Postie Perspectives: Two sides of a coin

By Kaylee Kean

This has been an interesting few weeks.

You see, these past couple of weeks have been all about the hiring process and being hired. As a journalism student about to enter her senior year, I’m beginning the straining search for an internship that fits my needs with an organization that believes I fit its needs.

It’s not the most fun thing in the world – a roller coaster, for sure. Sometimes I’m enthusiastic and prepared for the wonderful challenges ahead, and sometimes I get hit in the face with rejection, confusion and a serious lack of self-esteem.

They make it seem so positive, these places I apply to. Look at this great internship! Look at all of the opportunities, look at what you can do here! And at the interviews: Wow, this is wonderful – you are just what we are looking for!

You go home content and feeling great about life, tell your parents you think you’ve got this in the bag, and start planning out your immediate future around this awesome new internship. And then that short little email comes: Yes, you are awesome, but you’re not good enough.

After the first couple of times, I get it. Okay. Just keep trying. It won’t be what you’re expecting, but there’s something out there for you, and eventually it will happen.

…Right?

Anyway, I’m also going through another process that turned out to be something other than what I expected, and it’s on the other side of things. I was recently promoted to Managing Editor at Oakland University’s student newspaper, The Oakland Post, and came just in time to help with the hiring process. Now I’m the one behind the desk with the resumes and notepad.

I was expecting it to be easy. “I know everyone on staff, awesome!” “No-one reads The Post, no-one’s going to apply – this will be a breeze!”

Ha. Cute.

Turns out a LOT of people applied. We were expecting one or two new faces, and I can’t give you an actual number of applicants off the top of my head.

The next Editor-in-Chief and I got together beforehand and hashed out some new positions and a slightly newer structure for our newsroom, and I think that definitely fueled the fire.

We just weren’t expecting this much attention from it, even with the job descriptions we posted and the two or three classrooms we spoke to. (This attention came from both inside and outside of the current Post staff.)

This past Friday marked the end of the interviewing. We have gone through our lists, chosen our new Posties, and assigned new positions. The year will begin with fresh faces, fresh attitudes and fresh ideas. It will be awesome – I can feel it.

Being on the other side has really made me think about the whole process – not just applying. At first I only thought about getting that resume and cover letter in, and the interview after. But I never really, truly realized just how much an interviewer looks at (before, during and after that interview) and how little it takes to alter your perception of someone.

I stalked many people both on the Web and offline. I greatly changed my opinion of applicants based on their resume, cover letter (if they even had one), and what others had to say. I analyzed people from the minute they applied to the minute they left the office, and that includes people I have already worked with for months.

I realized I am very, very picky and have sometimes ridiculously high standards for the people I may have to work with. It’s made me realize a lot about myself. It has also made me a lot more forgiving towards those I have applied to in the past – if a student newspaper looks at all of this, I can only imagine how a professional company processes.

Anyways, we are all done hiring, and as scary as I got at times, we did not really have to turn anyone down. As much as I complained, as much as I nitpicked, it was a fun process and one that I’m glad I got to be a part of. Even better, I personally got to help choose the staff and thus the future of The Oakland Post, and nothing could please me more.

Never stop trying, never stop learning. Here’s to a good year!

This post was contributed by Managing Editor Kaylee Kean. Read more at kayleekean.wordpress.com.

Follow her on Twitter @KayleeKean.