The Mustang Daily experienced a lot of changes this summer. While the majority of campus was enjoying lazy days, we were redesigning the paper to ease the transition from tabloid to broadsheet — the latter is the longer version you see on stands now — and implementing an entirely new website — the old website was too reminiscent of Myspace (so 2008).
But most importantly, we welcomed a new staff to the newsroom. Some were unfamiliar faces, and others, such as myself, took on entirely new positions. I took on the role of managing editor instead my former bottom-of-the-totem-pole copy editor position (yes, the job is important, but in the chain of command, you’re fighting to be recognized).
What does a managing editor do? Despite what you might think, and I initially expected, I do a lot.
The editor-in-chief (EIC) and myself work side-by-side and are basically on-call seven days a week. We bounce ideas off each other, make sure the paper is looking good, help reporters on anything from calling contacts to drafting stories and, basically, make sure everything is running smoothly. The EIC Kaytlyn Leslie has the final word, but don’t worry, I’m always there to give my two cents and have her back.
The more I’m around, the more I realize the managing editor is there to bridge the gap between administration and general staff. This translates into me providing the occasional comic relief, as well as offering my time to anyone who needs to talk — this hasn’t happened so far this year, but I’m told once midterms start people are more inclined to vent.
As I learn more about my role as managing editor, I’ll be sure to use this blog to talk about the trials and tribulations. For now, all I can do is go with the flow and do me. So, here is a little more about me.
As Webbis once said, “(I’m) i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t, do you know what that means? She got her own house. She got her own car. Two jobs, work hard…”
Ok, maybe I’m not 100 percent independent, I don’t have two jobs, and I rent a house with five other roommates instead of owning one, but I do have a car. I’m getting there. Baby steps.
When I came to college, fresh out of senior year, I was not driven to do anything more than live the dream. I took 12 units all freshman year, didn’t work and enjoyed every minute of it. Sophomore year, I picked up a few more units and got a job, but still lived the dream.
Then the end of sophomore year hit, and I realized I was going into my third year and wasn’t even at junior standing (I didn’t pass the GWR because I had 89, not 90, units). I needed to step it up. That’s when I applied, and thankfully, got hired as a copy editor.
I was never the person to preach about getting involved, but now looking back, I could have benefitted from doing more than the bare minimum. It’s possible to scrape by doing as little as possible, I know it, but it’s way more fulfilling to actually do things that benefit your degree before you graduate. Padding a résumé shouldn’t be an afterthought, and I took the long way to come to this conclusion.
One day, I’ll use the position I have this year on my résumé. Until then, I’m focused on helping the new Mustang Daily staff publish an interesting, accurate, enjoyable publication for Cal Poly’s campus to read daily. Oh, and graduating in spring.