How ONA can advance students’ career aspirations

You know that feeling you get when you’re in the presence of innovation? The kind that makes you say “Whoa”?

That’s how I felt when I first toured the University of Georgia. I got that feeling again when I began taking classes at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and again when I attended #ONA15, an annual conference held by the Online News Association.

In Los Angeles, where the conference was held, I looked around at the other attendees with awe. Discussions between reporters, editors, designers and coders about the latest trends and next big thing in journalism filled the various conference rooms, and I attempted eavesdrop on every conversation I could. As a student interested in how digital technology can help transform news, I was inspired.

I am thrilled to be serving as the first student representative for the Online News Association Board of Directors beginning Jan. 1. As an organization, ONA strives to be a launching point for innovation in story-telling, a resource for journalists and a supporter of ethics, best practices and development. And the staff members and directors in charge don’t just talk the talk.

The nonprofit sponsors training and networking opportunities as well as professional development opportunities.

The best part is that these networks are available to UGA students locally through ONA/SPJ. As a resource, ONA has given the club encouragement to create programming sessions we call Code Your @$$ Off and experimentation courses such as the Mobile News Lab. Those programs, in turn, helped launch internships for some of our members.

I’m developing plans increase opportunities for students through my position on the board.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to reach out.

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