I will never forget sitting down in an interview for a position as a writer in the Arts and Humanities section of the MSU Reporter.
It was my second year of college, I was living in a 5 bedroom apartment that was a brisk 10-minute walk away from campus. 7 if I hustled.
That day, I hustled. I was on the prowl, confident, because I was wearing a button up shirt for the first time since Christmas. Armed with the naive confidence only allotted to a 19-year-old wearing a black belt and brown dress shoes, I sat across from my interviewers, ready to impress them with my writing ability and prowess.
It wasn’t until about the third question when I realized that I was actually in an interview to be an advertising sales representative, and that my paperwork had been mixed up before I got there.
“At this point, I feel I should mention that I actually applied to be a writer,” I said, slightly embarrassed, “but I am a business major, so this might actually be a better fit for me.”
So we continued the interview, they offered me the job, and thus began a journey that would result in a 3 year career of working at the MSU Reporter.
After a year of attempting to sell advertising then moving into the newly created “media editor” position, I put my name in the ring to be Editor in Chief.
It was me up against another very well-qualified candidate, and I was absolutely thrilled and honored to be offered the job.
During my tenure as editor, I have watched the newspaper grow and change in such amazing ways that I cannot begin to quantify.
My first decision as editor was to hire a news editor, and without hesitation, I chose the marvelously mean Jenna Peterson. Through our time during the next year, Jenna was able to balance my flighty airhead out with ease. She was able to effortlessly improve the story content put into the paper, simply by looking at it with her cunning eyes.
The decision that was made for me was having Mansoor Ahmad as the photo editor. There aren’t enough words to adequately put into context the effort, skill, and time that this man has put into the Reporter. If there was a single person who made the Reporter what it was, it was Mansoor. Whether it was watching him accept the multitudes of award-winning photos in our paper, or angrily staring at him at 4 a.m. on a production night while listening to Coldplay on repeat, I always knew that Mansoor would always work about 300 times as hard as anyone else in the room.
There are an immense amount of people to thank for their support during my time at the Reporter. Robb Murray, for the sage editorial advice that comes from his immense age. Jane Tastad, for keeping me on track always (especially when it came to my timecard). Dana Clark, for tirelessly working on advertising materials.
People outside our office that I owe an immense amount of gratitude include, but certainly are not limited to, Rachael Hanel, Shirley Piepho, David Cowan, Vice-President David Jones, President Edward Inch, the Student Government, and so many more people, that if I forgot to mention, I owe a massive hug.
I am so immensely proud of the work that we have done here. Even better than being proud of that, I feel so incredibly confident passing the reins to my successor Julia Barton. I know that she, along with the incoming staff, will bring this place to soaring new heights.
As I close the last page of my time here at the Reporter, I am saddened to step out of the office for the final time, but at the same time, so incredibly excited to see what comes next. Perhaps at my next life-changing interview, I will remember to match my shoes to my belt.
Write to Maxwell Mayleben at Maxwell.Mayleben@mnsu.edu