Sara Ashley Stammer
Student Representative, Eastern Region
Alpha Epsilon Alpha Chapter
The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ
For years I always have solicited my mother for advice. That sentiment was true in February when I learned about the NYU Summer Publishing Institute in New York City. I asked her if she thought I should take a chance, apply, and see where it led me, and as always, her unrelenting support backed me the entire time.
When I arrived at the six-week intensive magazine, book, and digital media program I did not know the extent of the powerful, unsolicited advice I would receive. My education in this graduate program spanned well beyond what was directly told to me in my classes. Although I learned a lot about the publishing industry from the program I also learned a lot about life that is applicable to any career—academic, professional, or otherwise.
First, in a world in which we find the need to have all the right answers all the time, it is imperative to remember data doesn’t create content. Data and analytics will not help the quality of our lives. Data may inform, our entire life is spent collecting knowledge and experience, but people have the ability to persuade. Many human problems cannot be solved with algorithms or computers, they need human solutions.
Second, every move in your life does not have to be calculated—break the rules and take chances. It is time to stop thinking like a student and start thinking like a human. You have an opportunity to get it right next time; worst case scenario right now is playing it safe. We are making microevolutions every single day. It is fine if some are deliberate, but we never will have the ability to control everything. Companies and jobs do not and will not love you back; this is your journey, make it about you!
Finally, be a collector of many great thinkers, know and need the people around you. Understanding you are not an expert in everything is the first step because the best work is never done alone. That being said, identify your unique selling points and market yourself in your own way. Networking is just systematic development and cultivation of professional relationships so keep it simple and know who you are. Be where you are and look around, and most importantly, don’t be so focused on looking ahead that you forget where you are.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given that you have either listened to or ignored? Comment below!
Sigma Tau Delta Summer Program Scholarship
Due November 9, 2015, 11:59 p.m. Central Standard TIme (CST)
The Summer Program Scholarship is available to active undergraduate members, including seniors who are about to graduate at the time of application. The scholarship provides up to $1,500 for the purpose of attending a special summer program, either in the U.S. or abroad, which furthers the applicant’s engagement with Sigma Tau Delta’s mission. Qualifying summer programs must be at least three weeks in length and no longer than three months. Applicants should demonstrate academic scholarship and chapter service, and must explain the relevance of their summer program to fostering their engagement in the discipline of English, including literature, language, writing, or literacy. Note: This scholarship cannot be used toward a regular summer session at the student’s home institution.
Before receiving this scholarship, applicants are required to provide proof of their enrollment in the summer program described in their applications. Should winners not be able to provide such verification within three weeks of being notified about the scholarship, their awards will be presented to the runners-up.
Applications being accepted through Monday, November 9, so apply today!