I love stories. And I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. Stories that are close and dear to them. I also love being able to share these stories to inform or entertain others. These are just some of the reasons why I enjoy being a contributing writer for the Collegian.
The Collegian staff is always looking for good writers to write for the paper and to help use this vital tool we have for our school.
I believe that working on a student newspaper is the best way to get involved on a university campus. You get to learn about so much going on around campus and you get to meet people that you might not have gotten to meet otherwise.
As a writer for the Collegian, I have had the opportunity to bring awareness about upcoming events, write about important issues that affect the student body, and to write an editorial giving my opinion about issues on campus and to have my voice heard. I started this love of writing for school papers years ago.
This isn’t my first student paper to write for, but I feel that I have learned more here than in my past experiences. I have written as a student writer for the ABC Times at the Ambassador Bible Center in Milford, OH, and for the Student Printz at the University of Southern Mississippi. Writing for the Collegian here at Mississippi College, I found out that I had a lot more to learn about journalism and writing than I thought. Through the assignments and working with my peers on the Collegian staff, I have learned to be a better writer and a better journalist.
I have learned more about being a better writer and what it means to work and communicate on a team from my peers on the staff of the Collegian and from my fellow contributing writers.
From brainstorming with a team on coming up with great story ideas to seeing my colleagues work fast on an emerging story, reading my peers’ stories, to the editors’ call for the best from every writer and to keep doing better, I’m always learning something from them. Besides the rest of the group, I have learned from my experiences with my assignments for the paper.
I have learned to be aggressive enough to pursue a story while still acting with respect and tact. Sometimes the process of setting up interviews and then putting a story together can be difficult but it is a good feeling when it all comes together.
Finding a story and seeing it through to the end is a rewarding experience. Interviewing complete strangers and finding the right questions to ask has really helped me step outside my comfort zone and helped me develop better communication skills. From setting up interviews, doing research and preparing for interviews, and then putting the story together while still tackling my homework from my classes, I’ve been pushed to better my communication and time management skills.
The whole process is a great experience in developing the one skill set that employers are looking for the most: soft skills. Soft skills are the personality traits that make someone marketable. Attributes like communication skills, patience, and a good attitude.
In an online article from Business Week last year, Dan Schawbel wrote, “In a new study in partnership with American Express (AXP), we found that over 60 percent of managers agree that soft skills are the most important when evaluating an employee’s performance, followed by 32 percent citing hard skills and only 7 percent social media skills.”
I’ve been learning not only how to be a better writer and how to communicate better on paper and in front of others but also how to manage my time better and to become more of a critical thinker.
So if you are looking for a great way to get involved on campus, want to voice your opinion about an issue on campus, or want to develop those soft skills that are so essential in the workplace, look into writing for the Collegian.
– James Osborne, Contributing Writer