Taking my place in the field

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Work-term student reflects on experience at The Compass

Laura Griffin is completing a four-week work placement at The Compass newspaper in Carbonear

Every beginning has to have an ending and I’ve come to the end of my field placement at The Compass newspaper in Carbonear.

My time with the Compass did go fast and I enjoyed and learned so much over the past four weeks. The saying that you only learn part of what you need during your school life; the rest comes from the real world, is so true.

As part of my final analysis I was asked to write a self-assessment of my time with the Compass.

It brought back to my first day, April 28. My first story for the Compass was a controversial one. I knew then, this wasn’t college anymore.

From that point forward, my writing skills progressed and my articles became so much more than just words.

My editing skills have improved and I can quite honestly say this in large part due to my editor, Terry Roberts. He constantly pushed and challenged me.

Be resourceful. Find other sources. Strive for excellence. Be relentless, he would say.

Those phrases are now etched in my memory and have aided me so many times in the last month.

My observation skills have definitely improved. I started to notice things I hadn't before. I’ve learned the art of putting more “colour” into a story.

My interview skills have developed over the past month. I went from a quiet, shy student asking questions to a confident, assertive reporter.

My difficulties? Grammar and creating headlines. However, I am early in my career and with time and practice, I’m sure I’ll eventually get it.

Important to note

On-the-job training has been critical in my growth to becoming a better writer, speaker and critic.

I’ve experienced and seen things I wouldn’t get to do on a normal day-to-day basis. Who knew I would meet Senator Fabian Manning? Who knew there was a guy in Newfoundland that was allegedly a “German spy?” Who knew I’d meet a man who was on Hitler’s yacht?

My time at The Compass has made me think about some of the challenges I experienced during my two years at the College of the North Atlantic completing this program. There are things I would do differently, but that is in the past and my future now awaits me.

I will be continuing my education at Memorial University with an end-goal of a communication studies degree.

To the people of Trinity-Conception-Placentia region, I thank you for allowing me to come into your communities over the past month. I have met so many interesting and remarkable individuals.

Finally, I would like to thank The Compass. The people that I have met and worked with over the past four weeks are so passionate about their work. I cannot thank you enough for passing on your knowledge, experiences and kindness in supporting me over the past month.


— Laura Griffin has successfully completed a field placement at The Compass as part of a two-year program in journalism at the Stephenville campus of the College of the North Atlantic.

Organizations: College of the North Atlantic, The Compass

Geographic location: Carbonear, Newfoundland, Trinity-Conception Placentia Stephenville

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