I began to seriously consider Journalism as a career option when my dad gave me a copy of Bob Schieffer’s “America,” a collection that chronicles his career as a reporter from Nixon to the present. As I opened the book to check it out, I noticed it was inscribed, “To Emilie, Be a reporter! –Bob Schieffer.” My dad had met Schieffer at a book signing and had asked him to write something inspirational for his daughter. It was a little blunt, but after a few Journalism classes I knew reporting was something I liked.
Almost two years and a recession later, I still love the field, but in the age of iPads and Kindles, my future is uncertain. As an English major, it is sad to think that the art and layout of newspapers, books and magazines may some day cease to exist. It’s pretty safe to say that this was a major factor in deciding not to apply for Journalism school.
I write this final column with one last piece of advice to dispense. Despite the cons of this economy, despite the uncertainty of some career fields and the discouraging looks you get when you tell people what you want to do—keep doing what you love to do.
Your choice may require a second job and may not provide the six-figure salary you dreamed of, but you’ll be happy. Our generation may be known as the “trophy generation,” where everyone on the soccer team got an award for just participating, but we are also one that takes overall happiness very seriously.
More people are beginning to take a few years off between their undergraduate and graduate careers, and though that might put the bigger paychecks on hold, they realize what they do and don’t enjoy before rushing into a career path that’s not right for them.
As I sit in Combs Hall at the close of the Kemp Symposium, writing this article, I am surrounded by a faculty that loves what they do. The respect and camaraderie they have for each other is obvious, and I hope that some day I can work at a place where these sentiments are echoed.
So what do I do now? Have I given up on the Journalism dream? Not at all. Though I’m currently focusing more on communication, I still hope to free-lance write, and continue to seek careers in journalism, along with public relations. Despite it not necessarily being for a newspaper or magazine, I will continue to write, even if it’s in the form of press releases.
I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me come up with ideas for this column and encouraged me to find my own voice, especially Heather Brady, who did an excellent job coming up with the column’s theme.
For now, I am still a Single, White, Unemployed Female, but a happy one.