No other school activity has improved my leadership skills like student journalism has. For the past two years, I have led my online staff towards national recognition with team bonding and mentoring activities along the way. I am an eager and energetic leader, bringing to class my positive attitude for journalism with exciting activities and presentations.
I run a fast-paced, interactive news site that updates daily on the web and via social media. Not many juniors could take on this kind of leadership when I applied as a junior in 2017, but my peers chose me -- over seniors applying for the position -- because of my vision and leadership on staff. I am a collaborator, connecting quickly with others, and appreciating the work of my talented peers.
As one example of my leadership, I worked closely at the start of the year with the Creative Design Manager to customize the code and design the website navigation, adding the blog bars at the bottom and updating the masthead and color scheme. Last year, when work began on Aureus, our semester magazine, I worked as a writer and designer and excitedly volunteered to model for the cover photo. No one is more invested in and enthusiastic about the work our school's journalists create. I have embraced the position as Director and I identify with the role within the school halls. My peers outside of journalism class understand my passion too, I am often contacted with story ideas, kind feedback on stories I've written and future possibilities for the website.
My journalism adviser, Kathryn Campbell, wrote the following about my leadership, "Her curiosity about journalism shows in wide-ranging products from traditional news stories to photojournalism packages, video series, Facebook Live and more, Mimi wants to know the myriad ways to reach our news audience. Mimi is an inclusive leader, bringing in not only freelance photographers and guest writers to the publication but also encouraging those interested in being newly involved to get into journalism with the promise that she’ll help them learn as they go. As an example, a rising senior mentioned to Mimi that she was curious about podcasting, and the two of them worked together to develop an idea, learn about the format and equipment, and Senior Mira was born."
As part of my role, I send out emails to the entire staff every Sunday that gives students an update of what we will be working on the following week, important announcements, beat deadlines and any other relevant tips I choose to include. I color my emails to make them exciting to read and hopefully, my peers look forward to the updates. My typical emails look like the ones I've attached below in a slideshow. Click on the images to see the full email.
Presentations. I am a presentation fanatic, and I always encourage others on staff to make presentations on anything: a new interactive tool, notes from a convention or just a quick how-to tutorial. Below are three examples of presentations I've created in the past two years.
The first presentation below is a celebratory one I created for a class in honor of our Pacemaker Finalist announcement, and I decided it was time for a reflection. I had staffers fill out a form I created in the fall so I could include selected quotes in from their answers.
The second presentation I created my first year as Director. I wanted to give the staff a quick resource on how to use HTML code on our site, which our editors and writers need to do every day. Sometimes, however, I get questions on how to embed a social media post or alter the appearance of a story, so I created the presentation to address those questions.
The last presentation below is a hallmark of our staff, Development Day. Created by the Director before me, the Development Day presentation is required for every staffer. Students create a presentation that contains two multimedia or interactive elements that they would like to implement onto the site, giving professional journalism examples and writing ideas for what sections the story form could be used in. My Development Day presentation is attached below.