In her senior year at MFS, Sade Muhammad was convinced that she would study at Syracuse University’s business school, setting aside her lifelong love of journalism. Although she loved writing, Sade felt that journalists generally did not receive the highest compensation, so it would be more practical to pursue business in college. However, her MFS senior project ended up being such an impactful experience, it spurred Sade to revisit journalism.
“My AP English teacher Katy Rinehart recommended that I get in touch with Sheryl Huggins Salomon ’83, who was an online magazine editor for NiaOnline [an online destination for and about the interests of Black women] for an internship,” said Sade. “Once I started working there, I knew that this was something I had to do forever, I loved it so much. Because the Nia team was small, I was able to write stories, create my own column, and see all parts of the business, which made me realize I could blend journalism with business.”
Sade then transferred out of the business school to Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, one of the top journalism programs in the country, to study magazine journalism and marketing. As she progressed through her undergraduate courses, Sade became excited by another facet of the journalism world — digital media.
“I was one of twelve students that were part of Syracuse’s first student social media team called #44Social,” said Sade. “We interviewed alumni, covered major campus events, tweeted news throughout the week, and we generated a lot of excitement for Syracuse. I thought the rise of social media and digital strategy was huge and it was a feature of journalism in which I was especially interested.”
After college, Sade joined the Page Program at NBCUniversal, a highly-coveted year-long rotational experience for young people interested in media. As a page, Sade became immersed in all functions of the company, from production to public relations to operations.
She then was hired by the NBC cable property Oxygen, which later merged with Bravo, and worked as a digital coordinator for three years. Sade was a lead contributor to the channel’s digital strategy and, in 2015, the Bravo digital team won an Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Multiplatform Storytelling for The Singles Project. She credited her strength as a writer as a key factor in helping her earn leadership opportunities.
“My first assignment at Bravo was to write 100-word award nominations for a few Bravo shows,” said Sade. “They were submitted to an Executive Vice President for review and, from that moment, she trusted me, which enabled me to get opportunities to get opportunities to create products, launch an influencer network, and write for the website. People trust good writers, so it’s an invaluable skill in all industries.”
Sade moved to Forbes Media in January 2016 and discovered that her current position as a content marketer perfectly blended all of her professional interests — business, journalism, and digital media. She manages digital content marketing campaigns and performance strategy for Fortune 100 financial services and technology firms on Forbes’ digital content marketing platform called BrandVoice.
Sade volunteers with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), an academic program that focuses on supporting low-income public New York City high school students for eight years. Sade acted as a mentor for two years before becoming the Marketing & Communications chair of the Junior Leadership Board.
Looking ahead, Sade hopes to stay close to writing, but perhaps in the creative writing arena.
“I originally wanted to get into journalism to be a voice for those who may not have a platform,” said Sade. “I want to tell stories about people like me, women of color or those who have African-American/Caribbean heritage. At my core, I love creative writing so maybe these stories will manifest in television or film, but anything that involves writing, I want to stay close to. I think no matter what the story is, if you know how to tell it, people will listen to good storytelling.”