My personal experience as a journalism student has helped me develop real world experience for the job market. Throughout my coursework, I have written memorandums, business letters, updated my resume and made other portfolios for my journalism classes. I barely even knew how to write a successful article. Now, four years later, I am able to write various reviews successfully as well as opinion pieces.
My portfolio demonstrates how much I have grown as a writer. My first album review was much longer than the rest and required more editing. My latest album review was much shorter and not nearly as opinion based.
Writing seems like a black and white concept to most, but that is simply not the case. I did not realize how much thought I had to put into my writing in order for it to showcase my writing skills. I thought I could just write an ariticle once and be done with it. I did not realize that even though I may be considered a good writer I still have a lot of fine tuning to do to my work. I often times write multiple drafts before even considering submitting my work to The Connector. Editing is an extremely important part of the writing process and I am glad that being a journalism student has helped me to understand the importance of editing.
My portfolio demonstrates the journalism skills I have learned in my various classes. It showcases my skills of writing for a specific audience and writing with a given rhetorical situation in mind.
Some of my favorite classes were Intro to Journalism, Intro to Editing and Publishing and Visual Rhetoric.
I was uncomfortable with interviewing people for an article. Taking Intro to Journalism required me to interview people for two articles we wrote for class. One article I had to interview students and another I had to interview strangers. I was able to become comfortable with interviews because I knew ahead of time what I planned to ask them. It also felt much easier to interview a stranger because I knew I would never have to see them again. I wrote down notes before the interview so I was prepared to ask my questions as quickly as possible to help ease my anxiety. I also scanned the room during one of my interview sessions to see who was paying attention the most. I did this so I knew I could get a great interview response from them. Interviewing students was much more stressful because they were my target audience for my other article. Once I was able to narrow down some specific quesitons to ask, the process became much easier.
Intro to Editing and Publishing was one of the most interesting classes. I had not given much thought to the publishing world before taking this class. Dr. Sullivan was very knowledgeable on the subject and inspired me to pursue other fields of journalism I had not previously considered. I was able to learn the process of how a book comes to life through this class. This class really peaked my interest for a career in journalism. After graduation, I will be considering jobs in the publishing field at companies such as Wiley and Hachette Book Group.
Visual Rhetoric was one of the most creative classes I had taken at this university. I am a very creative and visual person and this class allowed me to play into my creative side. Visual Rhetoric allowed me to find a cause I care about and create a poster for the cause based on its given rhetorical situation. I had to think of both the rhetorical situation and the audience when I was designing this poster. The rhetorical situation did not directly relate to my audience which certainly posed some obstacles for me. I wanted my audience to be students at UMass Lowell, but I knew the topic was not appealing to all students as it was trying to get students to volunteer in their community. Due to my prior knowledge on rhetorical situation I was able to effectively appeal to my target audience by making an eye-catching headline such as "resume boosters!"
My writing skills have improved drastically since entering the journalism program and I now feel confident enough to declare myself a successful and great writer. I started off my freshmen year not knowing what major I would declare but had a realization later in my academic career that I loved to write. Once I realized writing was my pasison I declared a major in English. Since being a journalism student I now know the effective ways to write on a deadline such as doing the interviews early and first. I also know how to write for a specific audience based on the given rhetorical situation which has aided me in numerous projects and assignments.