Hannah and I first connected as writers for Lake Show Life, a sports blog and have stayed in touch since. She’s a talented young writer who now contributes to Lakers Nation. It’s rare for someone her age to be a strong communicator, so I wanted her to share her journey with you. Hope you enjoy it!
When did you realize you had a love/passion for writing?
It is not so much that I have a passion for writing, it is more that I have a passion for the Lakers and basketball in general. However, I first realized I was a pretty good writer as a freshman in high school, when my English teacher would have me help him grade other students’ papers and work with them individually. My dad always stressed the importance of being a writer who is clear and concise, so that is definitely something that has stayed with me throughout my writing career.
What is your definition of communication and how do you improve yours?
To me, communication is the ability to express one’s thoughts and opinions in a clear and concise manner. In this age of expanding social media, I feel that the art of conversation is being lost and in particular the ability to talk to others face-to-face. There are times in life when communicating in writing is ineffective and you have to be able to speak to someone directly in order to get your point across. Whatever you do in life, and regardless of your job, in order to be successful you have to be an effective communicator and that takes practice.
What experiences so far have shaped your voice as a journalist?
For two seasons, I was a staff writer at Lake Show Life and wrote over 100 articles that were published. Some of my articles were also picked up by other outlets such as Bleacher Report and Chatsports. My writing improved dramatically during that time by virtue of the effort I put in to my articles and the careful way that I reviewed them before they were submitted. In the early stages, two of the editors, Jacob Rude and Valerie Morales took an interest in me and gave me helpful guidance to improve my writing. Recently, I started writing for Lakers Nation and have also been accepted to write for Dodger Blue. Working with different editors has been very valuable as it has enabled me to learn different styles and develop my own voice as a writer.
As a college student what skills do you expect to learn while in school vs. experience through a job/internship?
What I have learned from school so far is that every audience is different, and you need to be flexible in order to determine the most effective way to communicate with each person individually. Something I feel I am learning and expect to continue to keep learning both in school and through a job/internship is how to put myself in positions to meet and communicate with as many different people as possible. In my opinion, taking yourself out of your comfort zone and actively engaging in the large and diverse world that is “media” and “social media” will expose you to different styles and help mold what eventually will become your own way of communicating.
What advice do you have for people pursuing a career in communications?
My biggest piece of advice for anyone pursuing a career in communications is to develop relationships with as many diverse people as possible in environments that interest you. You never know who you may unexpectedly encounter, a person with influence who may take an interest in you and help shape your development. Also, always remember to stand tall, shake hands firmly, look people in the eye, and speak in a confident voice. It sounds simple but takes practice and experience until it becomes second nature.
When you are not writing, what are some activities that you like to do in your free time?
When I am not writing, I am either working out, listening to music (anything from hip hop to country), hosting makeup tutorials on YouTube, spending time with my family, reading, or cooking!