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Preparing For the Real World

Editor in Chief

Published: Monday, November 18, 2013

Updated: Monday, November 18, 2013 21:11

I have been the Editor-in-Chief of Spectrum for about a year-and-a-half now. I was chosen for the position at the end of my sophomore year after taking the News Writing and Reporting class. At that point, I was trained by my predecessor in preparation for the upcoming year. 

At the start of my junior year, I really was not sure what was going to be expected of me in this position. I had never worked on staff prior to accepting this role and I honestly was not sure how I was going to be able to balance school, hockey and the newspaper. The first few weeks, I truly felt like I was in over my head. I felt like there was always something that I needed to be doing for Spectrum; whether it was writing articles, responding to emails or planning for the upcoming issue. 

I remember about two weeks into Fall semester last year calling my mom and venting to her about how stressed I was. I told her I felt like I had to choose between getting my homework done and working on Spectrum matters. Of course, being the woman that she is, she was able to calm me down and help me set things straight. After that phone call I finally felt like I was going to be able to handle the upcoming year. 

Since that day I have learned a lot about what I am capable of. Spectrum has taught me many important life lessons and skills. I have always been decently organized and on top of my work, but adding Spectrum to the mix has truly improved my capability. I have been forced to improve my time management skills and utilize a majority of my free time to be productive. Being the Editor-in-Chief of Spectrum has also helped me improve my leadership abilities. Being in charge of a staff of 25 people is not the easiest task, but it is something I have learned to manage. Of course, having a staff that is helpful and respectful makes my job a little easier. 

These are a few of the skills that I had to use in the decision to cancel the Nov. 6 issue of Spectrum. The Saturday before that issue was to be printed, our staff was informed that an entire wall of cabinets had fallen off the wall and knocked over three computers, leaving the office in shambles. The fall was due to the weight of archived copies of Spectrum that had been stored in and on top of the cabinets for the past few years. With the information that I was given about the damage that the office had endured I made a judgment call to cancel Spectrum for that week. I spoke with the other head editors and we decided that this was the best option to ensure the safety of the rest of our staff. 

With the help of many hands, we were able to clean up the office and restore the computers. It was after everything was back in order that I realized that our staff is very capable and quite possibly could have managed to produce a paper even with the damages that our workspace endured. If news stations and newspapers are able to work during tragedies such as 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing, the Spectrum staff should be able to work around some falling cabinets. 

This is an example of a real life situation that I may need to deal with in my future career. Now that I have experienced something like this, although nowhere near an actual tragedy, I believe that I will be more prepared down the road. Working on Spectrum has taught me a lot of great skills and provided me with some important qualities. I know that I will be able to take what I have learned here with me for the rest of my life. 

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