VOICES year and role: 2014 (Washington, D.C.)
Current position: K-12 education reporter, The Tennessean
VOICES taught me the importance of networking. Throughout the week, we had a contest to see who could collect the most business cards. I did horribly! But I also saw it as something I could improve in the future. When I’m out reporting, I introduce myself to everyone and hand out business cards. I ask to meet people for coffee to help develop relationships with sources. I want people to remember me, and I try my best to do that. That’s not something I would have strived to do if not for VOICES.
VOICES also gave me an invaluable support network. It’s comforting to know so many other professional journalists are rooting for you. They also give invaluable advice – you just have to ask for it it! Several AAJA mentors gave me fantastic advice to help me prepare for my first full-time job away from home.