It took me a whopping three days to complete my application process for the Index when I attended Truman Week almost three years ago. I wasn’t nearly as excited about the festivities of Truman Week itself — I’ll admit, I skipped quite a few of the activities on the itinerary that weren’t labeled “ice cream social.”
Nonetheless, there I was — a bright, young college student, who didn’t even have a real idea of what being in a college course was like yet, leaping head-first into a job on the staff of the school newspaper. I like to think I frightened my future coworkers with my enthusiasm when I applied, as I walked into my interview hauling a box full of 30 or so newspapers I’d worked on during high school. I walked out of that interview with that box and a position as a news reporter in tow and never looked back.
Now, it’s my pleasure to say I will serve the Truman State and Kirksville communities as the next editor-in-chief of the Truman State University Index during my final year as a student.
If we haven’t met, here’s a little bit about me. I’m a soon-to-be senior communication major from Kansas City, Missouri. I’m a fraternity man — a brother of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. I eat way too much Taco Bell, and I’m as big a fan of Truman as you’ll ever meet.
The Index is my life, and it has been for the past three years. I schedule my classes according to my weekly obligations with the newspaper. I spend every Tuesday night in Barnett Hall reading every page and making sure the product we’re giving the community is as refined as possible. I love this newspaper and the opportunities it has afforded me.
What I appreciate most about Truman is opportunities like this students are given outside of the classroom. The reason I chose to go here instead of larger schools with more traditionally acclaimed journalism programs was because I knew there would be no laundry list of course requirements for me to complete before I could get firsthand journalistic experience, nor would there be a wait list of older students ahead of me to take all of the newspaper jobs for my first few years of school. Whenever I speak to prospective students at a showcase day, I always urge them to get involved as soon as possible, and I suggest student Index readers do the same if they haven’t already.
My experience at the Index has been invaluable. I recently nailed down an internship for this summer, and it’s all thanks to the experience I’ve gained working as a reporter and editor for this publication. I owe a lot to my freshman year editors, alumnus John Brooks and senior Dan Mika, and the past two editors-in-chief, alumnus Bob Overmann and senior Bethany Boyle. I’ve learned the tools of the trade, and I’m ready to give this newspaper everything I have for the next year.
So, as I prepare for my fourth and final year at Truman, I’ll also prepare to be the best leader of this publication I can be. I hope to be as transparent as possible so I can best serve Truman’s student body and Kirksville citizens, and I hope to look back a year from now and be proud of the job I have done.
Austin Hornbostel is a senior communication major from Kansas City, Mo.
This editorial originally appeared in the April 21 Index. Be sure to pick up a copy on newsstands now.