Tag Archives: new opportunity

From WJMC to WJC

As soon as the plane landed, I looked out my window, saw this and knew that I was here at last. My home for the semester.

As soon as the plane landed, I looked out my window, saw this and knew that I was here at last. My home for the semester.

Staring out my window looking at the Capitol, I think back on all that has happened and can’t believe I’m actually here in Washington D.C. The last time I was in the nation’s capital marked the beginning of this blog and my “journey to journalism”…and what a journey it has been! Before the craziness that is living and studying in D.C. begins, I figured I would use this downtime to recap all the major events that led to this very moment.

WJMC

Like I said, this blog, and consequently this journey all started almost four years ago when I was invited to attend the Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC). This program gathered high school seniors from around the nation who had one thing in common – we all wanted to pursue a career in the media. That week in D.C. gave me a glimpse of the world of journalism and provided me with amazing opportunities such as hearing from successful professionals in the field from the Today show’s Hoda Kotb to film critic Kevin McCarthy. Since it was more of an academic driven program, we had some assignments and one of them included blogging about our week in D.C. Thus, my “Nothing But the Truth” blog began.

I can’t really remember if this is exactly how it went down, but I’m pretty sure I was looking up more information about WJMC when I came across something called the Washington Journalism Center (WJC). They offered a semester-long journalism program where we could take classes and intern just blocks away from the Capitol. It seemed like the perfect opportunity, but it was offered to juniors and seniors… in college. I was still in high school, so that got put on the back burner until a couple years later…

An Unexpected Guest

In my sophomore year, my journalism professor invited someone to speak to my Writing and Reporting I class. The special guest was Terry Mattingly who just happens to be the director of, yep, you guessed it, WJC. Okay, so the director of the program I was looking into two years ago comes to my classroom. That must be a sign, right? Well, at the time I honestly didn’t think so. You see, when Mattingly came to visit my class, I was in a love/hate relationship with journalism. I still wanted to pursue that major, but I was second guessing whether the hard-hitting, fast-paced, deadline news scene was right for me. No doubt, there were certain things that excited me about being a journalist, but there were also things that overwhelmed me, especially after I started realizing how much social media has changed the dynamics of journalism. I even started to consider ways I could use my degree in settings other than the newsroom. So, when we had the director of WJC visit our campus, I didn’t flood him with questions like I would usually do. I took the flyer and that was basically it. Little did I know, his visit watered a seed that grew into a determination to attend WJC no matter what the costs were… and boy, was there a cost.

The Big Move

After telling my professor about my intentions to apply for the journalism semester, I started what I thought would be a normal application process. At the beginning, everything was going well. I had started my application almost a year before it was due so I figured I had a lot of time to work out the little details along the way. However, summer of 2014 came and since I was working at a summer camp, I didn’t have much access to my computer. This put the WJC related communications between me and my school on hold. When I came back in the fall to get all the school forms signed and submitted, there was an unexpected financial issue that surfaced and, to make a long story short, there was no way I could afford going to WJC through my university. So, the first week of my junior year, I transferred to another college that had a more cooperative school policy, and moved from Texas back home to Hawaii where I took online classes for a semester. Four years and two schools later, here I (finally!) am, back where it all started. I have no idea what to expect of this semester, but after all those ups and downs in getting here, rest assured, I intend on making the best of it!


New Role. New Chapter.

For some reason, I feel like the changes in between each semester get bigger and more drastic as my time in college progresses. A week ago, I took my last final and said “goodbye” to my third semester at Houston Baptist University, and said “hello” to the biggest journalistic opportunity I’ve had since I went to WJMC. Starting next semester, I will take on my new position as editor-in-chief of The Collegian (my university’s newspaper)!

This was definitely something that came out of the blue. I can definitely say that going into this past semester, I had no idea or even intent on becoming the editor-in-chief any time soon.

While I’m definitely excited about this position, I’m also scared…to death. Now I will have to pay closer attention to the way pages are formatted and watch out for those minor, seemingly trivial errors. For example, whether or not the way I wrote “editor-in-chief” in this post is AP Style (it probably isn’t).

My first picture as a "contributing writer" for The Collegian, a year and a half ago. I was so excited just to have this notebook (it made me feel "official").

My first picture as a “contributing writer” for The Collegian, a year and a half ago. I was so excited just to have this notebook (it made me feel “official”).

As I begin to research and look at other top ranked college newspapers, I realize that there is so much one can do, but I can’t do it all. As with most big changes in life, I’ll just have to take a deep breath and take it one step at a time. I know this sounds like I’m completely terrified of this new role (and to some extent, I am) but I am also extremely grateful. Like I said earlier, this wasn’t even something that I’d dare to dream about, yet I’ve been blessed with this amazing experience of a lifetime. That said, I know some way, somehow, I will survive (oh, and it definitely helps that my fellow editors are really supportive and fun to work with!) So, buckle in cause, next year, this journey to journalism is going to get bumpy.