Going into NPR’s Next Generation project I knew it would be difficult, but I don’t think I was prepared for all the work we ended up doing in a mere 5 days. After finishing the week, I feel really proud of all the work I was able to complete in such a short time.

Although it was an extremely intensive program, I was glad to have my mentor Michelle Faust by my side to answer all of my questions about the project. This was a unique experience to have a professional sit next to me all week teaching me all they know about journalism. She was my teacher, but she also felt like a cheerleader with all the support and encouraging words she gave me.

This program was especially challenging for some of us who do not live around the area, because it was difficult to find a subject to interview for the audio piece. This led to some anxiety, even before NextGen started. Although Michelle kept telling me not to panic, the suggestion itself may have led to some panicking.

I was afraid that nothing would come together in time, but I soon came to realize with all the support we get here that this would not happen. I got support not only from Michelle, but also from some of the other mentees who truly understood what I was feeling.

My cohort was filled with absolutely amazing people. We were all able to support each other during this jam-packed week. Not only did I meet some of my future colleagues, but I truly believe that I’ve also met some lifelong friends.

There has never been a doubt in my mind that I want to work in public radio, and this time on the Next Gen Project has only reinforced that desire.