In college we have teachers, course requirements, and guidance counselors. The second we graduate into adulthood, we are immediately expected to understand what to do and how to get where were going next. Once one can land a decent job, we’re expected to know how to do what our boss asks us to do. When that first paycheck comes, were supposed to know about direct deposits, taxes, healthcare, and saving for retirement. We go from being surrounded by friends in college to being scattered once graduated. With graduation approaching fast, some of us here at UWS must go on to the next chapter of our lives. Former UWS student Raeanna Marnati is a great example of going on to the next chapter in life. Her story shows us how student’s at UWS can use their experiences here to prepare themselves for a strong and successful future.
Raeanna has always lived in Superior and has no desire of leaving. She attended Lake Superior College for 3 years before deciding to come to UWS. She had a very busy schedule; going to school full time and working 2 jobs in both retail and fast food. On top of that Raeanna was a reporter and editor this our very own UWS Stinger. In addition to her work and class loads being exceptionally high she also began as an intern at the Northland’s Newscenter during the summer of 2012 and was soon hired as a morning reporter in August of that same year. She quickly moved her way up the ladder at NNC to being a producer of KDLH 5:30 & 6:30 shows in March of 2013. Currently, Raeanna is working as a full-time multimedia journalist reporting on many stories from around the area. Raeanna graduated UWS in May 2013 with honors with a major in Communications with an emphasis in journalism, and a minor in Sociology. She is now a newscast and web producer for KBJR 6 and KDLH 3.
Raeanna feels that UWS and the Stinger helped prepare her not only to be a reporter but an outstanding reporter. As editor of the Stinger she gained valuable experience in how to recognize an important story when there is one, and the worthiness of it. Raeanna learned to get both sides of a story. Journalist’s cannot have a one sided stories so as to present all the facts fairly and not promote a bias in their reports. Raeanna knows the importance of researching a story and making sure each part is factually correct before going into it because it’s very important to know what you are talking about before you walk into an interview. With the help of the Stinger, and specifically Susan Stanich, her writing skills greatly improved. She also learned a very important lesson about the importance of being an honest reporter and to keep her personal feelings out of stories.
As an editor for the Stinger Raeanna read, re-read and re-re-read her reporter’s stories. Being an editor is an important job. She wasn’t there to change stories– she was there to help the reporters grow and learn. She helped them realize how they could make their own stories and writing better. Most importantly, she learned about deadlines. Deadlines are a big deal in the news world. At the Stinger, students usually have a week or two to get a story done. However, in news rooms, reporters only have a few hours to complete stories. Deadlines are no joke. Raeanna learned what it’s like to get assignments done promptly, but also be as accurately as possible.
When going from college to her career she had to transition from writing for print to writing for broadcast. She felt that UWS prepared her for writing print only. She came to KBJR her stories were too long and very detailed. Her writing became so much better and tighter when she left college. One of the most important things she learned is to remain humble. She is very grateful for the job she has that she absolutely loves. She gets to do and see incredible things. She loves her job because it allows her to give a voice to the public and to become a voice for the public.
Raeanna shared a story about a fire in Virginia Minnesota. A 10 year old girl named Lauren Devich observed flames coming out of a window of a house down here street. She quickly told her grandmother what she saw and they called 911. The fire had already engulfed the home on the 700 block of 5th Avenue South in Virginia, trapping 3 people inside. Police officers found a disoriented woman inside the house, but Officer Steve Estey felt that something else was wrong. He ran upstairs to make sure nobody was up there, and heard a young child screaming at the top of the stairs. Another officer had also found a baby on the couch. Thanks to the quick thinking of police, all three residents were rescued. If it wasn’t for Lauren Devich saying something about the fire, it could have been deadly for the family in the house. Raeanna was so impressed in this little girl’s bravery and loved capturing her story. She told Lauren how brave she thought she was and that she should be proud. Stories like that make Raeanna really appreciate her work and touch her heart.
Raeanna is very happy where she is at because she has such a strong passion for storytelling. She gets to do what she loves each day at work. “You have to love what you are doing. If you are doing it for the money, then you won’t be happy at all” she said. She also talked about how students need to get the full experience while they’re at college and give it their all. Throwing all their passion into a field you enjoy will get them far in their desired career. Her advice is to get everything you can out of college and make the most out of it. Building connections and gaining experience in school will get you to where you want to be in life. Go into a field where you enjoy what you’re learning each day and have a great sense of urgency just like Raeanna. She loves going into work each day to capture the passion from other people’s stories and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Raeanna is a great example of taking the next chapter in your life after the tassel on the graduation cap falls to the other side