The first time I walked into the Daily Campus building on a Sunday night, I was really nervous. I didn’t know where I was going, who to look for or what the vibe would be. I had emailed then-sports editor Dan Madigan ahead of time about my interest in writing for the sports section and he enthusiastically invited me to stop on by. Still, I was nervous.
Today, I’m so glad I got over those initial nerves because, as soon as I walked into the meeting, I realized that this was the place for me. The first piece I ever wrote for the paper was a short 100-word opinion about Breanna Stewart for a roundtable and, after that, I was hooked. I had just transferred schools so that I could try and pursue a degree in journalism and I had found an outlet that I really loved.
I have to say a big “thank you” to Dan before I continue because he was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to write for the Daily Campus. He was one of the most approachable people I have ever met and, even when I’m sure my writing was absolutely horrible he encouraged me. My first year at the paper he spearheaded a “Women in Sports Week” which is still one of my favorite things the paper has done. He let all of the female members of the sports section write a column and that opportunity was one I’ll never forget because despite there being only a few female writers we were able to have our specific voices heard during that week.
The first team I ever got to cover for the paper was the women’s ice hockey team and I can still remember how nervous I would get right before I had to talk to Coach MacKenzie. Coach MacKenzie is one of the nicest people ever, but I had no real interview experience and would recite my questions about a million times before asking them to him.
During that first year I also met Rachel Schaefer who deserves a shout out for being the greatest person to cover my first beat with. We covered so many games together that season and we helped each other get the hang of covering ice hockey since neither of us were particularly well versed in the sport.
Something that was really important to me as a writer at the Daily Campus was the opportunity to cover women’s sports. I am very passionate about female athletes deserving high quality coverage and am very proud to say that I covered solely women’s sports during my time at the paper.
This past season, I covered the UConn women’s basketball team for the paper which was an experience I will never forget. Being able to cover that team was a goal I had joining the sports section as a sophomore, but one that I was not sure would ever come to fruition. I learned so much covering the team and loved being able to cover it with Mike Logan, our current sports editor and fellow Long Islander.
Overall, working at and being a part of the Daily Campus was an amazing experience that gave me so many opportunities that I could not even imagine four years ago. I will forever be grateful for those opportunities and the people I got to meet along the way.
Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.