Practical experience a necessity

Stacey Barchenger

I have worked at this newspaper six of the eight semesters I have spent as a student at Linfield. As a graduating senior, I’m nervous and excited, scared and ready
to be done.

One thing I am sure of is how valuable the experience working at the Review has been. My involvement allowed me to get both an internship and a job.

I started my tenure here as a staff writer and came back my sophomore year as sports editor. That was a great year; I got to work with a great sports co-editor and writers. My junior year, before going abroad, I worked as co-arts editor. This year, I’ve worked my way up the newsroom food chain to become managing editor.

I wish I could say it was the best year I’ve had at the Review, but it isn’t. I still wrote weekly for the Review, which is what I love doing, but my increased role in the business side of the paper wasn’t quite what I expected. I encountered management problems and, because of my more involved role, I had more conflicts with
staff members.

Looking back on the year now that I am done with my responsibilities as an editor, I realize how much those small problems and fights do not matter. Reflecting on this experience, I realize it has been completely invaluable.

In addition to looking great on my résumé, my time at the Review has helped me learn what I specifically want to do in my life and how to get there. I’ve also learned great leadership and communication skills.

No matter how much I felt I was suffering this year during 10-hour, marathon-style production nights on Thursdays,  it was an enjoyable experience in retrospect. Putting the conflicts out of my mind, I realize just how important this year was in putting the skills I have to
use.

There is only so much you can learn in the classroom.

Books, videos and lectures are great tools, but so many careers are based on skills you learn in an actual job or internship. On-the-job training is a necessity in most fields.

 The personal experiences professors bring into the classroom are great examples of what a career may be like, but until students live through the trial-and-error
process, how can they know what to expect?

An internship is a great way to solve this problem, but other great opportunities await us here at Linfield. Classes offered in various majors allow students a chance to put their skills to use in a productive manner.

For example, in the mass communication major, we can choose one-credit courses for working with the KSLC radio station, the Linfield Review or for Wildcat Productions. These are some of the greatest opportunities we have at Linfield, and every student should take advantage of them by putting their skills to use outside of the classroom before heading into the post-grad world.

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