Whether it was the deadline re-writes, the never-ending sales calls, the daily budget meetings or couches that should’ve been retired several years prior, everyone has their own unique memories of the Minnesota Daily. But whether you worked downstairs or upstairs, in editorial or business, we all shared an experience that prepared us for careers beyond Moe better than any teacher or textbook could.
Yet as I reflect upon my three years at the Daily, spent first at the front desk, then in the sports department, I vividly recall wishing for more. My switch from IT to the J-school after freshman year slid me deep into the morass of students being shepherded towards a degree. I spent little time with my SJMC advisors – I can remember the name of only one – and lacked both the connection and means to progress along my SJMC path. I aimlessly sent my resume and clips to sports editors around the country during my sophomore and junior years hoping to land both an internship and some direction for my future. Instead I collected rejection letters like baseball cards – an inch-thick stack I only recently stumbled upon and finally recycled.
During my years spent wasting reams of resume paper and parceled postage, I didn’t once hear the initials MDAA. Scholarships? Mentorship opportunities? Networking? Forget about it. The people I met in the business were out chasing the same stories I was, and I was way too insecure to possibly ask one of them for guidance; how would it look asking the competition for advice?
I spent much more brainpower planning my next party rather than searching out a mentor, so the blame for my shortcomings in that department lay solely at my feet. Same goes for the search for tuition money – I filled out dozens of scholarship applications prior to college, but none once I arrived. As a result, I’m still paying off student loans.
This very moment, hordes of Daily employees are facing similar challenges without a plan or support.
I realized this shortly upon graduation – when I first heard of the Minnesota Daily Alumni Association (MDAA) – and decided I wanted to help. In 2004, I joined the MDAA board of directors and became president of the organization this fall. When taking the role, I sought to continue on the path started by former president Michelle Fure, who along with the rest of the current board mapped out an organizational structure not seen since I became an MDAA member. We have two main goals in year one with our new structure – build our database of Daily alumni contact information, and regularly communicate with Daily alums.
Yes, there are other tasks to be accomplished, like instituting casual Daily alumni get-togethers, a more robust and useful mentorship program, etcetera; but the Dr. Leo Marvin in me continues to repeat the mantra, “baby steps.”
At the risk of sounding like a politician, I’m here to enact change. I’m fortunate enough to preside over a board that is at full capacity for the first time since I originally joined. All involved share my passion and enthusiasm for making the MDAA a strong and influential organization. We’re prepared to cultivate a robust group of Daily alumni unified by past experience, current philanthropy and the future success of the current crop of student-employees charged with keeping the Minnesota Daily’s name in the good standing you left it.
Together, we will bridge the gap between Daily employees past and present, helping you stay connected to the newspaper that helped you get started while providing today’s student employees with the valuable networking, advice, direction and scholarship opportunities I never knew existed.
This quarterly newsletter, resurrected from a bygone MDAA board of directors’ era, is just the beginning. We want to professionally and socially reconnect you with the Daily, campus and those peers you worked with back in the day. We want to utilize your experiences to mentor students, speak at career sessions, and offer additional, invaluable professional guidance. Furthermore, we hope to gather at homecoming parades, be merry at pub crawls, network with students nearing graduation and celebrate each spring at our MDAA Annual Mixer.
I hope you’ll look back fondly on your time at the Minnesota Daily, welcome this chance to reconnect, and be part of this ongoing journey to bring generations of student employees closer together. I welcome your comments, suggestions, critiques and ideas to make the MDAA a more productive and successful institution. If I had an office door, it would always be open. Instead, I’m always available at email@example.com.
I, your former co-workers, and the current student-employees at The Minnesota Daily look forward to hearing from you.
President, Board of Directors
Minnesota Daily Alumni Association