New Beginnings in Journalism
I always enjoy Shakespeare. I am fascinated with how he can describe complicated relationships in a simple manner. Studying how he put the intricate details of life into the written word is what led me to become an English major at UCLA. I was driven to learn more about this ability. It took me as far as Stratford-upon-Avon, the town Shakespeare had lived and wrote, where I could see firsthand how he developed as a writer. It was amid the excitement of learning about his life that I realized something. Although Shakespeare's universal themes may be timeless, his work was written for the people of his time and lacks the contemporary focus which makes him appeal to the people of today only as a form of high art.
Once I had that realization, I had to understand what appeals to a contemporary audience. I changed my major to American Literature and Culture where I felt I could learn more about how literature has evolved in recent times. I was drawn to the subject by the passion that my professors and fellow students had for certain writers as I have for Shakespeare. I took a class about Emerson with a professor that was fervent over the subject matter. After class had ended, I would often ask her about her own personal interest in Emerson. These conversations with the professor and watching her interpret passages from his writing are what I enjoyed most about the class. Talking with other professors and students about what interested them, I had similar experiences. I enjoyed investigating the human element behind literature and the arts and how that can make people feel and act.
It was then that I discovered journalism. It combined my love for writing with my need to talk to and learn more about people. There was only one journalism class at UCLA and they were very selective who they let attend it. In order to get in, I had to submit an entrance essay. I wrote it about why I felt journalism was a good match for me and they must have agreed as I was accepted. The class turned out to be much more than I had hoped for. It was taught by a professional journalist and author who showed us what it takes to have a career in journalism and the practicalities behind it. He mentored us on finding our own inner voice and techniques to lead conversations down the paths you need them to go. The true test came when we received an assignment to do a local celebrity interview. I interviewed Lisa Kudrow and it was a success. After that, I was confident that journalism was the right career path for me. My professor was so impressed that he found me an internship at a local entertainment magazine where I got to experience what life would be like as a professional journalist.
Now that I am confident that I have found the career I want to pursue, I wish to hone my skills further. I enjoyed studying it in college but it was all too brief and I feel I need more time to gain experience. I want to learn more about the field and evolve as a writer before I enter a journalist career professionally.