Kerry Leary ― University of Missouri
Enlarge image Editors (© dpa - Report) I was fortunate enough to be selected by the Missouri School of Journalism to attend the German Embassy’s Young Journalist Program in Washington, DC, May 29- June 1. This was a perfect opportunity to meet young, determined journalists from all over the world, and I enjoyed every second of it.
I truly enjoyed having conversations with highly respected professionals. It really opened my eyes to the importance of being aware of international events, international media and the role of journalism in fostering transatlantic dialogue. Even though all of the meetings were wonderful, I think my favorite part was getting to know the young journalists from all over the world. Our conversations about the differences in society, the differences in culture and journalism truly changed my perspective on the world. It was fascinating to hear about their reporting and their accomplishments at such a young age. The discussions heightened my desire to report internationally and helped me understand the importance of fostering relationships with international journalists.
One of my favorite conversations was about American society and the fact that every high school graduate is expected to go to college right away. They’re expected to know their major and, at 18, decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives. After completing college in four years, 22-year-old college graduates are expected to enter the real world. They’re expected to be successful and they’re expected to not falter or make mistakes along the way.
So many of the young journalists from abroad shared their stories of travel and self exploration and expressed the importance in seeing the world and enjoying life before getting caught up in being a professional in the real world. This really put things into perspective for me. I want to travel after I complete graduate school in August now more than ever before to gain perspective on the world and take time to figure out who I am before I join the professional world. I believe this workshop inspired me to explore and to learn, but more importantly, to have fun doing it.