Short Stories, Essays, Poetry, Journalism.

Tri-Mentorship Journal 1

Met With Alexandra Cooper and Valerie Casselton on January 2nd, 2018.

We began with brief introductions in Valerie’s office before she took us to a morning news meeting. There we met the different heads of the newspaper’s sections (Photo and Video, Arts and Life, City Editor, Business and Housing) before they talked about the articles they planned to put in the news that day. Afterwards Valerie told us she would be happy to set up meetings between us and any of the people we met (I mentioned I was interested in speaking to the Arts and Life Editor).

When the meeting finished the three of us moved to another room where Valerie explained the ins and outs of the newspaper business. She then asked us about our own goals and about what we wanted her help with. I mentioned an interest in freelance writing and she explained that some of the excitement has gone out of it (and that it doesn’t pay like it used to). When I told her I wanted to be an author she told me she used to have similar aspirations, but that it is a hard road and in order to achieve any measure of success I really have to “stick with it”. Alex was also supportive, asking questions catered to my purpose as well as her own. Valerie has said that initially it might be beneficial for us to meet together but further down the road it will be better to meet one on one, as we have different aspirations (Alex wants to work in publishing).

Both Alex and Valerie recommended involvement with the Ubyssey, the school newspaper, and Valerie said that people who are involved with it are generally seen as “hungry” and naturally competent in the industry. Although I didn’t leave with any specific direction or plan I found Valerie’s (and Alex’s) experiences useful and I hope that as we move forward this path will arise. On returning home I registered for the Ubyssey’s mailing list, where they email topics and give students the opportunity to write articles. Valerie mentioned the importance of a field-directed resume but as I have previously completed a resume workshop I am more interested in her input on my online portfolio as well as her professional opinion on its content.

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