I applied for the Next Gen Radio digital mentee program uncertain of what to expect. One thing I knew was that 5 days is a short amount of time for such a project and that there would be a high volume of work needed done in that time frame.

I came into the project with absolutely no experience with journalism, apart from things I have read, as well as no experience doing graphics under such tight deadlines. Amara, Laura, Brent and Heather of the digital team, as well as others on the illustration team helped me get acclimated to the fast pace.

Being invited along to shadow a story was fun and taught me a lot about the details that go into recording a story. I got to shadow Meena, a reporting mentee, along with Doug and the visuals team mentor and mentee and got to see how recording is done, how questions are asked in interviews, as well as how photojournalists take engaging photos in the field. Additionally, working with the team as a whole to create a project that is ‘Next Gen’, using all forms of media was great.

The greatest thing I learned from the program was creating graphics under a time crunch, coming up with quick design solutions and relaying information to readers in a quick and concise way/manner. As mentioned, this is my first time doing work under such a time frame, and I learned a lot about how I work, especially managing various software, switching from screen to screen, window to window and finding a good workflow.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone on the team that had a choice in choosing me to be a mentee for this. I have learned to understand over time that the slightest opportunity or chance can change the outlook of a person’s life, and I feel this opportunity has done just that for me during a distressing and un-certain point in it.