EL PASO, Texas — It is The Prospector tradition that the graduating seniors write a goodbye column. So, now that my time here at UTEP is coming to a close, I can’t help but take a look back at my journey.
Years ago, if anyone asked me what I was going to do with my life, I would not have had an answer. But now that I am graduating, I am excited to say that I have an answer to that question –a journalist.
There are many people out there that will say that journalism is a dying field and that the odds of finding a job are slim. The truth is that journalism is an evolving field and this is a very exciting time to be entering the workforce.
With all the developments in new media, there are actually quite a bit of opportunities for those of us who have adapted to the changing field. Am I worried that I won’t find a job in a newsroom? No.
UTEP has come a long way in trying to ensure that journalism students are able to walk away with the skills needed to be competitive out in the real world. With opportunities like being able to work in newsrooms like The Prospector and now Borderzine.com, students are able to practice what they learn and have access to equipment like video and still cameras, audio equipment and editing software that professional newsrooms are using everyday.
In addition to that access, UTEP journalism students are also always encouraged to apply for internships. Luckily for us, UTEP has several strong partnerships with newsrooms around the country that are ready and willing to take us in and give us the chance to work with them as fellow reporters and photographers.
I can attest to the fact that without these internships, the chance of finding a job does become more difficult. Editors don’t want to hire someone fresh out of college without newsroom experience. The more internships, the better the chances of being able to get that first job.
Internships are also a great way to experience the industry first hand. How will you know if this is what you want to do with the rest of your life if you have never stepped foot into a professional newsroom?
I can say that after completing three of them from the Pacific Northwest to Washington DC, that yes, this is exactly what I want from a career.
I have spent four years working for The Prospector and there have been some good times, some stressful times and some exciting times. But throughout it all, this newsroom has helped me spread my wings and do what I love.
So, to all of my fellow student colleagues and Prospector staff –you know who you are–, thank you and good luck on your journeys.
My college experience would not have been the same without being a part of this newsroom. It can sometimes be a thankless job, but it’s worth every minute.
Editor’s note: This story was previously published on The Prospector.