Robert Callister

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This semester has afforded me with a variety of opportunities for personal, academic and professional growth. Reporting on the 45-day legislative session provided me with a better understand of state politics and how government works. The Utah economy beat gave me another way to view the legislative process. Balancing the state budget is critical in basically every decision.

Reporting on Utah politics made me much more empathetic towards the state and its economy. Legislators are constantly worried about the return on investment from every project to which they are asked to appropriate funds. Money is everything and the community’s decisions are influenced heavily on the status of the economy.

I have always felt comfortable talking with people on a personal level. It is more difficult for me to converse with someone professionally and with journalistic intent. Reporting on state politics and interviewing various legislators helped me break out of my comfort zone and feel more comfortable conducting professional interviews. I think that this skill will be beneficial to me in whatever career I pursue.

I learned how to take very specific notes and critically listen. I improved my ability to sift through a lot of information to find the most important facts. Sitting in on various subcommittee meetings and legislative floor sessions helped me learn how to summarize large amounts of confusing data.

I gave a very concentrated effort this semester to discover just how passionate I am about becoming a professional journalist. I found out that I have a love-hate relationship with the craft. On one hand, I love learning a variety of new things, gathering information, interviewing interesting people and being a civic watchdog. On the other, I realized that I have to manage my stress level while under strict deadlines. I furnished a strong passion for politics and personal relations. This semester’s experience helped me take another step towards my own self-actualization.