Senior Send-Off: Writer gains life skills

My last Rider News piece is in the same section as my first: the opinion section.
I signed up for The Rider News as a writer during summer orientation in 2008.  I was fresh out of high school and still 17.  The then-Executive Editor of the paper, Laura Mortkowitz, spoke to the new freshman class about The Rider News. Looking back on those four years, that moment seems so long ago.
Since then, I have become more outgoing; I was recently told how quiet I used to be as a freshman.
I have also had the opportunity to serve in three leadership positions: a commuter senator, secretary of the Association of Commuting Students and this year, secretary of the Public Relations Society. Through these wonderful experiences, I gained valuable life skills such as organization, planning and strategic thinking.
Another helpful asset I gained is job experience. I started working at the Student Success Center in my sophomore year as a peer tutor — a job I will miss dearly. Students are here to learn and helping them in that process was one of my best experiences. I hope to continue tutoring in the future.
The summer between my junior and senior year, I had an internship. I worked for a petite public relations firm.  I got a crash course in how a small public relations business works. I researched, made lists, wrote press releases and made contacts. That summer, I learned that I enjoyed public relations work, making it an option for work after I graduate.  This year, I also began working for the Communication and Journalism Department in the project lab.
I once wrote in a column that not all lessons are learned in the classroom and I was right.  Some of my most valuable lessons came from my extracurricular and work experiences, though I still owe a debt to all my professors.
My academic experiences at Rider taught me to view the world differently and to question that perspective. Currently, my reality is that I am almost done with my studies at Rider.
I am graduating as a journalism and Spanish double major. Although I plan to continue my studies, I will also be entering the workforce. Despite an economy that is experiencing weak growth, I am confident that the skills I have learned at Rider will help launch my career.

-Jess Scanlon
Senior journalism/Spanish major

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