Joining Student Media was the best decision

Martina Bretous/Editor in Chief

My decision to join Student Media my junior year of college was the best one I made during my college career.

One of my new year’s resolution for 2016 had been to get out of my comfort zone and become more involved in school. I had always loved various forms of storytelling, writing personal short stories has always been a creative outlet for me but they always stayed in my Word documents on my computer.

In one of my classes, I met our former Student Media editor, Cayla Bush, who told me about the writing opportunities here and saw a chance to honor my resolution.

I started out as copy chief and not long after, I was promoted to entertainment director, then news director and finally, editor-in-chief.

I’ve learned a few lessons during my time as editor.

The first and arguably the biggest one is the importance of a good team.

Ever heard of “delegate or die?” Well, it’s a very accurate statement. While you may be skilled in your job, unwillingness to delegate can be the pitfall of an entire team.

Whether you’re leading a team or collaborating with colleagues, understanding everyone’s skills is vital when working toward a vision.

I was lucky enough to find a great mix of people on our eboard to do this with.

I also realized that perfection, while ambitious, can become an obstacle that stunts growth.

As editor, I wanted to increase traffic to our website and one tool was creating the weekly PantherNOW newsletter.

It was meant to begin in the fall and I wanted it to be perfect before launch.

What I realized is that my fear of failure was overshadowing my overall goal — I was so focused on perfection that I kept delaying its launch.

I finally released the newsletter in the spring, the best version I could create, and realized it was OK to make improvements over time.

All this to say: Failure, if used correctly, can redirect you toward something better. Don’t let your fear of failure stop you before you even get started.

That fear can be also fueled by those around you. There will always be people who shut down any idea presented to them, almost like a reflex.

It’s generally a reflection of their own insecurities and shortcomings so don’t take it personally; instead, surround yourself with positive, uplifting people who can add insight and thoughtful critique to your ideas and decisions.

I was lucky enough to have an eboard full of students with various views, skills and personalities and that mix helped us create, what I hope was, a balanced, informative and engaging news site this year.

I have to thank my right-hand through it all, Nia, Student Media’s outgoing general manager. From working late nights on production days to running our eboard together, we’ve had a great collaborative effort this year and through that process, I’ve gained a great friend.

I couldn’t have made it through all the stressful and frustrating days without your witty comments and thoughtful help.

Leading a team comes with its own challenges but with a shared goal and sense of responsibility, we were both able to accomplish our goals as student leaders.

But the work doesn’t stop — I’m leaving FIU this spring and the experiences I’ve had at Student Media have shaped my college experience and spotlighted some passions I didn’t even know I had.


Image retrieved from Flickr.

About the Author

Martina Bretous
Afro- Caribbean. Communication Arts Major. Cat lover. TV Junkie.

1 Comment on "Joining Student Media was the best decision"

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