How to Find Ideas for
Your Profile Story
By Prof. Mark Grabowski
Talk to strangers
• Get out of your dorm room or house. Chat up strangers.
Start a conversation with the teen bagging your
groceries, the woman mixing up your latte or the student
in front of you in the cafeteria line. Everyone has a story
to tell. Strive to talk to someone new everyday.
• Who are people talking about
at parties, in the school
cafeteria, in dorm hallways?
There’s probably at least one
thing you’ve overheard this
past week about someone
doing something noteworthy or
interesting that could make a
good profile story.
• At school, in the public library, in grocery
stores, etc. You might see an interesting event
being organized and it might be worth
profiling the organizer.
Utilize social media
• Mine social networks such as Facebook and
Twitter to find out who people are talking
Read alumni updates
• For schools you attended or programs you
were involved with. Alumni often send in brief
notes about their accomplishments and what
they’ve been up to. There may be someone
who’s done something newsworthy.
See what other media are covering
• For example, Newsday last
year had a cover story about
an Adelphi alum who won a
contest to produce a Super
Bowl commercial. A student
journalist could have profiled
him, focusing on how his
Adelphi education shaped his
• Also, look at the university’s
press releases. There are lots
of people doing great things
who could be great to profile.