Last week, I made one of the biggest decisions in my life. I signed my first full-time job contract with KELOLAND Media Group, a news station in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Initially applying for the summer internship position, which many postgraduate students do, I had a phone call that changed my life. After speaking with the executive producer, she encouraged me to apply for the full-time multimedia journalist spot instead.
After the first call, I was absolutely shocked. As a journalism student who has written for print for the majority of her college career, this opportunity was more than I could’ve ever imagined. This would mean I would be an actual reporter on television having the opportunity to share people’s stories.
I think a lot of times we as students “lowball” ourselves thinking that we may not have what it takes to apply for our dream jobs. Yet this opportunity showed me that being confident in the work that you’ve published and having confidence in yourself can make all the difference.
Looking back to when I was in high school, I anchored the morning news with my teacher who used to work for KELOLAND. Now starting my journalism career at the same station is an honor.
I remember messaging one of their well-known journalists, Angela Kennecke, and asking her questions about the journalism field. She told me that, when working in journalism, it’s important to be able to write well and have thick skin. Asking her about what made her passionate about telling people’s stories and sharing her experience ultimately pushed me to pursue journalism.
During my time at MSU and working for The Reporter, I was able to wear many different hats. Starting as a staff writer as a freshman in 2020, covering anything from elections, protests and new COVID policy updates to becoming Variety editor, news editor and sports editor — it’s safe to say I’ve covered a variety of topics. Currently, as the editor in chief at The Reporter, I’ve been able to hone in on many different styles of writing. However, I think this position has been my favorite.
As the editor in chief, your job is to “lead the ship” and make sure everyone else is able to grow and succeed. Uplifting the writers and the editors and watching them do great things has been one of my most memorable and treasured parts that I will never forget. One of the main reasons I enjoy it is because I knew how it felt as a freshman diving into journalism and being pushed outside my comfort zone. Now I have the pleasure of doing that for others who are willing to try something new or push their writing abilities.
I am so blessed to have this opportunity in my life. I am beyond grateful for everyone who has supported my journey and has pushed me to go the extra mile. I can’t wait for what is next to come in my journalism career. With Sioux Falls only being about two and a half hours away from Mankato, it’s not too far of a move. But first, I have to find a place to live!
Write to Julia Lin at firstname.lastname@example.org