Change is on the way!

By Sahar Majid

Work can be fun! I learned this in my host newsroom where I’ll be working through August.  I’m working with the editorial board of The Philadelphia Inquirer and I found it a cool place to learn and explore.

Seniors are supposed to teach, encourage and help their juniors in every way. I’m lucky to have great mentors here who not only have been working to polish my journalistic skills but also helping me become a more refined individual.

From my official mentor, Michael Matza, to my editor, Harold Jackson, and all my colleagues on the editorial board — Kevin Ferris, Cynthia Burton, Josh Gohlke, Russell Cooke and Trudy Rubin — everyone is great.

The best thing I found here is people’s willingness to listen to you — about your ideas, issues or anything that belongs to you in particular or your people and country in general. I am not only absorbing many cultural aspects of the U.S. but also sharing with my colleagues about the people and culture of Pakistan.

Besides working on opinion pieces, I will soon be doing reporting assignments as well. I’m interested in the immigrant community in the U.S., particularly in Philadelphia. I plan to focus on Pakistanis in Philadelphia. By the way, immigration is my mentor’s beat so he will be guiding me through every step.

I sit with the editorial board (a great honor in itself!) and have my separate workstation. I’m allowed to work on flexible deadlines and I’m free to propose my own ideas to write. This has helped me adjust to the new work environment easily, making work an enjoyable experience.

The twice-weekly editorial meetings are yet another way to learn how editors stay in touch and discuss the articles in hand and upcoming issues. I’m improving my art of communicating because during meetings I’m also asked by my editor to propose ideas to write. I get feedback from all my colleagues.

In a nutshell, change is definitely on the way!

It definitely helps when in a prestigious newspaper like The Philadelphia Inquirer, one gets a chance to work, learn, explore, share and observe. The experience I’m getting will help me improve every aspect of my life. This has added many good friends to my social circle and will provide me with better career opportunities for future.