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Reflections from an outgoing manager on two great years

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I knew I was going to join The Tartan the first day I came to Carnegie Mellon University. I worked for two years on my high school’s newspaper and wanted to continue that experience when I arrived in college. The Tartan’s resources and reputation attracted me.

I started out at a photographer, but I felt significantly disconnected from the other staff members. I avoided coming into the office unless it was to hand in a photo assignment or to pick up a camera. After a semester, I was ready to leave because of my lack of attachment to the majority of the staff. Little did I know, that would have been a big mistake.

Social interaction increased under new leadership. They planned social gatherings and end-of-the-year gala events to build team spirit and staff relationships. One year ago, I was elected managing editor. Besides enforcing deadlines and maintaining an efficient and professional work environment, in the back of my mind I wished for this organization to become a team, rather than a group of detached individuals.

As I prepare to leave my position as managing editor this semester, I reflect on the many moments I’ve had with the people in this organization. My third issue in this position happened to be the weekend when the Steelers won the Super Bowl. Our photographers and writers worked full force, gathering information and taking amazing photos of the event. That night, students went wild celebrating this victory. And that morning, until 7 a.m., we fought furiously to incorporate this event into the issue set to print that day.

That spring, our former comics editor, Greg Prichard, and current assistant photo editor, Justin Brown, took up the challenge and put together an April Fool’s edition called “The Annual Scandal Issue.” It was very well received, and I was honored to see the re-launch of that tradition with smart, satirical content.

I am very satisfied with how much The Tartan has grown since I joined this organization two years ago. When I walk into the office at 2 a.m. on a non-production day, I always see editors there, doing schoolwork, taking care of their sections, and enjoying themselves in the process. As someone who desperately avoided going into the office because of the icy environment, seeing how vastly this has changed warms my heart. I am incredibly happy that beyond the weekly 30 hours we spend together to work on the paper, people are still making plans to hang out outside the office. My goal to one day see this organization not as a come-and-go business group but rather a team, a family, has happened.

When I ran for this position last year, someone asked, “If you didn’t get it, what would you do?” I said, “I’d be really sad.” Now, I am even sadder that I am leaving this position. But The Tartan is in very good hands, and I have complete faith in our new officers. I hope they have an experience as rewarding and breathtaking as mine.