My Journey with Journalism

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Me in Bernkastel Kues, Germany

I am a Mass Communications major on the Journalism track at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. I am the Tuesday Managing Editor for The Voice and an International Peer Mentor.

I love to read everything from classics to high fantasy, write creatively and for journalism and travel anywhere my bank account will allow. My dream is to be a reporter writing for news sources in Germany.

I have been interested in Journalism since middle school when I discovered our school paper. When I got to high school I took journalism classes for my sophomore and junior years and an independent study my senior year. All the while, I was working with other members of the paper to create stories and layout our paper, The Devil’s Herald.

Picking Bloomsburg University was easy. They had a paper I could work on, it was the perfect sized school for me, and the Mass Communications department was supposed to be good. I started writing for The Voice right away. My first article was a review of an on-campus theatrical performance that, surprisingly, caused some conflict between me and the cast. busted-article

I didn’t let that get to me though. I knew that sometimes, as a journalist, you have to make some waves and I felt encouraged by the idea that my writing was able to make others care enough to passive aggressively bite back at my roommate and I.

From there it was all uphill. I continued with my classes and various clubs while providing content for my editors at The Voice. For two years I wrote almost every week, slowly building my portfolio with carefully cut clippings.

At the end of the spring semester of my sophomore year I received an email from the Opinions and Editorial editor. She was ready to move up to a higher position and was looking for someone to take her place. She wanted to bring me in as an assistant so I could learn from her.

I was overjoyed. I missed laying out and editing a paper. Going from editor of my high school paper to a lowly staff writer of my college paper was a bittersweet move down the ladder. I knew that I’d be getting valuable experience writing and building on my reporting skills, but at the same time I longed for the days spent making sure every line was where is was supposed to be and that every picture had a proper caption.

As an assistant I brushed up on my Adobe InDesign knowledge; I had already learned the program extensively in high school. I made friends with the other editors, and I continued to write.

That summer I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad at Trier University in Trier, Germany. I went to study the German language but I learned way more than just grammar and nouns. I met people who I still connect with, I found a love for the German culture and, most importantly, I discovered a wanderlust in me that inspired me to dream of a career in Germany.

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This was in a small German town, Bernkastel Kues, located on the Moselle river. I am second from the left and surrounded with some fast made friends, who I still contact.

I desire to travel the world and to learn and experience everything I can. That’s one of the draws of journalism for me. The idea that you can learn about anything and go almost anywhere. You can meet new people and create networks and connections that last.

Coming back to Bloomsburg was strange. It was a sort of reverse culture shock. But I had a new goal. I wanted to do the best I could to increase my chances of an opportunity to be more of a global citizen.

I decided to become an International Peer Mentor for Bloomsburg University. My mentee, ironically enough, was from Trier and we were able to meet while I was over there. I was excited by the chance to help a foreign student succeed in my home.

Along with my excitement for the mentor position, I was also starting my first semester as an assistant for The Voice.

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This is some of The Voice staff. We posed for a picture to go with an article detailing our recently won awards. I am second from the right on the bottom row.

I learned more about the inner workings of a professionally run newspaper. The highs, the lows and all the struggle that goes into making a proper paper. At the end of the fall semester of my junior year I was elected into the Opinions and Editorial editor position.

My time as an assigning editor was a blast. It was so stressful but extremely satisfying. My very first week in the position felt like I was thrown to the wolves. I had no staff writers under me and no one submitting articles to fill the two pages I had. I published four articles that week as well as wrote an article for one of the other sections since that editor was in the same situation as me.

While needing to fill two pages all by myself was difficult, it proved that I am capable of the job. I was able to show myself and the other editors that I am dedicated to making the Opinions and Editorial section as successful as I can,  no matter what obstacles stand in my way.

The 2016-2017 school semester was a trying one. Full of endless hoops to jump through. But my hard work paid off when my fellow editors voted me into the Tuesday Managing Editor position.

Now I continue to work with the paper and I am still learning new things every week. My writing has improved exponentially, and my ability to work on my own and with a team has only strengthened. I have one more year at Bloomsburg and I aim to make the most of it.