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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.