Master’s Matters: Purpose behind my graduate school journey

When I started college in 2003, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life… well at least not with my career.  I’ve always had a love for writing. I never knew just how much it would become part of my life. My sophomore year of college came fast and I haIMG_1696d to declare a major. So, I took one of those assessments and when the results came back, I was pointed in the direction of the communications building… and I never looked back.

Since getting into news management… something that’s been a little heartbreaking is watching younger journalists be disappointed, by what they thought their first news job would be. It’s something I first saw in Texas and it’s what inspired me to get my master’s degree. I want to help mold our future journalists… by reaching them and teaching them while they are still in the classroom.

A lot of times the disappointment… boils down to unrealistic expectations of what the business is like. I know there are some GREAT professors out there. I know a lot are people who were once in the business and have now dedicated their lives to teaching. The problem though, this business is constantly changing and sometimes people fail to keep up.

When you first get into this industry, most people do not realize that the first year is going to be tough. I’m not saying you’re going to be miserable the entire time. Or even ignoring the fact that some people have found their first jobs to be a breeze. There’s just a lot of on the job learning, that some people are not prepared for. You spend your first six months to a year trying to figure it all out. Eventually you get the hang of it and things are a little easier… but it’s a grind that never stops.

While many of us have made it on the other side, there are some who give up before they give a career in journalism a real chance. I want to be someone who gets ahead of that. I want to be the person who brings the voice of realism into the classroom. If we’re being honest, every day I’m teaching… it’s part of the territory in a small market newsroom. It’s also something that can be so rewarding. The ND job can be tough, but I personally find joy in watching my team grow. I love to see them push themselves and each other. I love seeing someone that had a hard Monday, come back on Tuesday ready to win the day.

Now, while I definitely have this desire to teach… I have no desire to leave this industry any time soon. I certainly think as time goes on (maybe not right now) there will be time for me to do both. I’m excited about where our industry is going. I know our future journalists are going to do great things and I can’t wait to see what’s next.


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