This post is part of an occasional series of reflections written by students from our 2016 Summer Investigative Reporting Workshop.
By Stephanie Strickland, Florida
I vividly remember my heart skipping a beat when I read the email that said I would have the opportunity to attend the Boston University NECIR Summer Workshop. Soon thereafter, I would find myself packing my bags and flying across the country to dip my toes into the threshold of my future career.
Ever since my introduction to the school newspaper during my sophomore year I have been passionate about pursuing a job within the journalism industry. I saw this workshop as a linchpin of obtaining that career, and it exceeded expectations.
I have been to numerous journalism and scholastic workshops; however, have failed to learn even a fraction of the knowledge I accumulated throughout my time at NECIR.
Each morning I learned generalized topics about the journalism industry, such as headlines and article topics. This session aided me throughout my work as Editor-in-Chief of my high school, as well as, my own investigative story, which I would complete during my time at this camp.
In the afternoons, we typically saw guest speakers who informed us of what they personally contribute to the journalism industry, and how we can do the same. This was very inspirational, because as many students stand in the gateway of adulthood, finding jobs and careers can be taxing; however, these individuals encouraged us to stay within the journalism world.
Finally, we concluded our classes with our own investigative stories. Every student was divided into various groups based on their selected story topics, and within these groups students were to compile a myriad of articles on a particular topic, with the help of their advisors. The advisor I had was very helpful in teaching and guiding us, and even obtained pertinent interviewees that added greatly to each of our stories.
I remember telling my parents that this workshop would likely make or break my desire to pursue writing and journalism, and we were all relieved to learn that NECIR had become a positive force on my future career.
As I reflect on the decisions I’ve made, I find that attending this workshop was a great one. Not only did I grow as a writer, but also as an individual, and this workshop reinvigorated my motivation to pursue an education and career in this field.