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From the Field
Got a career block? We did..and still do!
By Carissa Raymundo

The word "block" has two definitions: it can be both an obstacle and a place/area to gather. In fact, it's a beautiful word in and of itself. The word sounds so poetic and deep. It can encompass all facets of life because of its mere versatility.

If my small moment of philosophical genius doesn't exactly float your boat, think of it another way. At one point or another, many aspiring journalists come across challenging "blocks" along their career path. Journalism is a tough field to break into. Yet if you have people to talk with and mentor you, that obstacle becomes a little less menacing.

The amount of students interested in journalism at UC Berkeley is sizeable. But these students needed a way to meet each other. They also needed guidance because many did not know how to even begin preparing for this field. As undergraduates at our university, we have always had the opportunity to learn from the best faculty and students in the world. Yet we never had an organization, let alone an undergraduate major, that aimed to provide resources for aspiring journalists.

With over 50 students present at our first meeting, it honestly could not have been the free pizza. We had too many leftovers. I realized that having an outlet for students interested in journalism was more important than I had originally anticipated. In fact, our numbers have since grown; we now have 80 lucky people to spam with email updates and meeting announcements.

Writers' Block, in its first semester on campus, has provided many opportunities for students. Members have toured a news station and have attended talks and workshops in news writing. Students have met anchors for ABC7 in San Francisco, a producer for Dateline NBC and Primetime Live, and a journalist who has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.

Yes, all in one semester.

The resources were always out there. It was not as complicated and distant as many of us had thought. All this time, many of us undergraduates complained of having no major here on campus. But once we stopped complaining, we realized that we have always had the resources and mentors to help us along the way. So for those of you who feel confused about where to begin or how to develop, no more complaints. Feel you are being met with blocks in your life? The solutions are out there. You just need to realize them and grasp them with all you've got. We did. We made our block.

Carissa Raymundo is a Political Science major at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to serving as president of Writers' Block, she is also the president for the Undergraduate Marketing Association at the Haas School of Business. Carissa is currently working as a consumer research intern for KGO-TV, the ABC affiliate in San Francisco, California. If you would like to contact Carissa, you can email her at