Name: Ken Schwencke
College newspaper: The Independent Florida Alligator (Gainesville, Florida)
Where I am now: News Apps Developer at Propublica
When former a former managing editor at my student newspaper, The Alligator, noticed a map I’d published and asked me to work with her, it was the start of my career.
As anyone reading this knows, the experience at a student newsroom is incomparable: working on deadline, turning ideas on a dime, punching up. You have free rein to decide what’s news and to go after stories you think matter. It’s a freedom you might not get for a decade into your actual career, and a crucial time to try new things and make mistakes.
So for all that, I’m thankful. It taught me more than class ever could, and without it I’d be something awful, like a lawyer.