Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant


Post-graduation plans

My plans for this summer just got more interesting.

I got an e-mail yesterday notifying me that I could do a photojournalism study abroad program in Berlin! I’ve wanted to go on this trip for some time, but it was always full when I got around to checking on it. This time I got lucky; it was my last chance because I am graduating this semester.

I’ve been to Spain and Costa Rica, and my parents took me to Japan when I was 1. Here’s to another ridiculously long flight.

During the week after I get back from Berlin, I’m moving back to Miami. Hopefully, the people my parents leased the house to when they moved to Costa Rica will be out by then. I’ll be attending the IRE Conference and then starting my internship at The Miami Herald.

After that, who knows? But life after college is looking better and better.


Three days of heels

Though it’s been 6 years since I walked into high school for the first time wearing ragged jeans and my younger brother’s T-shirt, my taste in clothing hasn’t changed. I’m most comfortable in the shirt and jeans that have gone through the washer so many times they hang together by three threads.

Which is one of the explanations for why last weekend was so challenging.

On Thursday, I had job/internship interviews with The Miami Herald and The St. Petersburg Times. An event that requires the full pantsuit and heels. The interviews went very well, in fact, the best I’ve had yet.

Friday evening was the cocktail event for the Alligator’s 2nd Century Celebration. A little less formal, but military boots paired with a skirt: Not cocktail material. I met some really interesting people and I had a great time, but at midnight I was really glad to walk home in my socks.

Then on Saturday, the Celebration was in full swing. As the new media managing editor, I had to sit up on the dais. I know everyone was too busy talking and eating to look at me, but I’m not the most graceful eater…so I kept my mouth shut.

My parents would be delighted to learn that I’ve finally entered the realm of professionalism, I can dress myself without being an embarrassment and I’ll keep the heels on until midnight. (Which is when I assume everyone is too tired or inebriated to look at my feet.)

I understand that appearances matter and that I’ll never get rid of the heels for good. As one of my professors pointed out: I’d hate to lose a good job to a moron who dressed up because I dressed down. But I don’t have to like it.

This week, I ran into a professor who had seen all three versions of “dressed-up me.” “Now, there’s the Megan I recognize.” As much as I look forward to life after college, I’ll enjoy my jeans and t-shirts as long as I can. Mom always did warn me not to grow up too fast.


Journalism Conferences

Last weekend I flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the National Writer’s Workshop. It’s a two-day series of lectures by writers and journalists covering “interview skills, crafting story ideas, the legal responsibilities of writers and writing techniques.”

I was a little disappointed in the lectures. Although “Dirty old men, low rent crooks and the book of Proverbs works: How getting people to talk will help you gather the reporting to write a narrative investigation,” (that’s a really long title!) presented by Manny Garcia of the Miami Herald, and a few others were very interesting and helpful to student journalists, most of the lectures seemed to be aimed at getting a book published or introducing online journalism concepts to those of the print orientation. I stopped in all of the online journalism lectures, but they were mostly aimed at newbies.

I did have interviews with The Miami Herald, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and the Associated Press, but they turned out to be more like information sessions (how to apply for this particular internship with this particular organization) than actual job interviews.

But I didn’t don the monkey suit for nothing. I’m seriously applying for multimedia internships (or jobs) with The Miami Herald and AP.

Next week I’ll be heading out to SNDBoston, which promises both educational and networking opportunities, plus a chance to visit with some of my northern friends. I’m particularly excited that Adrian Holovaty and Brian Storm will be there.


Wake up call!

I posted a while back about how people get and handle their news (News Junky). Well, I got some feedback that I didn’t expect.

A family friend emailed me in response that he watches various news channels and reads a few newspapers.

My parents don’t get any further than the AOL homepage, watch the 10 p.m. news, and read the paper (The Miami Herald) on the weekends.

My younger siblings spend their time online browsing Myspace and other social networking sites, which I guess qualifies as person-specific news.

I had to explain to a friend of mine what RSS does.

Not so much what I had expected to find out. Sometimes I pay more attention to innovation in technology when I should be paying attention to people.