Mentor Visit Assessment 1
Mentor: Staci Parks
Profession: Online Managing Editor
Location: D Magazine Office
Date: January 11, 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
At my first mentor visit with Ms. Parks, we focused primarily on setting goals and expectations for our time together. I was hoping to find out through the visit what Ms. Parks thought it was important for me to learn, and how that was similar to topics I had an interest in learning about; this was definitely accomplished. Ms. Parks emphasized the importance of me gaining experience in the fact-checking process, writing in APA style, and attending editorial meetings over the course of the mentorship. I wholeheartedly agree with all of these, as they are all essential elements in learning all of the steps a journalist takes in getting their story to print.
As for opportunities for me to enhance my independent study through my time in the office, Ms. Parks was able to provide several. First, she offered to give me material to fact-check that is actually planning on being published on the D Magazine website at some point during the mentorship. I think this will be a highly beneficial experience because I have no previous knowledge of the steps involved in the fact-checking process. If it is such a crucial aspect of journalism, thoroughly understanding and being capable of conducting this process will give me a leg up as I go into higher education and the professional world. Additionally, she offered to give me AP style “quizzes” (she teaches AP style at the University of North Texas) to help enhance my understanding of my topic and the format that I will ultimately use in my professional career. I can then use this information to ensure that my writing, as I progress through my education and beyond, is respectable and credible. Something unexpected that I learned was the fact that every professional piece of work from all journalists, worldwide, is presented in AP style. I had no idea that it was so important for me to have such a depth of understanding of AP style, but now that I do I can ensure that I practice implementing it wherever possible. Furthermore, Ms. Parks stressed that attending editorial meetings would be one of the most important experiences that I could undergo during our mentorship. This makes sense to me, because seeing how every individual job works together to create the final magazine would allow me to see how exactly various specific jobs collaborate with writers in the creative process.
A highlight of the visit was discussing ideas for my final product and how Ms. Parks could help me in bringing it to fruition. This was exciting to me because I am eager to be able to see the growth that I will experience from my original work article, which I wrote completely individually, to my final product, which I will complete with Ms. Parks’ help. We discussed potentially writing an article or series of articles to be published on the D Magazine website, either with collaboration between just the two of us or with a few other D team members. This let me know that I need to direct my research towards deciding on a certain subject, area, or type of writing that I would like to focus on for my final product. Currently, I am leaning towards feature stories as opposed to news, and I may have to refine it more in the future. I need to know what sort of piece I want to write for my product because it will help me choose a particular story when it presents itself. Additionally, if I decide that I like a certain kind of writing now, I may be able to master it and continue focusing on it as I make my way into my professional career.