Josh Hicks

Year:
2003
Major:
English
Graduate/Professional School:
M.A., Stanford University
Residence:
Washington, D.C.
Career:
Reporter, The Washington Post
In a nutshell, what do you do?
I anchor The Washington Post’s Federal Eye blog and write for the newspaper, focusing on accountability journalism and feature reporting.
What are you working on right now?
Blogging about news as it happens, cranking out daily newspaper reports and juggling a few in-depth reporting projects.
Why do you love what you do?
I write for a living, hold authorities accountable and learn a great deal every day. Also because the White House answers my questions.
How did Albion help you get there?
It’s all about the liberal arts education. It taught me to think and learn, which is critical in journalism. Familiarity with Albion professors also helped—it’s one of the bonuses of small class sizes. I reached out to Ian MacInnes for a grad-school recommendation nine years after taking his course on Milton in the English Department. Luckily, he still remembered me, and his letter helped me earn a spot in Stanford’s graduate journalism program, where I polished my skills and met the connections that brought me to the Post
For me, Albion...
...is a place where I explored, found my passion and began working toward my dreams. The faculty members taught me to think critically, helped me develop new skills and came through when I needed them. Overall, the school delivered on its promise of individual attention and a well-rounded education. It was a great place for personal development and relationship building.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I always wanted to make a living as a writer, but I took an indirect path toward that goal and made the most of it. After graduating from Albion, I packed a bag and bought a one-way ticket to New Zealand, where I worked as a commercial fisherman and fruit picker—writers need experience. After that, I returned stateside and held a series of manual-labor and restaurant jobs before moving to Seattle and working for suburban newspapers. From there, I went to grad school, interned with The Philadelphia Inquirer and landed a spot at The Washington Post.

Take It Further: The Post's Federal Eye blog, English Department