Senior Column: Olivia Hickey

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I’ve acquired plenty of bylines writing for this paper. I’ve reported on protests, apartment renovations and established and wrote two brunch columns. I led an investigative team in collecting data on voter trends for the 2020 presidential election. I even put a cutout of a person dressed in a Grimace costume eating a child (At least that’s what it appeared to be). For some reason, this article was the hardest to write. How do I encompass my journalism career at UConn in a few hundred words? Easy, getting the reader the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.

I joined The Daily Campus as a layout designer my junior year. I was new to the pre-journalism program, and I knew I needed experience for my resume, and the job was paid so I figured why not. What I didn’t know was I was also getting paid to go on Blaze Pizza runs, to throw darts at spinning chairs and hang out with some of my friends in “the building behind Moe’s” until ungodly hours in the morning waiting for our pages to be approved by The Hartford Courant, but seeing people pick up copies of the paper in the morning made it worth it.

Despite popular belief, no, most of us don’t just “do the paper” 24/7, even though it has felt like that. But hey, how often is someone’s experience at UConn archived?

With that being said, I racked up a lot of miles on my car and lost a lot of sleep. But the drive to continue reporting made it worth it. I’ll be candid. Journalism, like other professions, isn’t a walk in the park. There have been nights and days that were more overwhelming than others. I’ve seen my work used to clean muddy rain boots. But being surrounded by people with similar drives and goals made the harder days easier.

A professor who I admire once described me as a “triple threat.” That has stuck with me through my final semester at UConn and the job application process. Alongside working at The Daily Campus, I was an active member of UCTV and WHUS. Where I also leave behind the legacy of reporter and Assistant News Director. If anything, this pandemic has shown me that life is unpredictable and there’s beauty in it. I love storytelling, being on camera, etc. I don’t know what life has in store for me, but I know that wherever it takes me, I’m prepared with the skills to report and edit my way through it.

Thank you to my family for letting me pursue storytelling. Thank you to all my professors who encouraged me to go after my goals. Thank you to Steph Reitz for assisting me in media requests that allowed me to pursue my curiosities. Thank you to the incredible team at Connecticut Public Radio for taking a chance on me and allowing me to grow in your newsroom. Thank you to the sources that have answered my various inquiries via Buy or Sell UConn Tickets and beyond. Thank you UConnNation for supporting student journalism through funding, reading, viewing and sharing.

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