Grilled cheese sandwiches helped digital editor get the job
By Natalie Turcios
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Emily Johnson, digital editor for The Daily Nonpareil, credits her grilled-cheese-making endeavors for landing her job.
The interviewer asked her to give an example of a time she persevered until she got something right. She thought for a moment before remembering a recent grilled cheese escapade.
She made sandwich after sandwich 15 times before perfecting it. It showed she wasn’t afraid to throw her work away to get the outcome she desired.
Although this may seem unorthodox, it worked. The interviewer knew she would fit right in with her quick wit, sense of humor and perseverance.
Now, Johnson is in charge of The Daily Nonpareil’s website and social media. The social media consists of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. Her main responsibility is to take other’ work and decide how to package it to appeal to readers on another platform.
Johnson advises students to not be afraid to make mistakes; mistakes humanize a person. As long as someone works hard and uses mistakes as learning lessons, doors will open for them.
She offered this and other advice for those looking for jobs similar to hers.
“Be confident,” she said. “So many students think that the work they’re producing isn’t as good as professionals.”
She tells students to constantly look for feedback and continually look for ways to make their work better.
She said youth and inexperience doesn’t necessarily mean someone is not good.
Johnson also advises students to keep a positive mindset, “rather than feeling insecure about the things I don’t know, I get really excited about the things I don’t know.” These are opportunities to learn something new, which is part of what makes the job exciting.
Johnson believes that it is important that everyone act as an editor. Especially at a small newsroom like The Nonpareil, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, it is important that all 12 staffers edit others’ work as well as self-edit.
Lastly, Johnson advises students to get out of their bubble. When someone spends a lot of time working on something it can become hard to take criticism, but keeping an open mind and not taking it personally is key.
“So many times you’re doing something and you’re on the right track but need help,” Johnson said. “Someone else can help you.”