My passion for journalism started early in my college career. I loved writing before college, so when I saw a sign for the first school newspaper meeting of the semester, I had to go. Little did I know that two years later, I would be Co-Editor of the paper and that putting out a bi-weekly student newspaper would be at the top of my priority list.
When I first started, I didn’t know a lot about writing articles or AP Style, but after writing for the school newspaper and taking an Intro to Journalism class the spring of my freshman year, I knew it was something that I was interested in. I declared my minor in Journalism freshman year and have been more involved in the newspaper than I ever thought I would be.
My first journalism internship was at the local Staten Island newspaper, the Advance. I took it for non-credit spring of freshman year, and although I only went one day a week, I learned a lot about how a real newspaper worked, and strengthened my writing and interviewing skills, especially after writing countless obituaries (a common assignment for interns). At the Advance, I also got to help the Web Desk and learned how to add photo galleries and stories on the newspaper’s website.
My interest for online journalism and social media sparked later in my college career, and I started to learn more about sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Klout, and other online media tools.
I did an internship for an online nonprofit called Everyone Is Gay in the fall of junior year. The nonprofit focuses on helping teens and young adults in the LGBTQ community, as well as educating schools and colleges across America. I assisted in video transcribing, converting their information from Tumblr to WordPress, and other social media tasks.
I interned for O, The Oprah Magazine during my senior year. It was a new form of journalism for me. I was used to newspapers, and this was a magazine. Less hard-pressing news and more features and advice columns. It wasn’t a glamorous job and I mostly helped with the online version of the magazine. But I still gained a lot of skills. I kept track of all the public relations firms for each brand and company that the magazine worked with. I learned how to be precise and the best ways to communicate with others. I had to use time management skills and organize all of my projects and spreadsheets. It was a great experience overall.
But no internship has given me the experience that I have received from being the Co-Editor of my school newspaper. I am ultimately in charge of every newspaper decision, of every article published, and of every page designed. I have learned how to write better, design quality pages, edit stories, use AP style, how to make ethical decisions, and so much more.
I continued to expand my skills and experiences as a journalist by interning at the Staten Island Advance, full time, upon graduation. But this time, I was designing news pages and copy editing print versions. It was a lot more exciting than the web version. I really learned the most important rules about design, and also have become great at editing, as well as writing headlines. It’s never a dull job and I love every second of being a journalist.
My ultimate dream is to be an international journalist and report on issues around the globe. My passion for community service and human rights influence this dream, but it is my love of writing and informing others that really sparks my passion for journalism.