I’m going to be your mother here, in some aspects.
No, I’m not going to call you at the most inopportune times to pester you about your grades. I won’t tell you to be careful when going out to parties. I certainly won’t give you unconditional love.
What I will do, however, is inform you that the only way you’re going to do well out in the real world is by getting involved.
This can reference any organization on campus, really, but for all-intensive purposes, I’m going to shamelessly plug the Royal Purple – and the fact that we have close to a dozen positions up for grabs.
The turnover is high is semester because we have a lot of students holding those positions graduating in a month, therefore sending the rest of the staff into a frenzy to find a newly opened position for themselves.
So, I’ll take a little time to debunk a few myths for you, and if you feel like confident enough, check out either Kyle or Julie Ridgeman’s email on joining the staff. You can always get ahold of me as well, to ask questions.
Myth #1: I don’t have enough experience to be on the RP.
Take a look at your surroundings. You are on a college campus, which is by nature, a learning institution. Which means that the RP is here to serve as practical experience so you can develop your skills to gain that experience.
Do we like people to walk into their position feeling prepared and having a little knowledge on their section or role? Absolutely. However, so few journalism majors leave their last journalism class having no more knowledge with them when they started, so that’s an unrealistic precedent to hold people to.
To be candid here? Even the staff isn’t perfect. I have my days where not enough experience could have prepared me for the situations I was put in. You grow as you go.
Myth #2: I can’t be an editor without being a staff writer first, so I don’t qualify.
I’m living, breathing, smart-mouthed proof this isn’t true.
August 3, 2014. I kept my phone within inches of me at all times, a few feet away if I was gutsy. My confidence shrank as the clock ticked past four, five, six p.m.
They hadn’t liked me and they just didn’t feel like calling to say, no, we’re not really interested. Maybe join as a staff writer and apply for Photo Editor when you have more experience.
I got the call at 7 p.m. He’d had a hectic day, forgetting to call me in the process.
And with that, I had thrown myself onto of journalists all at least a year older than me, with two, three, four times that in experience.
Was starting my collegiate journalism career the day I stepped on campus always easy? No. Did I qualify to be in a position where I could learn and grow? Hell yes.
Myth #3: I can get a job without it and be just fine.
I have to admit, you’re partially right on this one – Taco Bell doesn’t require you to work at a newspaper in order to fold up chalupas. (This goes the other way, too. My journalism degrees aren’t going to help me learn to fold up a taco like a normal human being.)
If you’re serious about journalism as a future career, you’re going to need an internship to show you can work out in the real world. Real-life editors want to see your success and abilities outside of a campus bubble. No-brainer.
To get that internship locked down, however, you’re going to have to have had a few bylines to your name first.
And sorry, Dr. Kates, but a synthetic story about Kittatinny and Mayor Petykiewicz is not going to impress a newspaper’s group editor. You need to prove you had the drive and dedication to step outside of your classwork and put that education to good use.
Yes, while I love spending my days and nights running back and forth between the Royal Purple office and the UWW-TV edit suites, I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say there’s a grand scheme involved with it. Each and every night, I’m evaluating if what I’ve done the day prior is still keeping me on track for my strategy.
I’m out here plotting to beat all of you to the race to Craig Schreiner’s studio for the Hired Before Graduation. Give me a run for my money, literally. Join the RP. Mother knows best.