By Joseph Sykes | Sports Editor
In August 2012, I was beginning my freshman campaign at Duquesne University as well as writing my first few articles for The Duquesne Duke. It was a much different place back then, seeing as the staff was made up of entirely different people, with the exception of Big Bobby Kerlik, our adviser. We also didn’t have brand new Macs or the sweet bay window that lessens some of the claustrophobia in the newsroom.
All of these things allowed me to not only be the journalist I am today, but the student I am today. I learned new skills such as editing, using new software and writing a variety of journalistic prose. In turn, these acquired skills have led me to an overwhelming number of opportunities.
For example, I got to cover two NCAA Division 1 basketball teams courtside, see two presidential hopefuls in Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump and travel to different cities to cover tournaments.
The Duke has also led me to opportunities outside of writing for the actual paper. I used my experience to help earn an internship with the Pittsburgh Penguins as well as a job as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.
None of these things ever would have happened if it wasn’t for some sound advice from Dr. Mike Dillon, the chair of Duquesne’s JMA department. He told me during summer before my first year that if there was only one extracurricular activity I got involved with on campus, it should be the student newspaper. I honestly don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for suggestion.
Going forward, I am extremely confident that the sports editor position will lead me to a wonderful job opportunity soon after I graduate. There’s no doubt that it will be the first thing a prospective employer sees when they take a look at my resume.
The fact that I have succeeded in a field that I love gives me the confidence I need to be able to excel at my next position, whatever that may be.
In closing, I would like to give a big thank you to everyone on the staff for allowing me to feel comfortable. I made some good friends and even better memories. I also would like to thank the paper’s audience, from students to professors and everyone in between, for reading my work. It may have been rough around the edges at some points, but still, it has been an honor to serve you, Duquesne.