. Speakers include S. Mitra Kalita of CNN Digital, Latoya Peterson of The Undefeated/ESPN and David Plazas of USA Today. Doug Mitchell of NPR / Next Generation Radio, Elly Yu of WABE and freelancer Katherine Ellis will facilitate. Please note an RSVP is required; the link above will take you to the registration page.

Wonder women, unite! Navigating the digital workplace Join this candid conversation on challenges faced by female leadership, plus advice on how to manage yourself and your colleagues. Amy Eisman of American University School of Communication will moderate this discussion with experienced women leaders Kat Downs of The Washington Post, Latoya Peterson of The Undefeated/ESPN and Ariana Tobin of ProPublica, who’ll be taking lots of questions. If you’ve already got one you’re ready to ask, drop it at the bottom of this post.

Digital journalism insights: Lightning talks from ONA Board candidates and VIP meetup The digital professionals running for the five open spots on ONA’s Board of Directors will discuss how they balance innovation, engagement, revenue and, of course, core journalism work. There’ll be a brief meetup after the lightning talks with a chance to ask the candidates questions. Stay tuned, as the full slate will be announced in early September.

Under the hood: Career advice for the rest of us This session is for anyone who has moved beyond the early-career stage but is not yet an executive: middle managers, people in first-time manager roles, professionals transitioning to new roles and freelancers. Our “Under the Hood” series will begin with lightning talks to introduce our experts, followed by intimate simultaneous talks in different parts of the room to dig into tough subjects. You might join Heather Bryant of Project Facet, Nasr ul Hadi of the International Center for Journalists and Stefanie Murray of the Center for Cooperative Media to talk about how to manage collaborative partnerships in one corner; or go across the room to join Versha Sharma of NowThis to commiserate about the challenges of millennials managing millennials. Emma Carew Grovum of The Daily Beast and P. Kim Bui of NowThis will be sharing the lessons they’ve learned in management. Finally, you can join ONA Board President Joshua Hatch of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Brittany Hite of The Wall Street Journal, plus Linda Shockley of the Dow Jones News Fund to brainstorm how to find top talent from diverse backgrounds.

Table Talks: Career building Consistently considered one of our most popular events, our Table Talks are designed to get into the meat of a topic, so you can get into the details of what you’ve been working on with top minds in the field. Join this two-hour intimate discussion to talk about challenges you’ve faced and strategies you’ve employed to solve them. No preparation is necessary — this is an extremely interactive event and we encourage everyone interested to participate. If you’re interested in business in revenue, we recommend that you check out some of the talks in the Business + Revenue and Career Building track. Note: Topics will be announced closer to the conference and we are not taking questions for speakers in advance, since these are participatory conversations.

The art of getting s**t done This pragmatic discussion will address the real-world obstacles we all face, both personally and professionally. Our to do list-slayers Elena Bergeron of SB Nation, Justin Ellis of ESPN and S. Mitra Kalita of CNN Digital will give insight into what it takes to achieve your goals — be they work-life balance, career advancement, starting a major project or launching a product.

Early-career tips from our MJ Bear fellows Hear about how early-career journalists can get the coveted “yes” from newsroom leadership on their ideas, make creative projects happen and navigate potential career pitfalls from our latest class of MJ Bear fellows. These early-career journalists will also describe their innovative work in independent, community and corporate news. The Fellows will be announced in early September.

Hunting, gathering and accounting: Freelance survival skills For those new to freelancing or freelancers who need better organization, learn best practices on tough topics like how much time to devote to developing new clients and marketing yourself and how to avoid making tax time an accounting mess from experienced freelancers Katherine Lewis and Rob Pegoraro. This session will offer extra Q&A time to cover this broad topic. If you’ve got questions that you want to be sure that they address, add them at the bottom of this post.

No, you’re a lying werewolf You may have already played Werewolf — a card game that grown steadily in popularity among the journalism community. In this playful Saturday afternoon session, ONA Board member David Cohn of Advance Publications and Robert Hernandez of the University of Southern California will discuss the techniques behind the game, and why there’s actually deep journalistic lessons buried in its strategy.

What questions about career building do you have that you’d like addressed at ONA17?

You can ask speakers questions ahead of time to help shape the conversation. If you’re curious about an emerging trend, want to know more about a topic or are hoping that speakers will dig into something during their session, now’s your chance to post a question below. We’re thrilled to be using Hearken to make this happen!

Laura handles ONA's public communications. She is also a journalist, photographer and copyeditor and prides herself on her ability to perform nearly any task in a newsroom. She lives in Los Angeles.