By Levi Bernfin | Chronicle Contributor|
After graduating from CSUSB in December 2011, the past six months of my life have gone from a university of over 17,000 to a small town of a little over 3,000.
I came to CSUSB in 2009 with the idea that I wanted to cover sports journalistically. I wasn’t sure whether that meant broadcast journalism, the traditional sense of sports journalism or something else, I wasn’t even sure how I could get started in that direction.
So I meandered my way through the first year of college just taking classes that fit into my schedule. It didn’t really help me figure out what I wanted to do until I enrolled in the journalism class with Professor Jim Smart.
I began to write about sports in many different platforms like online, newspaper, blogs etc..
It allowed me to express my thoughts, hopefully clearly enough, and gave me the experience I needed with several different mediums.
I parlayed that into becoming an assistant sports editor and finally the sports editor at the Chronicle. It was an experience that has altered my life forever.
After graduating, I took on the long, grueling process of sending out resumes and applications for dozens of sports writing positions.
I sent applications to the vast stretches of the country, such as newspapers in Maryland, Kentucky, Oregon, Florida, Alabama and even one in Canada.
I sent applications to online sports entities such as ESPN, Yahoo!, Bleacher Report, amongst others. It became frustrating to not hear back from most of the potential employers, not even a rejection notice.
But finally, I heard back from a small town paper in Montana called The Glasgow Courier. It was my chance. They gave me a phone interview and within a week, I had accepted the position offer and was planning to uproot my entire life to go to Glasgow, Montana.
I was leaving my fiancee, my friends, my family and my pets! It wasn’t exactly how I pictured the direction my life would take.
Nevertheless, I moved in February and have been serving as the sports editor covering the local high school sports and occasionally the universities in Montana ever since.
It has been quite a switch. There’s no Target, no In-N-out and not even a Wal-Mart within 300 miles. On the bright side, there is never any traffic!
I also am the lone sports ranger at my paper. I cover, write, edit and layout the sports section by myself because of the small size of the staff.
There is only three editorial staff for the entire 14-16 page paper, a publisher, a news editor and myself which leads to some long nights.
Every Tuesday is production night, as our weekly paper is published and dispersed on Wednesday, which means I am up until the early morning light laying out the sports pages.
But I wouldn’t change any of it. It’s my start, it’s the start that I want and a start that can lead to bigger and better things.
And it’s only possible because a few faculty and students at CSUSB gave me a chance to find myself.