Why you should join your school’s newspaper, no matter what your major is

Why you should join your school’s newspaper, no matter what your major is

The student newspaper is not just a watering hole where nerds come to congregate and complain about the dining hall menu. or the non-stop construction around campus. I mean, to be honest,  there is some of that. I too have written my fair share of insider stories concerning the brickyard and school food. But the

The student newspaper is not just a watering hole where nerds come to congregate and complain about the dining hall menu. or the non-stop construction around campus. I mean, to be honest,  there is some of that. I too have written my fair share of insider stories concerning the brickyard and school food. But the student newspaper is more than that. It is an irreplaceable construct for actual work experience. It’s something all students should take advantage of, despite their major.

There is a common misconception that I see among college students, especially those attending a university for the first time. They seem to be under the impression that the student newspaper is only beneficial for a journalism or English majors. That’s not the case. A college newspaper is different than the gossip pieces your peers wrote for the student paper in high school. The paper associated with a university explores topics in agriculture, science, security, politics and engineering, and it’s held to a high standard.

You don’t have to want to be a writer for the student newspaper to help you in your future career. The newspaper is honestly one of the few places that every student of any field could benefit from. For instance, if you’re studying aerospace, you would be able to research, write and publish articles on aerospace technology, building a credible portfolio to present to employers and attach to your LinkedIn page.

In addition, you would be interviewing and building a rapport with aerospace professionals and covering engineering events. The same could be said for other fields of study, whether it be PR, paleontology or even math. It doesn’t matter if your future career choice will have nothing to do with writing. Being able to demonstrate that you are able to effectively research and communicate your field of study to an audience is very beneficial during an interview.

I see many freshmen eager to gain experience in order to set themselves up for better job opportunities in the future.  Many of them are unaware of the opportunities they have to gain that experience. They believe that they must have an internship to gain real-world experience in their field of study. They are then told that most internships do not bother hiring freshman. What many students do not realize is that the student newspaper in itself acts as an internship.

Though the school newspaper at N.C. State has a decent sized staff, I was still taken aback by how easy it was to join. Coming to a large university, I assumed that the news department would be filled with volunteers. I reluctantly prepared myself for a waitlist, or worst, being turned away at the door. To my surprise, they were eager for new staff. Not only because they were an accepting and warm group of people, but also because they needed more writers. For me, working for N.C. State’s newspaper was crucial to me finding my first few internships early on.

Interested in joining your school’s paper?

Find out more about the Technician at N.C. State, the Daily Tar Heel at UNC, the Campus Echo at N.C. Central and the Chronicle at Duke.

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Marcus Blyden
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