Global UGRAD, administered by World Learning, has always strived to provide the best experiences to their Global UGRADers. From instilling a sense of confidence in each of them to making them believe in their potentials to create a change, they have been successful in creating dedicated leaders year after year. Being a finalist this year was a surreal experience and the numerous opportunities that I had during these four months has been life changing.
I have always been inclined towards writing and therefore the field of Journalism has been of great interest. Chatham, my host University in Pittsburgh offers a great course in News Writing and Editing. The interactive classes and discussions widened my horizons and gave me a deeper understating of print and digital media in the United States. I was also delighted to be part of the ‘Chatham Post’ (student newspaper) as the News Editor for the semester, which kept me engaged in college amongst various other fun activities.
One of the most memorable experiences at Chatham was the time I got an opportunity to visit the office of ‘Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,’ the city newspaper. It was a two-day affair where I shadowed a Journalist around the city for the day and also had the opportunity to attend all the meetings at the news agency and learn about every detail that goes into publishing a newspaper. The amount of research and planning that goes into the process is very impressive. I could also draw parallels between the Indian and the American news houses as I have interned with newspapers back in my home country. Something that was very different and quite impressive was the systematic approach and the technological advancements that the Post-Gazette had in their office.
Interacting with some renowned personalities like Pulitzer award winning journalist, David Shribman, the executive editor of Post-Gazette and Lillian Thomas, local news editor was a dream come true. The managing editor, Sally Stapleton had a very insightful conversation and learning about her journey as a Journalist inspired me to follow my dreams.
I believe that this cultural exchange program not only helps you understand the American system of education better but also prepares you to take up new challenges, embrace differences and overcome obstacles with courage. It is a wholesome experience that leaves you with a desire to create a change and make this world a better place.
by Soumayani Ghoshal, India, Global UGRAD 2017-18 at Chatham University