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Beyond majors: Develop your integrated thinking
E nglish major Erin Wade has a nose for news – and literature, research, computer science and travel, among other things. She is writing her Honors Thesis on the novel “Hope Leslie,” by early 19th century American writer Catharine Maria Sedgwick. She is an active participant in Union’s annual research day, the Steinmetz Symposium. She has served as a computer science lab assistant and went on the London theater mini-term. And it's from the editor's chair at the Concordiensis student newspaper that Erin puts her staff through their journalistic paces in the weekly scramble to get the latest edition to press and on the web.
I’ve always loved the look and feel of newspapers. It’s a complete sensory experience, from the unique texture to the scent of the paper when it comes off the press. I’m also incredibly curious and a little nosy, so I love digging into things and figuring out what’s really going on in a given situation. And as an English major, I find crafting a narrative and using language in a slightly different way than I would in conversation or a paper for class is really refreshing.
When did you join the Concordiensis staff?
Sophomore year. I was a copy editor during fall term and then became managing editor at the end of winter term.
What are some of your responsibilities?
I spend my waking hours writing news stories, chasing leads, planning, editing, doing layout and coordinating with our whole staff plus photographers, columnists, members of the administration, professors, advertisers and printers.
That sounds like a full-time job.
Almost. I spend about 30 hours a week in the Concordy office. It’s my first home; I see it more than I see my room.
Any other related journalism experience?
Last summer I interned at the Albany Times Union on the night desk. That’s when the newsroom comes alive – deadlines get everyone moving. I did copy editing and some layout work, designing the Empire State page. I loved it. It gave me a greater appreciation for what I’m doing here.
What do you see for your future?
After graduation, I'm headed to Boston University to pursue my master's degree in journalism. The dream job would, of course, be working in the White House Office of Communications. I’m also very interested in political journalism. Covering political campaigns would be fabulous.
How will your Concordy experience help you?
I learned how to work on a tight deadline, deal with interpersonal issues and delegate tasks. I learned to communicate effectively with the staff and also with the hundreds of people who read the newspaper each week. This is invaluable for any career.
So, print or digital?
I love print because it gives you a fuller integration into the reading experience (and I’m nostalgic for the comics, which my grandpa used to give me when he read his paper), but digital is convenient, especially when you’re in college.
Convergence: Jakub Kaczmarzyk,
neuroscience and music