Majoring in business, I thought that my extracurricular activities should center mostly around my major and help me find my concentration. Thus, I spent the first semester of freshman year going to various activities and general body meetings (GBMs) of various organizations: Undergraduate Marketing Organization (UMO), Introductory Finance Society (IFS), and case competitions. Trying out these clubs were important, but I overlooked the value of one of my passions: writing. Once the new semester rolled in, a friend encouraged me to join The Tartan, Carnegie Mellon’s student-run newspaper. I decided that there was no harm in trying, so I decided to submit my first article.
Little did I know that this article would shift my life to the extent it has now.
Fast-forward to October 2017. I was selected as one of two contributors at The Tartan selected to go to Dallas for the National College Media Convention. I still want to continue to invest my time predominately on business, especially marketing, but I would have never imagined that writing editorials would get me so far either.
Ed Lavandera of CNN
Dale Hansen, Sportscaster on ABC’s Dallas affiliate WFAA
Hugh Aynesworth, journalist renown for his coverage of the JFK assassination
Finally, Bob Schieffer of CBS.
Of course, I gained many hard skills from this conference, all of which I hope to be able to incorporate in the newsroom once I return, and I obviously had the time of my life meeting and talking to some of my favorite journalists.
However, my biggest lesson from this conference was that one should not be discouraged from trying something new in fear that it is irrelevant to whatever track one is currently on. I thought that I had to choose to invest in journalism or business, but I had not considered the possibility of merging the two. The skills I learned in the classroom were often transferrable (and vice versa): being able to connect with consumers not only helped me in marketing, but it also helped me in writing articles and their corresponding headlines. Creating a happy and productive newsroom called for many skills from organizational behavior. I witnessed firsthand the importance of analytics in observing articles’ success. Just as the possibilities for both journalism and business are limitless, so are the combinations of the two fields. I would have never guessed that these two worlds would coalesce so nicely, but I am thankful that I took the chance and have been given this opportunity to expand my horizons.