When I started at The Prospector, I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea one day I would see my name in the news page with the title of “editor-in-chief.” All I knew is that if I wanted to build a portfolio and become a journalist, I had to step out of my comfort zone and get my foot in the door.
In the spring of 2017, I got my shot as a contributor and even after some of the stories I wrote never got published (which I totally get why), I was never discouraged. Later, it actually paid off. I became a reporter, then an editor of the entertainment section, then multimedia editor, to finally wrap up my college adventure by becoming editor-in-chief.
It’s incredible to look back at the struggles, the stress and all the things that pile up with school and my personal life.
This place became more than just a workplace; it became a second home.
I feel so much gratitude for those who hired me, starting off with former editor-in-chief Michaela Roman and former director Kathleen Flores, for giving me the opportunity to join this team. To the old guys, Rene, Old Christian, Adrian, thank you guys for your patience and sharing your knowledge along the way.
This place has given me more than just the chance to build a portfolio; it has given me the field experience to know what to expect in the professional field.
Since the very beginning, I can say I enjoyed every event I got to cover, from attending opening shows at the dinner theater, to politics, to writing food, restaurant, and coffee shop reviews, and seeing Luis Miguel on my birthday (I wrote a review, of course.) The Prospector gave me a chance to grow professionally and personally. It gave me the experience to lead a staff, manage things with professionalism even when things got muddy, learn to work with difficult people to make things work in the newsroom, among others.
For those of you who plan on becoming journalists, let me tell you that this is the place where you’ll put on task all the skills you learn in class on a daily basis. Even when we have class assignments, there’s nothing more satisfying than covering events and writing stories under pressure and deadlines.
During my time here, I received many awards at the state level for videos and stories about our border community. Most recently, two former editors and I were awarded a national honor with a second-place win in the College Media Business and Advertising Managers 2019 Awards. This type of recognition is something I would have never experienced if I had not joined The Prospector. So, to all of you student journalists, trust me when I tell you that this place is a platform to land internships, network with people in the local and national media, and hopefully land a job in the industry.
To my fellow editors who are graduating with me, you guys are the best! Thank you so much for keeping up with the madness of this semester. From drama in the newsroom, to staying until 2 a.m. after covering the Trump rally, to making production nights so chill (even when they weren’t), thank you so much for your help, patience and your friendship. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Catherine, I owe you a big one for stepping up to the plate when we needed a new editor last semester. Thank you so much for doing a great job and being a great support in the newsroom. I know that you’ll do great in grad school and whatever you do, you’ll nail it. I will truly miss you, girl!
Curly, dude, thank you so much for being my right hand this semester, for helping me plan issues and for making the drama way funnier than what it was. I know that whether you go to Houston and work as a sports reporter, stay in podcasting or if you become a lawyer, you will do terrific at whatever you strive for. I will miss you a bunch, man!
Brianna, we met in the basic multimedia writing class and look at where we are right now! After struggling a lot to pass classes and stressing over procrastination, we finally made it, girl! Be sure that if you stay at KVIA or you go somewhere else, you have what it takes to achieve your goals and I know you will do fantastic! I will miss you a lot, Bri!
Christian and Ashley, I know you guys are not graduating, but this is a farewell, too, as you’ll be leaving the publication for bigger opportunities. I’m sure that whatever you do in your respective areas, you both will succeed gracefully. Thank you so much for joining me in this journey.
Verito, thank you so much for everything! I owe you a bunch of pretty paper for all those recommendation letters. Thank you for trusting me and believing in me to take over this position. Thank you for always having your office door open (literally and metaphorically) to all of us. You’re not a normal boss, you’re a cool boss, and I will miss you so much!
Tracy, thank you for keeping up with us. This semester was all about adjusting and I’m glad it worked out as it did. Thank you for your patience, for staying with us until 2 a.m. editing and for always helping us improve whether it was layout or writing. I hope you have a great experience with the future generations to come. I will truly miss you, Tracy!
Isabel and Marcie, thank you for always being accessible to all of us, for always receiving us with a smile and for all you do for this place. I will miss you both a lot!
To those of you who stay, take care of this place. You guys have seen how much it can give all of you and it’s your time to be in charge and continue with the Prospy legacy.
Isaiah, Claudia, Valeria, Alexia, Priscilla, Glenda, Carolina, Teddy, Elliot, Noah, Jaqui, Michael, thank you so much for your work this semester. I am incredibly proud of you. I know you will do great next semester and in the years to come.
It’s bittersweet to say goodbye not only to The Prospector, but to my undergrad studies at UTEP. After graduation I will continue to freelance with a local publication. I will take a well-deserved break to later come back to school to pursue a master’s degree in creative writing and hopefully become a cool writer.
So to you all, thank you, and to The Prospector, I will miss you dearly.