By Taylor Brown
As a freshmen I was employed at the Mountaineer Dining Hall. Working there was relatively easy at first, even though I disliked the job. However, as the year went by I came to loathe it more and more each shift. It got to the point where I would start cursing at, and fighting the air after waking up to go to work. Labor Day was very useful to me in that it provided other options. I actually found the Pinnacle newspaper there. I had never heard of it before. I applied because I would get paid for doing something that I love, writing, should I be hired.
I put in effort towards my application and interview. Besides the fact that I desperately wanted to get out of food service, I really wanted to write for the college newspaper. Needless to say I was elated after hearing the news that I was hired.
Initially, I wrote creative pieces and news articles. I felt like I was being exposed to more of the “real world” because I was attending community events that were not part of the college. It felt nice to have my stories published online as well.
The Pinnacle newspaper staff at the time taught me that journalistic writing was much different than creative and academic writing. The job itself showed me an up close perspective on how genuine or insincere people can be. As frustrating as that was, I wasn’t going to let it deter me. I was becoming a better writer, and I was getting opportunities to cover events that I thought were impressive and worthwhile. The Pinnacle office to some degree became a “safe-space” for me; I felt comfortable there. Working with unfavorable people, whether the staff, staff wannabes or interviewees, was just a fact of life and it wasn’t like I was unfamiliar with being in negative situations.
Becoming the managing editor exposed me to even more malarkey. After a series of being under the leadership of dispassionate editors, the Pinnacle newspaper was crippled. Our relationships with other departments were either less than cordial or demeaning in that they did not take us seriously. We were missing payments because the business was handled poorly by our predecessors. To top it all off, Lenox (the Editor-in-Chief) and I were the only staff left to clean up all the messes.
And we did!
We did it with the help of new staff members. These members have helped me to grow as a leader and I am thankful to every one of them. Overall working with the Pinnacle has taught me that teamwork and communication and trust are crucial. Without it we would still be in the rut we were a couple years ago.
While my post-graduation plans are not clear to me yet, I know I eventually want to pursue a career in journalism. I have confidence that I can do well because of all that I have learned working with the Pinnacle newspaper. The skills and experience I have acquired I’m sure will help me to succeed with any journalistic organization that I choose to pursue. I’ll miss working with my coworkers from this academic school year, and I wish them all success and happiness.