A Richmond College student, who has lived in and traveled the world from Colombia to Syria, is choosing an unconventional route to start his career early this spring at Vice News.
Leo Chiquillo will be leaving University of Richmond to start a full-time position in two weeks working at Vice News.
Vice News is a new global news channel that will broadcast documentaries about the world's most important, current issues. It was created by global media company Vice in December of 2013, and is set to launch this spring with news bureaus around the world from Kabul to London, Chiquillo said. Vice has sent journalists everywhere around the world, including North Korea, Kurdistan and Gaza, he said.
"I am a news junkie," Chiquillo said. "My Facebook and Twitter accounts are constantly linked to articles I find interesting from various news sources around the world that I share with friends. When I found out about Vice, I knew I wanted to work there."
Normally, Richmond students are required to complete their last eight units on campus, said Lindsey Love, associate director of academic advising. However, Chiquillo is currently looking into the possibility of finishing his last remaining credit online, he said.
"The university has been more than understanding in working with me to find the best possible solution," Chiquillo said.
After considering all the pros and cons, Chiquillo ultimately decided that being in New York for the semester and working at Vice News was the best option for developing his career as an emerging journalist.
"I've always known I wanted to work in investigative journalism and Vice News was the right fit at this time to develop those skills," Chiquillo said.
After sending in his resume and cover letter during finals week, Chiquillo interviewed with Vice during Winter Break and found out that he had been accepted to the position after New Year's, he said.
Starting this spring, Chiquillo will be working at the headquarter office located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His duties there will involve working with a team of producers on researching, pitching and developing news stories, he said.
"As of now, I am based in New York, but I hope to eventually join the film crew, which travels to investigate stories," Chiquillo said.
After graduating from boarding school in Western Massachusetts, Chiquillo took a gap year and lived in Jordan. This experience allowed him to travel around places from Syria to Vienna as a backpacker and learn more about the world, he said. Chiquillo, who was raised in Colombia, has also lived in Beirut, Lebanon, and Milan, Italy.
"I knew that I wanted to share my experiences around the world with a bigger audience than my surrounding community of friends and families," Chiquillo said. "From the injustices I have witnessed, to the places which are making progress in the global eye, I knew that the best way to share my experiences would be to write about them as a journalist."
Contact reporter Olivia Simons at firstname.lastname@example.org