Job Shadow Experience Confirms Student's Love

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One of my father's favorite remarks is, "Honey, you have no idea what it's like in the real world."

In these situations, I'd like nothing more than to say, "Oh, yes I do!" But the truth of the matter is, I don't.

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Bekah Sandoval, a sophomore at Payson High School, interviews students at Frontier Elementary School for a story on the giant snow caterpillar they made on the FES playground. Sandoval, who loves to write, spent Thursday at the Roundup as part of Groundhog Job Shadow Day.

I'm still a young, teenage girl, sheltered from the dangerous outside world and living cozily under Mom and Dad's roof. This is why, when given the chance to job shadow, I jumped at the opportunity to experience a small taste of the independence that comes with having a career.

I arrived at the Payson Roundup at the early hour of 8 a.m. and anxiously made my way to the front door. I hadn't the slightest clue as to what I'd be doing, but I was ready for anything.

I took my first few steps through the Roundup office feeling a little nervous and uncomfortable. I was relieved of my nerves when Roundup Publisher Richard Haddad, my escort, informed me that I would be writing a story of my own.

There was something comforting in knowing that my day would be spent doing exactly what I love to do.

Throughout the day, I completed several tasks that are given to actual journalists. I attended a staff meeting, interviewed various people for an article, composed an article of my own, and gained a better understanding of what journalists experience in their every-day jobs.

One important thing I learned: Being a journalist is rewarding, but not always easy. Each day, journalists deal with tight deadlines, difficult people, and long hours staring at a computer screen.

But, oh, the feeling of accomplishment when a story is completed.

Reflecting on my day as a journalist, a particular conversation stands out in my mind. A Roundup staff reporter, Jim Keyworth, and I were able to visit for a few minutes together.

We spent most of our conversation discussing the great advantages of being a journalist. Keyworth told me of his several occupations previous to his job with the Roundup.

"I finally chose to be a journalist because in this profession, I'm doing what I love to do," Jim said. "So many people choose jobs that they end up hating, but I could never get sick of writing."

I survived my busy day as a journalist, and I can honestly say that spending a day in the shoes of a reporter has made my desire to become one even more intense. I was absolutely delighted by the intriguing experience and the wonderful people.

A day in the "real world" wasn't as bad as old Dad made it out to be.

(Editor's note: Bekah Sandoval, a sophomore at Payson High School, spent a day at the Roundup last week as part of the school's Groundhog Job Shadow Day event. This is her account of the experience.)

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