WJI Alumni- Jessica Franks
Feb 23, 2017
WJI Class of 2003
Profile By: Sarah Wedel
Jessica Missions Franks grew up in Connecticut. Growing up, she was obsessed with magazines. She loved how the writing was combined with artistic designs. As Jessica prepared to enter college she wanted to study art but didn’t think she would be able to make a living with an art degree, so she majored in publishing and minored in art.
In college, Jessica interned for Greenville Magazine in Greenville, South Carolina. She worked as a writer and graphic designer for the magazine. Jessica applied to attend the World Journalism Institute her senior year of college. She was accepted and attended WJI 2003, which was held in New York City.
Jessica said she loved how intensive the WJI course was. She learned from a broad range of speakers who all had substantial experience in journalism. These speakers gave constructive criticism as well as positive feedback as they reviewed the assignments she and other students completed. Jessica said she left WJI feeling encouraged that she there was a place for her in the world of journalism.
“I came out of that experience having really positive feedback,” she said. “I didn’t feel like a poser. I knew I could actually do this and have a place in this industry.”
After WJI, Greenville Magazine hired Jessica full time where she continued to write and design. Eventually, Jessica discovered her heart was strictly in designing for magazines. She got a job as a design contractor for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in New York City where she is still working today. Jessica said she was hired for the job because the magazine editor saw she could design as well as copy edit and write headlines.
“It makes you incredible valuable to be a designer who knows how to write,” Jessica said.
Jessica said she developed her writing skills at WJI and during her time with the magazine in Greenville.
Today, Jessica lives in New York City with her husband and two sons. She continues to work for the American Society of the Mechanical Engineer as well as doing other freelance design work. Jessica also creates and sells canvas paintings on Etsy.
For more information: