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Reflections on the Democratic National Convention

By Daniel Ellington
On October 16, 2012

This September I was given the awe inspiring opportunity to cover the Democratic National Convention for Religion and Ethics Newsweekly; a television show on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and based in Washington, D.C. My time in Charlotte was an incredible learning experience and has had a profound effect on my perspective of not only politics, but also higher education and life in general going forward. The electricity around uptown Charlotte was palpable, and will remain with me forever.

On a personal level the opportunity to attend the Democratic National Convention for the re-election of the first black president was simply historical. This experience has reaffirmed my commitment to strengthening and rebuilding my community so that more under privileged, but ambitious and intelligent individuals can enjoy the opportunities I have enjoyed. I believe it is requisite for me to utilize all my resources to establish new paths like my predecessors have done for me.  

The abundance of emotion I felt by mingling with America's most influential politicians, businessmen, and media correspondents has only now set in. Professionally, I networked with several individuals representing every industry from politics to real estate. I was able to build my professional rolodex exponentially in only a few days, and I'm confident that I left a good impression of myself and Governors State. Educationally, I was able to shadow award winning correspondents who have a combined experience of over 50 years. I can't emphasis how much their tutelage has given me practical experience to complement my theoretical studies.

The one revelation I am most proud of stemming from this experience is my own ability to engage in substantive conversations with some of the leaders of the free world. You never really understand what you're capable of until you face certain situations and this experience taught me a lot about myself.  For example, I was proud that my colleagues from PBS noticed my professionalism, my positive attitude, and my ability to adapt. Knowing that my skill set is in line with industry standards is very reassuring given the current elevated competition in the job market. Overall I firmly believe that my participation in internships has uniquely qualified me to make a seamless transition into the professional world.

Additionally, although this was my first time in Charlotte I was quickly considered the expert for navigating the crew. Before I arrived in town I researched the public transportation system as well as the local expressway system, and had become familiar with both. Although this may seem like a menial task, my transportation knowledge helped prevent us from missing key appointments on more than one occasion, an extremely important asset in any profession, but even more so in journalism because the news only happens once.

In short, I had a wonderful time. First, I met some of Americans most high-ranking officials and actually got the time to speak with them and leave a significant impression. Next, I learned some of the newest techniques being employed in journalism, digital media, and politics. Finally, I built my professional connection base and was an exceptional representative for Governors State University, thank you.

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