When I became a writer for the College of ACES, I didn’t exactly know what to expect. Being a journalism major and someone who tries to avoid any type of science classes at all costs, applying for a job in ACES was very out of my comfort zone. I didn’t really know anything about the agriculture industry or even how I would be able to write about it. I did, however, know how to interview people, listen to their stories, and then tell those stories to others. I’ve been able to apply these skills to my job, which has allowed me to learn more about the agriculture industry, the college, and its incredible students, faculty, and alumni.
I’m a junior studying journalism with minors in public relations and Spanish. Throughout my life, I had loved creative writing and making up different stories no one has told before. It wasn’t until college that I decided I wanted to shift my focus to telling true stories of other people and sharing their unique and interesting experiences. I was able to explore this interest at the Daily Illini where I’m an assistant editor of buzz magazine. At buzz, I’ve been able to interview artists, comedians, and unique business owners around Champaign-Urbana and write about their experiences that I’ve then been able to share with the C-U community.
Shifting my focus from the entertainment industry to the agriculture industry was a challenge at first, and I was worried that I wouldn’t even know how to write about a topic so foreign to me. After interviewing ACES students and alumni, however, I realized that, though very different from the stories I was used to writing, these ACES stories are still very compelling and can interest anyone, not just those within the agriculture industry and community. I’ve also been able to learn so much about what ACES students do, from extruding diets to designing community gardens. I never knew they were involved in such unique, advanced, and interesting work, and being able to talk to them about their experiences has really opened my eyes to what they are capable of doing.
I didn’t think that I would find so much interest in a subject that I always wanted to avoid, but being pushed out of my comfort zone a little bit has been extremely helpful in opening my eyes to an industry that seemed so far out of my realm of understanding. The work that ACES students, alumni, and faculty do is crucial, and I’m so excited that I get to play a small part in sharing these incredible experiences with others who might be interested in doing the same thing. I still have so much to learn and more stories to tell, and I can’t wait to see what else this experience with the College of ACES brings.