This post is written by Sara Ruberg ’22, winner of the Wall Street Journal Fellowship offered through the School of Communication and Journalism’s Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting.
From the day I started at the Wall Street Journal, I was treated like another member of the business and corporations desk. I was immediately assigned a story that took me traveling around the UK talking to people and volunteers at food banks about the cost of living crisis while working on a story about Russian oligarchs suing the European Union over sanctions — on top of a couple of spot news stories of the week.
And that was just week one. My editor was constantly assigning me great stories to chase, and my colleagues trusted me to collaborate with them on their beats.
By the time I was halfway through the fellowship, I had landed three front-page stories, and one of them was an A-hed, or a slightly less serious WSJ piece, that I pitched on the teenage “Gentleminions” social media trend where kids would dress in suits and get rowdy at screenings of the newest Minions movie. I also wrote a leader about air travel disruptions after spending 12 hours interviewing stranded passengers about the chaos at London’s Heathrow Airport. I walked over 20 miles in two days on these four stories.
The shoe leather reporting was not only the most fun but also the most rewarding part of the fellowship. When I did have a spare moment, I was encouraged to pitch as many stories as possible. Four of my pitches were published by the end of the summer, and one, about how British pubs were suffering from rising prices, was even turned into an interactive photo story.
Working in a completely new environment helped me grow as a reporter and a person since I had to navigate a new beat, a new city, and a new region of coverage. I also learned an incredible amount about European business and culture. I am a better journalist because my editor trusted me enough to throw me into stories and teamed me up with some amazing colleagues. Before this summer, I had never done any business or corporate journalism, but I have left the program with a newfound confidence in my ability to pick up any kind of story and tackle it head on.