The best job I’ve ever had

By: Nicholas Ratcliff

Senior Producer

Coming in as a freshman at Tarleton State University, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Like most freshmen, I was here to get a degree and find the path I was going to take in the career world. 

When I saw that Texan News Service (TNS) was hiring, I applied for the job because I knew it would work with my class schedule and look good on my resume. 

I had no idea I was applying for the best job I have ever had.

I was hired as a multimedia journalist more than two years ago, even though I barely had any experience writing. I was nervous, anxious and worried they would quickly realize my inexperience and find someone new to replace me the second they had the chance. 

So, when it was time to turn in my first story, I asked every staff member to read it and tell me what I needed to fix before I turned it into our editor. Every single member on the staff edited my story, and I immediately felt welcome.

Since that time, I have written dozens of articles, produced multiple video packages, learned how to run a teleprompter and was even able to launch my own podcast, all thanks to TNS. 

While Tarleton has done well to teach me the basics of these principles, I would not be as experienced and confident in my skills if it weren’t for TNS. 

You see, TNS often gets a bad rap because we report on Tarleton’s issues that people don’t like to hear. People often think that we hate this university because we are always writing about the things they are doing wrong. 

But from my experience with TNS over these past two years, the opposite is true. We constantly write about Tarleton’s issues because we want the university to improve and become the best version of itself.

The current parking issue is a great example of this concept. The students have the right to voice their concerns about parking because it is causing issues for the students. 

Because of this conversation, Tarleton is currently working on a parking garage and looking for ways to improve the situation. 

That has always been my goal while working for TNS. 

Tarleton has given me so much in my life, a great internship, friends, education and most importantly, my favorite memories. Since it has given me so much, I figured I could help give back by pointing out some of the issues that it has, so the university can improve for all future students. 

The only reason I was able to do that was because of the platform that TNS gave me. Every time I wrote a story that talked about Tarleton’s issues, I was worried that it wouldn’t get published. But every article I sent to my editor was backed by facts, so TNS and the Comms Department backed me up every single time. 

That is the real joy of working for TNS. The constant support you receive from your peers, the dean of the Communication Department and the faculty advisor has been my number one support system throughout my college experience. 

Not only have they taught me a wide range of skills that I can use in my career, but they have also always been there to help me out when I needed it. 

Even though I am happy to graduate and start the next chapter of my life, I will always look back at TNS as the first job that I truly enjoyed working. 

The best advice I could give to anyone who is attending Tarleton is to enjoy this experience for all it is worth. Find an internship that suits you like TNS suited me because I can tell you from personnel experience, it will change your life for the better. 

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