“Ask an Alum” Journalism student to Non-Profit Program Manager

Joseph C. Denton graduated from University of Washington-Seattle in 2016 with a degree in Journalism. While at UW, Joseph built his network by being involved in many different opportunities &  internships on campus. Joseph now resides in Tacoma and works for Sound Outreach as a Program Manager, Program Developer, Fundraiser, and Legislative Advocate. Joseph also has a variety of creative endeavors including being a Clothing Designer, Interior Designer, Photographer, and a builder of wooden sailing canoes. Feel free to connect with Joseph on LinkedIn or email him at cdenton575@gmail.com to connect about his career.

We asked Joseph some questions about his career journey, and what advice he would give to help launch his fellow huskies to success! Here is what Joseph had to say:

In what ways did your UW education support or advance your career?

The title of Bachelors Degree from University of Washington looks good on a resume and institutional learning is educational and beneficial. However, it was more about the exploration of different paths, developing my initial mentors, and taking the initiative to learn what I wanted that produced the highest yield. Displaying my authentic self, addressing my insecurities of inadequacy, taking the risks of vulnerability, and processing failure that ultimately helped shaped me.

What extracurricular opportunities did you take advantage of while at UW?

I was involved in a Legislative Internship, I interned for our Marketing Department, I took several classes at our library to learn photography, video, editing, and website design. I signed up for art workshops, and explored environmental science trips. I participated in our UW Veteran Center. I also wrote freelance articles for a local publication and made videos for another UW department. If I had the luxury of living near campus, I would have joined some clubs and played organized sports. Take as many opportunities to learn and explore as possible, because what I’m finding is that every one of those skills and experiences have come back full circle to serve me now.

How is your current career the same or different than what you thought it would be when you began college?

I wanted to land a creative job, and develop human services programs while working as a counselor as a side gig. However, the creative firms weren’t hiring me and non profits were. Honestly, it was my natural fit and is now my main dish, while I have total creative freedom as my side dish.

What is something you wish you knew about finding a career while you were an undergrad?

Retaining information is cool and all, but experience is everything. Degrees mean something to people with degrees, so get them too, but start stacking your resume with volunteer work, internships, group affiliations, and service positions today. Specifically, find an area of interest, and google search it. Physically go to these places and ask questions. Call people on the phone until they answer and ask to meet them. Your aim is to get involved at the ground level and find mentors to help you grow.

What advice do you have for current students looking at stepping into your career path?

Humble yourself to the possibility of taking an entry level position in your desired field, and be adaptable to change. Also, take time to be introspective and find out what excites you in life, learn how to survive and become fully self-supported, and stack yourself up with some challenges. If you love doing something, no matter how outside the box it seems, and you master that skill, it will materialize monetarily for you.

What are top skills your industry is looking for in new hires?

The ability show up on time, prepared, and having a positive attitude will set you apart from the pack. Consistently solid work and a good attitude do wonders when people are discussing you outside of your presence. Two simple skills that will set you up for success are “always be 15 minutes early” and “finish the job without excuses.” That’s it. You’ll kill it, as most employers just need reliable employees who are competent and dependable.

Joseph’s Blueprint

Click Here to Discover Joseph’s Blueprint to success.

Want to learn more about the Non-Profit sector? Apply for the mentoring program!

Is it time to elevate your professional skills? Looking for a way to get insider knowledge around the roles and diversity of a dynamic workplace? If so, you are invited to apply to the Non-Profit Mentorship Program. Through a partnership with various area non-profits, the UW Career & Internship Center, and C21/College of Arts & Sciences, students will be matched with mentors at local non-profit agencies to explore the world of work through the lens of organizations working to support and better our communities.

Program Overview

  • Students will meet with their non-profit mentor during the spring quarter of 2019.
  • Explore topics related to professional preparation and growth, networking and feedback.
  • Gain insight and guidance about career paths based on goals, skills, background, strengths and personality.
  • All meetings will take place at non-profit locations in the Seattle area, which will be selected in part based on proximity and ease to mass transit.


  • This program is only open to students majoring in the College of Arts & Sciences (UW Seattle campus)
  • For a list of Arts & Sciences majors, check here 
  • Students must be declared in an Arts & Sciences major before the start of the mentorship program
  • Must have completed 3 quarters at UW or transferred to UW with the equivalent credits (priority to juniors graduating between December 2019-August 2020)
  • Must be enrolled at UW Seattle campus

Ready to apply?

  • Click here to submit your initial application, due by no later than 11:59pm on February 3rd
  • First round applications will undergo an initial screening, and selected applicants will be invited to complete a second phase of the application process. During this second phase applicants will have the opportunity to identify the general areas of non-profit work they are most interested in (e.g. community health, environmental resources, etc.) to facilitate mentor matching.
  • Applicants will be selected and notified by early March


By Izzy Wroblewski
Izzy Wroblewski