by Josh Cozine
"Veronica Graff is a recent graduate from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with an interest in business reporting. But she didn’t always hold these interests.
Born in Newport Beach, California, Graff grew up a daughter to two immigrant parents, learning to speak both of their native languages, Italian and Spanish, before learning English in preschool. She picked up French during high school, and also started thinking about her career.
Toying with the idea of becoming a music producer or fashion designer during high school, after some background research — that would later impress her journalism professors and editors — she didn’t want to risk becoming another starving-artist type and started looking into other careers.
One day, her mom said to her “you would make a fantastic journalist,” and between her junior and senior high school years she started looking into journalism schools, eventually being accepted into the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Her father was an avid day trader among other things, and being inundated with all the different stock market values and numbers made her want to get into the market — which she says she has since done to some success — and after a few terms into college, helped her decide on a specialty in business journalism.
Before graduating with a Bachelor's degree, she worked for Cronkite News, a professional news outlet that operates through the Cronkite School. There, her editor, Venita Hawthorne James, noted her skills at research and her ability to identify an audience and speak effectively to them, finding new angles and new and interesting stories, as well as new and interesting ways to tell them. She cited stories where she created her own database drawn from the Department of Health on vaccine rates while interviewing two mothers on conflicting sides of the issues, and another where she explored the intricacies of commercial marijuana investing, where even while legal in many states, banks are still hesitant to invest.
“She’s not afraid to try different things and she’s got a strong curiosity. Those are things you want in any reporter,” James said.
Graff is excited to be joining the Dow Jones business reporting internship. After being notified that she’d been accepted she immediately quit pursuing another job lead in order to keep her summer free. She’ll be working with the Pacific Coast Business Times in Santa Barbara, just a few hours from her hometown.
As for what might come next for Graff, she said "I'm not really a plans person... It’s exciting, but kind of a downfall,” she admitted.
She did mention an interest in reporting in Israel or other conflict zones though, and in doing war correspondence with an emphasis on the economic and financial effects in or near such areas.
“There’s money in everything. There’s lots of money in war,” she said."