As a freshman newly enrolled in the Writing Arts major, I was eagerly looking for ways to get involved on campus, especially related to writing and communication. One day I came across a message in the daily student email that the Rowan Blog was looking for volunteer writers, and this seemed like a sign. I started writing stories that semester on a volunteer basis, and was asked to officially join the team that spring of my freshman year! I’ve been working for the blog throughout my four years at Rowan, and it’s been an amazing experience.
1. Every day is different and exciting
As a student worker, I have something different to look forward to each day — with every new assignment comes a new experience. One day I’m writing a blog post on why I love my job (hello!), the next day I’m filming the women’s ice hockey team at their practice, and the week after I’m photographing the equestrian team and their horses. I’ve even gone to the Salem County Humane Society to play with kittens and produce a video on student volunteerism! No two assignments are the same, and because of that, I get to learn so much about my peers on campus and all of the diverse interests and activities they are a part of. I’ve met student entrepreneurs, learned about the Vietnamese Student Association, attended informational workshops, and have been a part of a professional photo shoot with a marketing agency!
I also enjoy how much I get to learn about Rowan University through these experiences. In my first semester, I quickly became familiar with all of the buildings on campus and so many of the organizations and activities available to students. Knowing all of this has helped me get my friends involved as well, introducing them to clubs I think they’d enjoy and people with similar interests.
2. I’ve added great skills and accomplishments to my resume
I have always had an interest in taking photos, but never had the chance to pick up a real camera and figure it out before working for the Rowan Blog. For each blog article I write, I have to photograph the students or faculty featured to produce images that really capture the story. Through endless practice I’ve become comfortable using DSLR cameras and editing my photos with Adobe programs, and I love it! I have also started to get more involved in the video production side of the blog, filming and editing videos for YouTube. Though I am certainly a beginner in making videos, my coworkers and peers are always willing to help each other out, since we each have our own strengths.
Focusing on photography has paved the way for me to become a part of many exciting projects through the Division of Student Affairs. The photos that my peers and I have taken are featured on the Rowan Admissions website and in admissions packages that go out to accepted incoming students, which is awesome! I’ve even become more involved with the social media department, and a couple of my photos have been featured on Rowan’s Instagram. It’s so rewarding to see my work improve each semester, and the excitement we all feel when we see our photos throughout campus makes the hard work more than worth it.
3. I’ve made new friends, mentors and connections along the way
With each new lead for an assignment comes a new potential friendship or connection. Most of the time, the leads I am assigned to write about are students I have never met before, so I love having the chance to meet new people I might see around campus. I get to learn about their cool internships, clubs and experiences at Rowan, and can usually find something in common with each lead to form a strong bond! Every lead becomes either a new friend, a LinkedIn connection, or at the very least, another smiling face to see on the way to class.
Through the stories I produce, I’m able to form connections with faculty and staff, too, which has helped me learn about new programs and events on campus. The faculty I’ve met specifically within the College of Communication and Creative Arts and the Rohrer College of Business have played an important role in my education and career path. A few of them have become mentors to me, trustworthy and seasoned professionals that I can always look to for advice.
Working for the Rowan Blog has changed the way I write, work and interact with others. It’s made me a stronger communicator and even sparked my interest to pick up two minors — Marketing and Strategic Communication. Being part of such a talented, passionate team of workers makes me #RowanPROUD, and the experiences I’ve had through the Rowan Blog are memories that I’ll cherish long after I graduate this spring!
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Story and photography by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major