First Essay

High school slacker becoming a hard-working journalism. Journalism student had to learn a new set of skills and habits.
English was one of the few classes I haven’t slept through in high school. It seemed that solving polynomials and dissecting frogs didn’t exactly appeal to me as much as reading and writing did. When I attended community college, at first I wanted to major in English, but after taking a variety of courses I realized English wasn’t for me. I choose journalism because I get to write about issues I care about, as well as edit other peoples’ work. I also know that I can work for different companies that are looking for individuals with journalistic skills if I don’t end up working for a publication, which is another reason why I chose journalism.

Profile photo of Lissette in her sister's room posing for the camera

SFSU student smiling at the fact she finally figured out her major. Photo Credit: Kristie O'neal

I see myself living on my own in a small apartment and working for an online or print publication in New York or Los Angeles. However, I’m not sure which kind of publication I would be working for. Realistically I may have to freelance for lesser known publications for the first two or three years after graduating from San Francisco State, before I can work for a prestigious publication like the Associated Press or Vanity Fair.

There are a couple jobs within Journalism I would like to have one day such as copyediting, copy writing or reporting. However my ideal job is between a copy editor and online producer, since I’m more interested in overseeing content and editing then anything else. Copy editors check for grammar, spelling, style, and smooth out awkward transitions. They must also check for libel, as well as verifying facts. Online producers oversee the making of content for websites and other online properties. They get to create, edit and arrange the text, video, audio, images, and other materials included on websites.

Truthfully I feel that my editing, writing and online skills could use a little work, but I hope that with the right tools and teachers my journalistic skills will improve. Obviously I won’t become a professional overnight it would be a while before I can call myself a good journalist. I also understand that I would have to manage my time wisely, network as much as possible, and keep up with all the work I’m given in order to succeed.

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