What working for Drake University’s student newspaper has meant to me.
I came to Drake University having taken every photo and broadcast class my high school could offer. Joining one of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications’ student-led organizations was one of the biggest goals I had for my college experience. After walking around the activities fair my first semester at Drake, the Times-Delphic stood out to me. I marked my name on their contact sheet that I was interested in joining their photography staff.
An application, interview, and a congratulatory email later, I was hired as a photographer for the Times-Delphic a month into my college career! Working as a photographer my first year at Drake helped enhance my eye for photography and discover a love for working for a newspaper.
Towards the end of the academic year, the position for photo editor opened up and I devoured the application in minutes. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, as this position is one I highly respect, and at the time I was “just a first year.” Yet, after another application, interview, and congratulatory email, I managed to secure the photo editor position!
From the beginning of my sophomore year to now, I’ve worked very hard to make improvements in the position and for the team of photographers, I oversee. Some of the changes I’ve made in my time as the photo editor are giving the photographers more freedom to choose photo assignments that reflect their interests, rather than assigning them and constantly pursuing opportunities to improve my abilities.
Selfishly, the opportunities available for professional development have been one of my favorite parts of the job. Before the pandemic, traveling to conventions and competitions was a great way to learn what more I can contribute to our creative department and how I can continue to improve as a photojournalist. The Times-Delphic took me to the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Washington DC and FIRE Student Network Regional Conference in Chicago.
After both of these opportunities, a passion for other aspects of journalism blossomed. With a lot of help from SJMC’s most beloved adjunct instructor, Lindsay Gilbert, I began writing for the TD. One of my proudest moments, as both a photographer and writer, was covering the Trump Rally and protest at Drake University. In full transparency, the events of that day took me out of my comfort zone for multiple reasons, but I am very thankful for the experience.
My experience at the Times-Delphic has allowed me the opportunity to be a writer, photographer, photo editor, and social media manager. Along the way, I’ve made a lot of friendships that I value and will take with me beyond my four short years at Drake. Working on this paper has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had during my time here.
Hopefully, I haven’t done anything during these past three years on staff to jeopardize my shot at the position for my senior year. Being the optimist I am, I look forward to what this next year will bring doing what I love.