I am a firm believer that life is about learning from our experiences, and if we can, creating moments for ourselves that will hopefully launch us into the direction of our purpose. As an undergraduate student at the Mount, I had an idea of what I thought I might want to do as a career, but I didn’t have a solid direction. Delving into different niches within the field of journalism helped me to narrow my focus. I am passionate about my faith and spirituality, and I found over the years that when I have the opportunity to encourage and uplift young women through my writing, that is when I feel the most fulfilled. I believe that writing is a gift that God gave to me, and I want to use it to bring hope to others. I have found my niche within “faith journalism” and it is my sincerest desire to be able to minister to those around me through the written word in a practical and concise way.
Last week, thanks to my Aunt and her coworker Ms. Alma Hill, I had the amazing opportunity to visit The Washington Post and shadow three extraordinary women: Ms. Cheryl Thompson, investigative reporter, Ms. Nia-Malika Henderson, a political journalist, and Ms. Michelle Williams, a digital manager at The Post. Unbeknownst to anyone, visiting such an esteemed publication has been a dream of mine for quite some time and on Thursday, April 3rd that dream came true. During my day at The Post, I got to have one on one conversation with each of the women, where we shared our experiences and I received some very sage advice.
Ms. Thompson mentioned to me that “It’s important to have a mentor. Make sure that your mentor is someone who is willing to make an investment in you; someone that is willing to teach you.” She also advised me to “start small and work your way up to larger publications so that you can learn along the way.”
Ms. Henderson suggested “build[ing] a brand and bridges with people in field that you want to work in, find people who are doing something similar to what you aspire to do and consider your market.”
Ms. Williams stressed the importance of networking, staying current and learning as much as I can along the way. She also encouraged me by saying, “Continue to do what you’re doing because there is a market that is looking for what you have to offer.”
To express in words what this experience meant to me is nearly impossible, but I am so grateful for the opportunity, and I know that I am better for it. My work is just beginning. I am looking forward to visiting The Washington Post again soon and absorbing more knowledge from professionals in this field.