The daily collegian. (University Park, Pa.) 1940-current, December 10, 2010, Image 7

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    The Daily Collegian
Journalism grads, don’t fret
Jenna Ekdahl
Usually when I tell people I’m
majoring in print journalism
and religious studies they
react in one of two
waysr muffled snickers
followed by a fake opti
mistic cover-up or a
sympathetic cock of the
head to one side and a
lengthy “mmmr
rmhmhmmm ”
Some do congratulate my OPINION
me on attempting the
impossible: landing a
job in the journalism industry after
graduation. There are the few who
applaud my apparent ambition for doing
the whole real-world job thing we re
conditioned for throughout college.
I’m here to tell you now that I, the
grammar geek and the science searedy
cat, am no longer subject to their pity
and ridicule. I have secured a job as a
local editor with in
Northampton Township, Bucks County 7 ,
Pa. Holla!
I really don’t mean to brag, but I want
to say there are jobs out there. I'm here
to offer a dose of hope to counteract all
the negativity you’re used to. The indus
try we communications students learn
about in class every day (all the while
chewing down our nails and biting our
pen tips) isn’t dead. It's not even dying.
It’s simply changing.
Community journalism, the news
about what’s going on in your backyard,
can’t disappear because people will
always want to know what's happening
in their towns.
Sometimes, a school board's decision
to require uniforms is more important
than a piece of legislation passed on
Capitol Hill —that's just the way it is.
But as far as finding that job goes. I
was clueless and panicky back in
September. I’m convinced the reason is
because I let all the literature about the
wilting economy color my perceptions of Jenna Ekdahl is a senior majoring in journalism
the job market. and religious studies and is a multimedia
After the Wall Street Journal ranked reporter for The Daily Collegian. Her e-mail is
Penn State No. 1 for students looking to
Study abroad changes insight
Daniel Bott
Imagine a place where skin tight,
jorts and crazy patterned leggings
are the norm. Now imagine that
half of the guys you see
walking down the
street are sporting the ; M
ever-popular mullet. ; M ___ '"l
No, you aren't in ! i “ i
some hip neighborhood; ; .
you’re in New Zealand. V
and I was lucky enough
to live there last semes jyjy OPINION
ter. The opportunity for
me to spend a semester
away from Penn State was one that 1
was both excited and very apprehensive
about, but I knew it would be something
I would never be able to do again.
When I first considered my chance to
go abroad, I was torn between going to
Germany a country where I would
have undoubtedly enjoyed liters upon
liters of great beer or New Zealand
I know roughly 10 words of German
so to say that affected my decision
would be an understatement
While I may despise the fact that peo
ple in N.Z. seem to love trance music
and “Jersey Shore" much more than we
do here in the United States. I grew to
really enjoy the place.
Having been to N.Z. for a short time
before, I at least had a bit of an under
standing of how the country worked and
how to decipher that interesting accent
But by no means had I ever spent this
much time alone so far from home.
Little did I know what the next three
months had in store. Initially. I arrived
with no official place to live. I had to go
through the stressful situation of finding
housing on my own on the other side
of the world. Luckily, I ended up in a
cottage with a great group of people:
two Germans, a girl from China, and a
girl from the great state of Minnesota.
Not only did I gain an understanding
of the Kiwi and native Maori cultures
through my classes and daily interac-
Advanced tickets available at rink or call (814) 863-2037
St rr\WM
jnstmts J J J •
be recruited for a career, my hopes
became a little more inflated than they
had been at the beginning of the semes
ter. But landing zero opportunities when
I attended the career fair deflated those
spirits fast.
I spent hours of my precious senior
downtime searching site after site for
paid internships, entry-level multimedia
positions, reporting jobs and otherwise
related careers. I heard back a lot of
no’s and the rest was silence. But I per
Finally, I heard about a company
called from an alumnus who
also worked for The Daily Collegian. He
told me they were hiring journalists to
run Web sites in suburban towns across
the country covering community events
where the local media coverage needed
a boost.
In the scope of positions I was looking
at, nothing combined web. multimedia
and writing quite like this. It was the tri
fecta position, and I decided to go for it.
After many phone interviews and a
grueling writing test that lasted almost
four hours, I was offered a job and ver
bally accepted immediately.
What you can't do is let people get to
you when they quote statistics about
unemployment rising and fewer jobs
being created. Find a company you want
to work for and contact their human
resources department or editor to
explain why they simply can't live with
out you. Play yourself up. Make your
interviewers laugh.
With Dec. 18 terrifyingly close my
last week as a senior in college dissolv
ing in my hands I'm so blessed to
have a job waiting for me. I can't say it
was easy and I can't say I didn't sweat it,
but 1 also know I tried to keep a steady
So chins up. journalists. We are bet
ter prepared than anyone to take con
trol of this industry. All we have to know
is that we can do it.
lions, nut I was able to do countless
things i would never have dreamed of
while being back at home.
I climbed to the top of Wairere Falls,
the highest waterfall on the North
Island. I raced down a hill on a small
cart overlooking a volcanic lake in
Rotorua, and (attempted' to camp on a
secluded beach along Hakwe Bay. and
hiked around Mt. Ngauruhoe, the stand
in for Mt. Doom in "Lord of the Rings."
Oh. and did I mention I also got a
chance to face my fear of heights by wav
of a 148-meter biingv jump from a plat
form suspended by cables over a giant
canyon in Queenstown*’ There is no
w ay to describe the experience other
than having a rush of pure fear and
adrenaline all at once.
Unfortunately, my fun was cut short
with the untimely passing of my mother.
While it was the most terrifying and dif
ficult time that I have faced in my life, I
still try to look on the bright side. My
friend's and family were there for me
even when I was "making travel arrange
ments at 4 a m., and I never would have
been able to make it home without all of
help from the hospitable Kiwis that I
had met during my semester.
Though my trip made me feel like a
cast member on "The Real World.' I
wouldn't take back a second. I made
friends for life and gained amazing
insight about not only those around me.
but more importantly myself.
What's key though, is that this was all
brought about by an amazing opportuni
ty. While it may not come in the form of
a study abroad experience for everyone,
there will be a time during your college
career to step out of your comfort zone.
1 can't encourage it enough. At the very
least you will learn more about yourself
than ever, and maybe even gain a bit of
insight in the process.
Daniel Bott is a senior majoring in supply chain
and information systems management and is a
senior photographer for The Daily Collegian. His
email is
()PIN! O N
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Jan 22 8:30 PM
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Come to the HUB to have a laugh with
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The event is FREE with valid
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Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 I