Figuring it all out

Every now and then I run into a particular former student who is still mulling options about the future. Do I want to do this? Or would I be better at that? Are my skills good for that kind of job? Am I more passionate about this kind of non-profit?

These are all good and natural questions, of course. And the other day I told that former student that finding out the answers can be a challenge, sure, but that’s part of the journey. You might not know the answers today, or next term, or even when you graduate. That’s OK. Very few people have their world really figured out.

This former student said that there was this feeling that the program had built a well-versed student with a wide base.

Florida professor Mindy McAdams recently wrote about that, specifically as it relates to the value of a journalism degree:

People won’t hire you because you have a degree. They will hire you because you can demonstrate real skills.

The skills that are needed do include writing (still), but that means correct, reliable, professional writing, along with the ability to find and maintain a focus, tell a story, use words correctly and well, and not require an editor to put the commas in for you.

All journalism is now digital. So you need to be able to demonstrate digital skills.

The digital skills that are in highest demand are the skills to create, to produce. Not to consume.

There’s more there from McAdams.

But remember, maybe nothing is perfect out on the job market.

“So, these first few times out maybe you look for good, because those are good questions you have there,” I said.

“Maybe you seek out pretty great. That’s where you can be,” I told the former student, “because that’s what your Samford experience is preparing you for.”


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