It’d be difficult to condense everything I’ve learned this semester into a simple, coherent article.
For the past 15 weeks, I’ve spent virtually every minute of every day learning: Learning to manage reporters in the newsroom, learning HTML markup, learning to work as a group on a tight deadline. It’s been a difficult road, but this has easily been the most rewarding semester I’ve had on campus.
I’m still married to the Columbia Missourian, working as an assistant city editor for Elizabeth Brixey and the education team. As a group of nearly 20 reporters, we’ve had our ups and downs. Whether it’s been writing tough corrections or conquering difficult stories, the team has been there for each other and taught me volumes about becoming a better writer, editor and leader.
In another challenge, working with Tom Warhover and Jacqui Banaszynski for our capstone project was a tremendous experience learning to define a group objective, set realistic goals and work cohesively to actually move an idea forward. And it seems our class idea for a symposium is even gaining some traction with important people (who have money).
Not to mention that I’ve learned a thing or two about HTML/CSS coding and public speaking — skills that’ll make me a better journalist and both of which I’ve written about before.
Taking on a full class schedule and editing has been daunting, but it was worth every ounce of personal and professional experience. I suppose it makes this winter break even more soothing, especially with graduation day looming over next semester.
Apologies for burying the lead, but I’m also pleased to announce that I know my plans for next summer. Following my graduation in May, I have the opportunity to take my dream internship and return to my hometown.
For 10 weeks I’ll be a metro desk intern at The Kansas City Star, where I’ll be covering the city I grew up in, writing general assignment stories long and short (maybe even for the front page). It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn’t be more honored to write for the newspaper I grew up reading.
First things first, though. In the spring I’ll return to a full slate of classes — including Investigative Reporting with Mark Horvit — and another semester as an assistant city editor for the education team.
Good luck, man, but working in The Star’s newsroom is like entering a horrible pit of despair populated by the living dead. Give it ten weeks. You’ll figure it out.
Hell, you won’t need two weeks.