What I didn’t expect when I applied to the local paper

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I had never really wanted to get into journalism — no, I had grandiose dreams of entering the publishing industry, where I would work my way up. However, once graduation came, reality hit. The industry was changing and there was a recession, which was changing everything. Jobs were scare and openings required experience — something I, fresh out of college, did not have. To get by, I turned to retail. It was a dead-end job that I hated.

One day a former elementary school teacher of mine suggested I put in an application at the local paper, which I did. I was through the roof when I got the email several months down the road asking if I was still looking for a job. The interview went favorable and here I am a year and a half later and still employed by the local newspaper. Here are some of things that I never expected when I went to work:

  • I knew the company owned several publications from the two weekly local papers to month and bi-monthly magazines, but I never suspected that I would work on almost all them, which makes from some crazy deadlines. However, the level of experience provided has just been astronomical and well-rounded. The variety of subjects is also very refreshing from local news and meetings to animals, home decor and gardening.
  • I never expected to do the amount of traveling I do, from weekly trips to Goshen to going as far as South Bend and Rochester. It is always nice to get out of the office, minus when you have to do so during a bad snowstorm.
  • That I would work on a monthly magazine that reaches municipal departments and elected officials in fourteen states and handles topics geared toward municipalities. I never expected I would be regularly calling places in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, etc., and talking to officials there. This is truly one of my favorite experiences.
  • That I would walk out to the middle of a frozen lake with only three to four inches of ice just to get ice fishing photos. I have seldom been as unnerved as I was then, especially since at the time I had no idea how thick the ice was… it was also my first time out on a frozen lake.
  • I never imagined I would find myself swarmed and surrounded by turkeys… they kind of creep me out, but after being around them, I began to see their charms and their silly personalities. Along this line, I never thought I would be in a pen with giant diary cows. I’m a farm girl, but I have had unpleasant experiences with cows, so it took a lot of effort for me to remain calm when walking amongst them.

It truly has been quite the experience, and I am eternally grateful I was given the opportunity. I am sure there will be many more unexpected experiences in the future, and I will look forward to them.

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