Class of 2016: Victoria Whitley-Berry
Name: Victoria Whitley-Berry
Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida
Victoria Whitley-Berry ’16 said her fondest memory at Texas Christian University is one that assured her love for the Italian culture, her declared minor. When Whitley-Berry was a sophomore she lived on her own in Genova, Italy, where she took classes at I’Universita Degli Studi Di Genova. “TCU gave me the freedom to pursue my interests on my terms,” she said. “I don’t think many universities would have given me that option.”
Whitley-Berry says she was born to be a journalist, starting with her working for her high school newspaper. It was only natural for her to follow those journalistic instincts to TCU and hone her natural talent. “Jean Brown’s Reporting class was essential for me to learn the basics of our job,” she said. “She helped me tighten my writing, interview sources and just go out into the field and do traditional boots-on-the-ground reporting.”
Having graduated a few years ago, Whitley-Berry said, “I wish hadn’t put so much pressure on myself on a day-to-day basis. I should have taken some more time to myself and to relax.”
When asked if Whitley-Berry had advice for current students she said, “Don’t take yourself too seriously and if you have the resources to study aboard definitely take advantage of that while at TCU. Studying aboard in Genova was both the greatest and one of the hardest experiences I had while in college.”
While at TCU Whitley-Berry worked at KTCU as a radio deejay, interned at McClatchy Newspapers in Washington, D.C., and at KERA, NPR’s member station in Dallas. She said working for KERA solidified that she was meant to be a journalist in public radio. She even recalls the day of her graduation. She had spent most of the day worrying over her big story she was publishing on KERA.org. “Luckily, the story posted with few hiccups, and it was one I ended up being really proud of,” she said.
Whitley-Berry remembers senior year and trying to get a job after TCU. “Getting your initial job in journalism can be very difficult, especially on a national outlet, it took a lot of no’s and rejections before getting there,” she said. “I kept tally of those rejections in my journal so that one day I would be able to look back at where I started my career.”
Whitley-Berry is now a director and assistant producer for Morning Edition at NPR, a show that reaches more than 15 million listeners per week. “The Bob Schieffer College of Communication was very intentional about instilling journalistic values of truth and authenticity in their students, which is now essential to my job,” she said.
Click here for more information about the Journalism major.