Take initiative

February 9th, 2012

Since last week’s issue of The Carroll News came out, I feel like I’ve had a revelation. Being that I’m going to be a senior before you know it, I believe it’s my duty to start passing along my knowledge to the rest of the John Carroll University community.

Last Thursday, I went to the career fair with every other JCU student trying to figure out his or her future (which is pretty much every upperclassmen).

But, when I walked into Dolan Science Center that afternoon, I couldn’t help but feel a little overwhelmed. Was this natural? I think so. Making a good first impression on a prospective employer is crucial, and there were a lot of them I was going to have to make.

As I went from table to table, I got more and more comfortable, partly because whenever an employer asked about my experience, I could confidently say, “I’m managing editor of our student-produced, award-winning newspaper.”

“Wow,” was usually their reply.

At a school the size of JCU – a little more than 3,000 students – it’s hard to produce a newspaper of our quality on a weekly basis. Yet, we continually do just that.

Just last year, we won 11 national awards in a variety of categories, including best news and feature page design, breaking and news stories, column writing and feature writing. The CN was honored as the second best non-daily college newspaper in all of Ohio this year, after winning the top honor every year since I have been here.

Part of the reason I like working for The Carroll News is that I have learned more about JCU than I probably would have ever known. Being a staff writer, Campus Spotlight editor, Campus editor and, now, managing editor means it’s important to know what’s going on around campus. Part of the job also involves meeting lots of administrators, community leaders, University Heights residents and students, which I think is really cool.

On Tuesday nights, if you walk by the newsroom, you’ll find us all working hard to put out a great product. Sometimes, because we also keep busy class and social schedules on top of our newspaper responsibilities, we’re in there late finishing the week’s issue. The staying-up part might be hard to fathom. But once you pick up the paper on Thursday morning knowing you played a big part in its production, you feel a sense of accomplishment. You can point to your article or your layout design and say, “Yeah, I did that, and it looks awesome.”

Where do our former staff members end up? One is covering Rick Santorum as an NBC News campaign embed, while another is a reporter for a national political news website. Our managing editor from last semester, Jennifer Holton, is currently an intern at a national cable public affairs channel.

So, why should you join The CN? We’re always looking for new members. At some point, we’re all going to be moving on, and a new group will need to take the reins. We also really like what we’re doing, meaning the newsroom is a great environment in which to work.

When you go to the career fair, what are you going to tell the employers at each table? That you got an A in journalism class? That you’re going to graduate with honors? No, they’re going to want to see what you’ve done. How are you taking what you’ve learned in the classroom and applying it?

We’re getting our work published every week. What are you waiting for?

My advice: Don’t wait until you show up at the career fair to discover this. Take the initiative now – my email is right below.