Unlike some visual journalists, I didn’t initially start out working in multimedia. My journey to the world of multimedia was a winding path with a lot of twists and turns (including a brief pit stop as a copy editor). I thought I should start off this blog with a longer introduction about me.
When I was about 7, I told anyone who would listen that when I grew up, I wanted to be a “book writer and illustrator” (I forgot that my artistic skills are limited to stick figures). As the years went on, I shifted focus for a while and in middle school was convinced I wanted to be a lawyer, probably human rights — what can I say? I’ve always wanted to single-handedly save the world. For the longest time, I had it all planned out. I was going to major in political science with a minor in history. I was going to go to Georgetown Law School, work in D.C. and then eventually become a partner in my dad’s law firm. I was clearly a very ambitious 12 year-old.
My senior year of high school, at the advice of a counselor, I started looking into journalism programs. I will forever be grateful to that counselor because her simple suggestion forever altered the course of my life in the best way possible. I fell in love with journalism whole-heartedly. It’s a wonderful moment when you realize you passion and your place in the world.
When I came to Penn State, I was determined to go the print route. Nothing was better than the smell of newspaper or the chalky feel of newsprint staining my fingers. I immediately signed up for the campus newspaper and put my secondary political science major to use by writing about student government and administration. At the time, I was firmly entrenched in the print culture. I was always interested in multimedia, but I really placed more emphasis on the print route. Although I’ll always wish I had gotten into multimedia earlier, my print focus really forced me to become a strong writer, which in turn, made be a better journalist.
After a very rough semester as a copy editor, I realized that the campus paper was no longer the right fit for me. I was burned out, and I was starting lose a little bit of the original passion I had for journalism. I had gleaned all I could, and it was time to find my next adventure. On a whim, I had decided to take an advanced multimedia production class, which ended up being the best decision of my college career. I fell in love with multimedia and was reminded why I got into journalism in the first place.
There will always be a very special place in my heart for traditional print journalism, but I think there’s so many more ways to tell a story, and isn’t that what journalism is all about? Telling the stories of those around us?
A few multimedia classes, an internship and a freelancing gig later, I feel like I’m finally at a place in my journalism career where I know exactly what I want to do and where I want to go. As a graduating senior, I’m facing that terrifying process of finding a job and figuring out what I want to do with my life. I’ve been exploring multimedia jobs and hopefully, in two and a half months, I’ll be packing up my 2008 Toyota Camry and heading off into the sunset to Washington, D.C.
I don’t know a lot about what the future, but no matter what, I’ll keep telling stories.