Coming into Rutgers, I was sort of unsure about what I wanted from my college experience – all I knew was that I loved to write and I wanted to utilize that in one way or another. So, I decided to look into what the University had to offer, and one of my friends introduced me to the Daily Targum – the Rutgers University school newspaper.
I was really interested in journalism and wanted to incorporate it into my major, so I decided to double major in Marketing and Journalism and Media Studies. This led me to believe that I was taking a step further towards achieving something that I always wanted to work towards – a career in magazine editing. Writing for the school newspaper that not only prints daily, but also covers the University news, sports, fashion, classifieds, opinions, and even diversions was a good way to start off.
Going to a writer’s meeting, picking up the story I wanted to work on, interviewing people, writing the article, and seeing it published in the paper was a great experience. It’s not only something that I hoped that someone will come across and read – it’s something that I saw people reading right before my very eyes; whether it be at the bus stops or the student centers, in classes or in libraries, the Daily Targum is something that is distributed to every campus at the University and it is also available online. It’s something that made me feel as if I was a part of something bigger.
The process starts with being a ‘Contributing Writer’ (when you write about 7-8 stories) and eventually you can move your way up to becoming a ‘Staff Writer’. If you wish to continue at that point, you have the opportunity to move up to an editing position.
So far I have written articles that involved interviewing the man and woman of the year – individuals who not only had a multitude of accomplishments and a good GPA, but also embodied qualities and leadership skills that made me want to gain the same experience of being a huge part of different organizations, travel around the world to learn from different cultures, and become a well-rounded person overall.
Another one of my articles was about an aspiring singer/songwriter who is also a Rutgers University student and has been dedicated to her singing career ever since she was little. Hearing about her determination and her journey so far made me want to embody the same motivation and drive.
I also wrote a story about how some of the South Asian fraternities participated in running a bone marrow drive for a three-year-old kid with leukemia. Seeing so many people sign up to donate bone marrow was very inspiring because it not only makes you feel good about trying to help people in need, but it also feels good to know that other people are trying to do the same.
Writing for the Daily Targum is not only about going to events and reporting the logistics of it – I never would have met all of these people or went to many of these events had I not been there to write a story on them. It is not just about writing for the sake of writing; there is a lot that you can take from the experience. I plan to keep writing for the Targum so that I can enhance my writing and editing skills. Hopefully my experiences can help me become a famous magazine editor one day!
By Pooja Chaudhary