Blog Installment #4

8/06/09
By Travis Beck

One of my fantasies has always been to get-up and drive to California spontaneously. Knowing friends who had done it, with regret or not, they always warned me to plan it out first, and to not just GO on the spot.

Call it manifest destiny, cliché or a hunch, but accepting this UNPAID internship this summer was not only a great excuse to get-the-hell-out of Nebraska, but one of the best decisions I could have made at this stage in my life.
Sometimes aspects of progression seem to fall right in place. But most times random acts of fate aren’t that random if you’re prepared to look for them, work and visualize their reality.

Being proactive with a hint of luck helped me attract, recognize and snatch an opportunity that was very crucial to my success post-graduation. This is assuming I pass both economics classes my last year and survive studying abroad.

Diving into the life of a professional newspaper photographer was challenging and exciting. I feel confident now; I could do the job, anywhere and for anyone. Learning from my peers and colleagues, asking questions and taking advice, I put my skills to the test, taking risks I’d never taken, and evolving my portfolio in the process.

My situation is not uncommon, especially at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. This isn’t a commercial, and I’m not earning brownie points here. Pay attention to your teachers if you come to this college! They’re some of the best in the business – not to mention extremely blunt, forthcoming and passionate – which is quite conducive to growth.

One thing I learned a long time ago was to not be afraid to ask questions. After getting over the fear of sounding dumb, I began to learn more. Sharing information with peers in a casual environment is the best and probably the most fun one could have learning – unless you’re thrilled with text book reading.

It’s through talking with others, collaborating and compromising that we evolved as a people. What use is a good idea or funny joke if you don’t share it with others? The same goes for art, music, skills and talents of all kinds.

Meeting different people every day and photographing them, I find about 3 in 5 to be completely useful or interesting to talk to. Maybe it’s luck, or perhaps will?

Speeding to assignments and working down-to-the-wire has been inspiring and helpful in the most stress-free way. The curious sensation I get in my stomach moments before each assignment, like a track runner before the gun shot, never gets old.