What Color is Your Parachute – Story 6

As suggested by my uncle, I picked up a copy of the award-winning novel What Color is Your Parachute to help figure out what it is exactly I want for my life. The book is recommending that I write a series of seven stories in order to identify some of my own personal qualities. While it doesn’t suggest posting the works publicly, I thought it would be a great opportunity to post more content to this blog. Enjoy 🙂

Story 6: 

In high school, I was never involved with our yearbook but, as soon as college hit, I was interested in a position with our student newspaper. Never before had I been involved with journalism, but I thought being on the advertising team sounded incredibly interesting. Unfortunately, they never got a hold of me (same thing is happening to me now, to be honest), so I kept trying to get in some position with them. Finally, I was hired as an advertisement designer where I created numerous successful campaigns, including one that received first place in a Minnesota contest. Cool, right?

After a successful run with this, I was later hired as the online editor because, well, the old editor posted things that should not have been posted (i.e. email addresses, cell phone numbers, etc.). I have had 7+ years prior with web design and development experience, so I was a decent fit. I totally redesigned the main website soon being nominated for a Pacemaker by the Associate Collegiate Press, as well as serving on a panel at a convention in Hollywood. Truly exciting.

While I had many successes in this position, my final position with the newspaper was as Managing Editor and Business Manager. During this time, I had to see the newspaper over a transitional period where, as we all know, newspaper sales are dwindling. I successfully created a rate card that, to this day, still provides large numbers of profit for the newspaper. I also had to manage a $30,000 allocation for the newspaper. I had to communicate with other members of the executive board, as Business Manager, whether we had the money or not for a certain feature for our newspapers, while keeping in mind that the more saving we have, the better off we are.

As managing editor, then, I oversaw all articles and designs that came through and critiqued them for both credibility and design finesse. I provided mentorship to writers on consistent style while being firm and true to the AP Style that newspapers follow. I loved working for this newspaper because it gave me such a thrilling and exciting journey – although, at times, it took over my life (which I didn’t mind).


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