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The Lawrentian is currently doing quite a bit of hiring as we approach our next news cycle and need to find new leadership. With this, as well as my approaching graduation and inevitable plunge into the job market, I’ve been thinking about job applications quite a bit. As I answer potential applicants’ questions and spend too much time on LinkedIn, I am reminded of when I applied to work at The Lawrentian so many years ago.
As a first-year, I desperately wanted to be a writer for The Lawrentian to fulfill my childhood dreams of being a writer. If I wrote for the paper and they paid me, then I’d be a professional. When I submitted my application, though, I doubted I’d be contacted. I had no previous experience. My high school didn’t have a newspaper, and my only previous work experience was waitressing and scrubbing urinals. No one had ever paid me for my writing before.
You probably won’t be surprised when I tell you I got the job.
I wrote for the News section for two years, submitting at least one article each week — and sometimes one or two more than that. Being a consistent writer for an under-staffed section made me a good chunk of change.
During my sophomore year, my editor encouraged me to apply for a position on the editorial board. Attempting to ignore overwhelming amounts of self-doubt, I planned to apply for at least four of the open positions on the editorial board, hoping I might be considered for one. But I reminded myself that I was just a writer and should probably lower my expectations.
Then I became Copy Chief. And that’s what I like to call an upset.
Little did I know, the copy chief is almost always hired from the already existing team of copy editors. Considering one of the copy chief’s roles is to manage the copy editors, this makes sense. Had I known this, though, I probably wouldn’t have applied.
After a year of being Copy Chief, I became Editor-in-Chief, which is almost always how the transition works. It will not work that way this year, though. Our current Copy Chief, Shania Johnson, will be graduating at the end of the year. Ethan Wachendorf, our Managing Editor, will be as well, which means that all of the Executive Team positions are opening up for the next news cycle.
On top of that, our sports and variety editors as well as our web manager are also graduating. There are definitely some openings to be filled in the leadership of The Lawrentian, and none of them require previous experience.
As an organization, we value growth over coming in with a polished skill set. A commitment to learning is the greatest asset when applying for jobs, particiluarly in The Lawrentian.
If we only apply for the positions we think we’re qualified for, we probably won’t be applying to that many and probably not even the ones we really want. So, apply for the jobs you do want, even if you don’t think you’re qualified. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. But if you do, well, you get to be the underdog. And everyone loves an underdog.
Please visit lawrentian.com/apply for the list of open positions and their job descriptions and applications.