I never had a desire to work in journalism. I enrolled in journalism 101 as a credit requirement for my associates in arts degree. I always knew I wanted a career in the media, a job holding a camera, but I never expected it to be journalism. I discovered how much I enjoy writing, I really liked the idea of voicing the voiceless, and, eventually, I fell in love with reporting.

When I stepped into my college’s newsroom I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no idea how much availability went into journalism and I was not prepared in the slightest to add one more thing to my juggling act of responsibilities. I already had classes, a part time job, and two children to take care of. So, I lost my composure often by being so overwhelmed with the amount of people wanting things from me, and deadlines. It was not the exciting journalism 101 experience I had and I wasn’t satisfied with the articles I was putting out. All the untreated stress affected my personal life, too. I was always grumpy and snappy. This happened for nearly a year before I started experiencing serious burnout and forced myself to make a change.

As hard as it was to slow down, I did. I started making lists and setting time limits on projects. I stopped working in the middle of the night and picking back up at the crack of dawn, and I changed my diet from beer and chips to water and fruit.

When I made it to NextGen, I was prepared for the stress. They prepared me for the stress. I’ve never felt so taken care of in a work space and I believe it’s a big factor of why I’m happy with my work. Not only was there an ample amount of people eager to help but they all had one thing in common: they wanted me to take care of myself. I was given advice on how to protect my magic, and taking breaks makes the work better. I now have a prime example of what to look for in a workspace. When people work together and look after each other, the stress is minimized.

Working with NextGen gave me non-journalistic skills that I could fill a resume with!

One of the more valuable skills I walked away with is stress management, which I’m still perfecting.