I’m a multimedia journalist, social media specialist and personal branding blogger. I recently relocated to the New York metro area after working as a social media producer for Gannett in Phoenix, Arizona and currently do social media consulting, which has included freelance work as the community manager for Spunge.

I earned my master’s degree in multimedia journalism in December 2010 from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix, after spending my final semester working full time as a digital reporter and multimedia producer at the Cronkite News Service/Cronkite News Online.

I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where I unwittingly entertained my parents (but clearly annoyed my sister Martha) with what they called my “story of the day.” I completed my undergraduate degree in advertising in 1989 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communications – ironically, right along side that same sister.

In my first career, I worked in media planning at advertising agencies in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles for clients such 7UP, Hallmark and Subaru. The experience I gained working with client’s market research provided an early glimpse into my later-revealed interest in sifting through content to find people’s stories.

I began my second career in the late 1990s as a stay-at-home mom while living in Manhattan. My husband’s job took our family from New York to Chicago, St. Louis, Phoenix and now New York, where we live now with our two sons, Luke and Noah. I treasure this cross-country odyssey because it’s given me insights into regional differences and each city’s distinctive personality, as well as an appreciation, understandably, for social media’s power to keep us all connected.

My latest journey, that of becoming a multimedia journalist, came after exploring careers in Spanish education, photography and interior design. The decision to go back to school finally came when my sister/j-school partner-in-crime challenged me to accept that despite my other interests, I am, in my heart, a journalist: “You have a need to seek information and a need to share it.” (By the way, how lucky am I that as a online journalist, those other interests only help me do better work!)

EMAIL: jennifergaiehellum@gmail.com

TWITTER: @jghellum

LINKEDIN: Jennifer Gaie Hellum

SPUNDGE: Jennifer Gaie Hellum