I don’t think I’ll ever forget being a part of NPR’s Next Generation Radio. From not having any prior radio experience to mediocre skills with Adobe Audition, I’m proud with how much I’ve grown professionally as a journalist in just one week.

Coming into this project, I was excited. Others I knew who had previously participated in the project spoke kindly about their experience.  I was very passionate about the story I pitched and couldn’t wait to get started on in. I was able to talk to my amazing mentor, Gus Contreras, before the project started and he was just as excited I was, so I felt ready going in.

Once we did start the project on Monday, May 20, 2019, my originally story fell through and I was left having to find a new story. I’ve never felt as anxious and frustrated as I did on that first day. I felt like I had already failed before I could even get started. My mentor, Gus, was there by my side to remind me that this is something that happens all the time in the world of journalism. I’ve had interviews fall through in the past, but I was so nervous since this was the first time I felt like I was a professional and I wanted to succeed.

After a bit of time, we were finally able to get back on track once I found Karen Goforth, who was very open to doing the story. I was grateful and I felt like I was finally able to breathe. This was my time to tell her story.

Before this, I was not confident in my audio skills since I work more with video, but I knew this would help me gain those skills I was searching for. I wanted to explore other platforms to see how I would like it. Throughout the week, Gus guided me in creating this story and taught me new skills, like editing audio and interviewing skills, that I’ll be able to use after the project, and I’m thankful for that. I’m a recent graduate from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno and I’m getting ready to start my career, yet I have no track on where to begin. Even though I don’t know where I’m starting yet, these skills are beneficial to me as I can use them in any form of journalism.

Overall, I’m grateful for the experience I had on this project. My mentor Gus, our editor Traci Tong, and everyone else made themselves available to help the students succeed in this project and guided us to produce work we’re proud of. I’m ready to take all these skills I gained from this boot camp to help me officially start my career as journalist.