I still remember the day I walked into the student employment office at my undergrad institution and asked for help with finding a job on campus. It was something that I wanted, and needed. I didn’t have a car on campus my first year, so I was almost forced to work on campus. Before that day, I had applied to about 15 different positions on campus, and either got denied, or they already had someone lined up for the position. The person I spoke with told me to just keep applying, because I just never knew when a position that was for me would present itself.
By the end of my first year of undergrad, I had successfully found a job. Was it ideal? No. However, it was something that was a new experience for me, and was something I could learn from. That position was the advertising manager for the student newspaper. I had already been a staff writer for the paper, so I was able to slide right into this new position. It was something that I was able to keep until the beginning of the following semester, and then was offered more of a reporter position. From there, I found myself working my way up with the newspaper. I was assistant news editor the following year, and the year after that, I got to be managing editor. After a rough start with finding a campus job, things really worked out.
The same thing happened to me when I got accepted into Newhouse. About halfway into bootcamp, I decided to start looking for campus jobs. I had looked at everything from an assistant in the band room, to interviewing for a communications position in the technology department. Unfortunately, I was not successful with anything.
It wasn’t until a couple weeks into the fall semester, that I got an email about professors needing research assistants. I ended up applying to be Professor Greg Munno’s assistant, and was successful. I was able to jump right in with assisting him with his research. I did everything from researching scholarly articles, to analyzing and sorting results from a survey. One of the biggest things I took away from this position was learning more about the importance of objectivity in journalism. Since this position, I view journalism a lot differently, and it became something that I value even more than I did before.
By the following semester, I found myself taking up a different research opportunity with Professor Steven Pike. In this role, I’m currently assisting with the creation of a public relations textbook. I am researching campaigns and cases and breaking them down by goals, tactics, strategies and other components. Even though I’m in the magazine, news and online journalism program, I still have an interest in public relations, as that’s what I mainly did in undergrad.
Now, with just weeks away from graduation, the advice I got from the student employment office is still true. Sometimes you just never know when an opportunity will present itself. Also, when a company says no, it just gives another company the chance to tell you yes. Even though the job search can be stressful, it’s so important to remember this. If I had gotten a position in the admissions office, or in the bookstore in undergrad, I probably wouldn’t have developed my love for journalism, or for research.
When one door closes, another one opens.