After changing my major for the third time, I was confident that I had finally found the right fit. I stepped into UW-Madison’s School of Journalism on the first day back at school after Winter Break ready to take on a class with a reputation – J202. The fact that the class was 5-credits was enough to intimidate some students. Regardless, it is the first class students were required to take after being accepted into the J-School.
What is J202?
The class had both a lecture led by Stacy Forester-Benedict and a discussion section, which collectively took on the responsibility of teaching over 100 students the basics of journalism and creative advertising. During the bi-weekly, 3-hour discussions, random groups of students were often asked to complete several (graded) assignments before the class was over. These assignments went into the nuances that set good journalists apart – factual accuracy, AP style, and fair repercussions for making fact errors. The class did more than teach the technical elements of becoming a good journalist. It emphasized working with different types of people and personalities that don’t always jive well together.
How it helped me
This mish-mash of personalities combined with the sometimes high-stress environment of completing assignments on tight deadlines replicated real world scenarios that I was confronted with almost immediately after finishing J202 and starting my first internship at a company called The Points Guy (TPG). On my first day at TPG, I felt confident working with others to create Photoshop graphics and compose articles, all thanks to J202.
Image Citation: https://www.flickr.com/photos/european_schoolnet/29748104291