I made the most out of our tour at Houston Public Media.

NextGenRadio was exactly what I needed. And then some.

If I told you I wasn’t nervous coming into this project, I’d be lying. However, after a casual dinner, everyone there had a great mixture of personalities and I figured, ‘Hey, maybe I didn’t bite off more than I can chew.’ Plus I had my raw interview scheduled for the next day.

Then came Monday.

I had to pleasure to work with Laura Isensee, Education Reporter for Houston Public Media as my mentor and being able to shadow her was an unforgettable experience. It was eye-opening learning the process of checking editorials, creating wraps and spot content for the news anchors. I love how openly engaged the media work environment can be.

One of the biggest lessons I learned on my first day is how being resourceful can truly help you out of a sticky situation. I was flustered and confused during my initial subject interview when there was a shift in her story that I felt really didn’t fit the theme anymore. I wanted to know challenges she’s faced after Harvey and really wanted tell a compelling story. I immediately thought to myself, ‘What now?’ However, having a plan B saved my project.

My second interview turned out to be everything I wanted it to be and more. Interacting with my subject truly inspired me, witnessing the emotion and passion behind the game of basketball made him perfect for my project.

Honestly, the next two days were the definition of hard work, dedication and grit. I have been introduced to so many new things, for example, working with audio. I learned how using a story map can you help craft your audio piece and web story, in addition to the importance of networking via social media.

What I will take away from this experience most was that I had the opportunity to share ideas with an outstanding and talented group of individuals with similar interests. The mentors educated us in ways I’ll never forget. With the new knowledge and skill-sets this program has given me, I feel more confident transitioning into my career.