When I first applied, I’ll be honest, I never thought I would get selected for this program. I had thought about applying last fall but opted not to because I felt like I wasn’t ready. However, looking back I realized that I didn’t apply because I was afraid of rejection. “They can’t reject you if you never try,” I would say. This time around I was tired of thinking that way, so I took a chance and applied.
When I made it through to the first round, I thought, “OK, getting to the first round was a fluke; I probably won’t make it to the second round. They are not going to choose me. I’m not qualified.”
When I got the congratulations email about being selected for the program, I started to feel like I was qualified to do this and I believed that I could do this. I’ve always said that I am an OK journalist, which is why I chose to be a Public Relations major. In my mind, I don’t want to make my living on something that I’m just OK at. But after this whole crazy experience, I’ve realized that I’m only OK at being a journalist because I’ve settled on being just OK. This experience has pushed me to want to become the best journalist I can be.
Arriving here I was extremely discouraged. My first story didn’t end up working out. My mentor Rocio and I were scrambling to find someone to interview. I was in full-on panic mode. When we eventually found someone I felt so relieved, I was eager to go. I had never done an interview that involved so many moving parts. Putting it all together was nerve-racking. I felt like if I messed up one aspect of the project, the whole thing was going to fall apart. I was lucky that my mentor Rocio was there to help me out. I’ve learned so much from her. I’m excited to put to practice all the new skills and training I’ve learned over the last week. Most of all, I’ll remember Sarmad Alkayssi and his story. I’m grateful he took time out of his day to sit down with me on such short notice. This program has both given me confidence and shown me where I need to improve. When I look back at this experience, I’ll think, “yeah I did that, it was hard, but I enjoyed every second of it regardless of the setbacks.”