I graduate in two weeks. Two. Weeks.
Three and a half years of my life have been given to the J-School and it’s given me three and a half years of joy in return.
The best part of the UF Center for Media Innovation and Research is the practical real-world experience it gives you. Students come to work each and every day at the Innovation News Center, producing content for the First at Five newscast on WUFT or giving live updates on the air for the NPR radio station.
I worked in what I think is the best part of the INC, the sports section. Here students work for WRUF/ESPN Gainesville producing all sorts of sports content for the people of Gainesville. When working as a sports coordinator at the station, I realized a very valuable thing: each day is a new experience here in the CMIR.
I never edited the same two stories, never did the same 50-second updates for the radio, never reported the same story twice. Even when sources didn’t get back to me or deadline was way too close for comfort, I valued the skill of taking everything as it comes and working your butt off in the name of news.
There are also so many wonderful faculty members that CMIR have employed over the years. Ones that have all kinds of backgrounds in news, sports and entertainment. I would like to shout out my mentor, Steve Russell, for always believing in me. The day I walked into his office and asked if I could report Gator sports was the best day of my life. I will never forget his kindness as I went through my journey here.
Just look back on my blog posts about the wonderful people I get to work with here in the CMIR and you will see the talent that the J-School produces.
I will miss it here as I begin the next leg of my journey in life. The late nights working on stories, the constant struggle between choosing whether to go to a party on Friday night or cover high school football, and the hard-working friends and colleagues that I will have to say goodbye too. All things I know I will find myself missing.
I’ve learned how to be a hard-working reporter who never gives up and I thank the J-School as a whole for that. I won’t be saying goodbye though, just a “See You Soon.”
Thanks for everything.