Switching roles: speaking on a panel

Alright, so I’ve never done this before. Except recently when I was on a Phoenix14 panel about voting, but that was very brief, very straightforward and impersonal. This was face-to-face with the people listening to me. And I don’t know if I’d consider myself an expert on the topic.

Well, anyway, Anna’s already written about this panel, all about student internship and journalism opportunities abroad. On the panel with me was an Indiana University Professor, Jim Kelly, the leader and IU professor Brad Hamm, and an IU senior who’d been to London and Chile to study journalism. She had been on school trips, mine was essentially that except more of a collaboration with an organization my Periclean Scholars program has partnered with. It was a trip to shoot a documentary. For this panel, I even got a fancy “speaker” pin. But I didn’t realize it until afterward.

I definitely don’t think I was qualified enough to say you need to do this and this to get an internship or write freelance abroad. I don’t know anymore about it than most people in that room. So I would agree with Anna.

But I think once it started, it was pretty clear that we were going to focus more on the different kinds of things you can get involved in that will lead to international journalism opportunities. Not everyone is looking for an in at a bureau, and besides having networking opportunities, I don’t know how much could have been said about that, anyway. Perhaps that should have been addressed, but I think this panel was more about student opportunities.

Another issue was about how much time we had to even talk about the subject. We didn’t begin to have enough time to go into detail about each of our trips and how we got involved in them. We only skimmed the surface of what we even did, let alone how we could get involved.

So I think as a first time being on a panel, this was an interesting experience, but it left me a little unsatisfied with how much we’d actually been of help to people. Some students came up and talked to Kelly afterward, no one seemed interested in talking to me or Sarah, and I don’t think I would have been either. But I wish there had been more than 50 minutes to talk about the four programs we were all involved in and how they were such an interesting mix of programs that students can get involved in. What I hoped people could take away from this, which I ended by saying, was that people can find these journalistic study abroad opportunities.

–jack

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