I've always been better at taking instructions than I am at giving them. Most of my life has been spent learning from teachers, professors, bosses, and peers, so I've never quite been in the "instructor" role myself. While I've held several leadership positions throughout my life—I was a Student Ambassador in high school, my sorority's Social Media Chair, and Vice President of Outreach for a women's networking group on campus—I'm not the most vocal leader. I take instructions from those above me, I relay information to those who ask, and I get my work done in a timely manner. I've never had to "teach."
But in the news industry, the producer is in charge. My dad has always said that the hardest part of owning his business is managing the people who work for him. I found that to be true in the Media Center as well. At the beginning of each semester, there are new students (called "MJs," or multimedia journalists) who volunteer or fulfill a mandatory class shift in the Media Center to learn more about news and what goes into building a show.
When I was video producer two weeks ago, my role was to edit videos and manage the MJs. I had multiple people asking me what to do and how to do it, and I got overwhelmed by the number of people who needed me at one time. MJs are new to the Media Center and need a lot of guidance, but I was also new in my role as a producer, and I felt like I needed a leader to follow too. We were learning together, but I was in charge.
While all of the videos were edited for the newscast on time, and I was able to give MJs a significant amount of work throughout the day, there was a big learning curve. On the one hand, I was a video producer for the first time, and on the other, I was a new leader. Now that I've gained more experience, I feel confident in giving instructions and managing the many students who come in every week to help me and the other producers on my team. My goal for the rest of the semester is to be more vocal, to have confidence in myself and my ideas, and to be a leader the MJs can look up to.
I believe learning how to manage MJs, express my opinions, and delegate tasks will help me exponentially when I graduate. I'm eager and excited to hold more leadership positions in the future, and I'm thankful I'm getting practice in the Media Center before I enter the professional world.