I graduated from Oberlin in 2009, and moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue the only job offer I had: a position as a desk assistant at the PBS NewsHour. I knew little about journalism or television, but I had enjoyed the nonfiction courses I'd taken at Oberlin, and I had a long-standing interest in documentary writing and radio projects. Not knowing anything about the city or how long I'd be there, I found a sublet on Craigslist and bought a guide to D.C.
Over the next year I battled the phones on the news desk, compiled research for correspondents and took note of the surreal banality that can occur in a television studio: anchors muttering in front of the camera before they go on air as producers in the control room listen in; production assistants eating their lunches as they log video of festivals or mudslides in other countries; our library filled with old tapes of news events, diners, housing developments, concerts, gardens-- even cooperative living! For a few months I assisted on shoots and in booking discussion segments, and I was hired permanently some months later.
In my current role as a production assistant, I help to produce tape segments for the program and contribute articles and multimedia for the show's website. Outside of work, I read and write fiction and narrative nonfiction, listen to a lot of radio, and watch a lot of documentaries. I still refer to the guide book for restaurant recommendations.
For me, the creative writing major was immensely rewarding, both in the coursework that it offered and the interactive classroom experience that it involved. I remain proud of many of the projects I began at school, and am grateful for the professors who have been mentors and friends.