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Professional skills learned during Feather career transform student

Courtesy Phillip Christopher

Former Feather editor Phillip Christopher, ’17, (second from left) hangs out with his college buddies at the Stales Center in this November 2018 photo. Christopher thanks the Feather advisers for teaching skills he still uses in college.

Two years into my collegiate career, maintaining a high level of academic success has been an achievable task. Upon reflection of how I got here and what makes me a successful student, I realized that one of the main drivers is my work ethic.

This work ethic would be nothing without the time I spent working on The Feather Online throughout my final two years of high school. The Feather provides multiple aspects of education that are not offered in a traditional classroom.

The Feather provided me with unique opportunities that went beyond a normal high school class. One the main takeaways is the level of writing that it exposed me to. It taught me how to write in many different forms including reviews, news stories, and opinion pieces.

The diverse types of essays that need to be written for The Feather helped push me to explore areas of the community, school, and world that I never would have been interested in beforehand. Adviser Greg Stobbe constantly pushed classmates and I to go beyond our comfort zone.

Attending community events like Kids Day, ClovisFest, and the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall meetings opened my eyes to the world around me. Stobbe helped develop my view of what real journalism really is.

Both Stobbe and community leaders expected high levels of professionalism and integrity while I was interviewing and writing. These expectations have stayed with me throughout my college experience, resulting in high grades and a consistent feeling of preparedness.

Courtesy Phillip Christopher

Phillip Christopher, left, along with his siblings Bobby and Leah, all attended Fresno Christian High School.

Through speaking at FC chapels, interviewing city leaders, and teaching sessions at Columbia University, The Feather repeatedly gave me chances to expand and practice my communication skills.

The main takeaway from this aspect of The Feather was learning to market myself. This is where photojournalism adviser, Kori Friesen, came in. She was always preaching to us the best ways to get my message across, keep the listeners attention, and the importance of photos within a presentation.

Just this past week, I attended a job fair on my college campus and went in with confidence, ready to market myself. If it was not for the communication skills I attained during my time with The Feather, I would not have been able to confidently hold professional and legitimate conversations with many companies.

Overall, The Feather was an opportunity that has completely changed my life and I would encourage everyone to participate. The excuse that you do not like writing or do not want to pursue any level of professional writing is totally bogus.

All professions will need writing and communication skills. The chance to foster these skills early on in your educational career and learning how to represent yourself in a professional manner is priceless.

The Feather teaches its students to be active players in the community, have journalistic integrity, and network amongst peers and professionals. All these skills can be translated into multiple professions and can even be applied into personal relationships.

Former Feather editor Phillip Christopher now is a sophomore student at California Baptist University in Riverside, California, and is an accounting major.

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