My college career at BYU-Idaho has been filled with ups and downs. Like other students, my major has changed many times and my desired career path has veered various ways with every coming semester. Through all this worry, the one thing that kept me sane and helped me realize both my talents and the path I truly want to take, is my job with the Scroll.
I began my college career as a 20-year-old returned missionary, unsure whether I wanted to stick to my declared major, business management, or if I wanted to venture out into other interests I had, like medicine and political science. After my second semester, I decided to take a semester off and travel abroad in hopes that I would “find myself” and figure out what I wanted to become.
I studied abroad in Israel in the fall of 2016 at the BYU Jerusalem Center. Along with the required religion classes, I took culture classes on Israeli and Palestinian society and Arabic. The passion I felt in these international studies classes was immensely more powerful than any business class I had taken prior. After my trip abroad and through prayer and study, I was certain that international studies and political science were what I was supposed to study.
Coming back to school and declaring my major was exciting. I started to take interesting classes, like Cultural Paradigms, Ancient Chinese Culture and Terrorism and National Security. These classes both solidified my desire to study these topics and forced me to start looking at where this could take me in a career.
I decided to apply for internships for the fall of 2017. I had lived more than half of my life in Washington, D.C. and I knew that was a city I wanted to work in. I began applying to several internship opportunities in D.C. and around the country. To my amazement, I received an internship offer at one of the most prestigious think tanks in D.C. I was thrilled, anxious and excited to explore this opportunity.
My internship in D.C. taught me many things, including organization, networking skills and how to research. The skill I felt I lacked, though, was writing.
I found I was writing a much than I ever thought I would. My days included long hours of researching interesting topics like denuclearization, East Asian shipping lane policies and war crimes in Central and East Asia. I then would write short, two-page policy briefs and present them to my boss. I quickly realized that although I enjoyed this career path, I needed to improve my writing skills immensely.
I contacted my friends who worked at the Scroll, asking if there were any opportunities to work at the newspaper. They explained that most reporters write for the Scroll first before being hired onto staff, but I could give it a shot. Well, that’s exactly what I did.
I received a job at the Scroll for the Winter 2018 Semester as an assistant editor, covering topics like politics and national news. I had a great head editor and peers who helped teach me journalism and how to write a thorough piece of research analysis.
I worked hard and was blessed to become editor in the spring and editor-in-chief in the next fall semester. Being an international studies major thrown into an organization full of experts in journalism, english and communication was intimidating and hard at times, but the challenges and experience it brought helped me grow as a writer in my own ways.
Scroll has been a place for me to make life long friends and bonds and to learn who I am and can become as a writer. Thanks to the principles I’ve learned, I feel more comfortable in a capacity of research analysis and policy brief writing on the topics that interest me.
No matter how unconventional it may seem to your own path or major, the Scroll is a tool and blessing that students can be a part of to better broaden there talents and hone skills they will need in life.
There are not many international studies students that I know of that have worked at Scroll. I know many communication majors, english majors and even a sociology major who are a part of the team, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for everyone else.
For me, when two roads diverged in the woods, I decided to take the one less traveled and that has made all the difference.