One of my favorite things as a media adviser is seeing students grow as leaders in our program. The close one-on-one contact working with eager students to better these skills are conversations that happily fill my office on a daily basis.
Lisa Marshall, CBI Treasurer
Student managers and faculty from Orbit Media met this past weekend for a short summer retreat. Topics included planning the TV news program, next year’s newspaper design, getting our local SPJ Chapter more active on campus, and discussions about how to better manage student peers.
Our management students traditionally move back to campus a week before classes begin to make these decisions and prep to be live the first week of classes. But the concept for a formal summer meeting was new. The idea to host this planning session was 100 percent student driven. Lucky for us, half of this student group lives close to the university, but others came hours from home to make this weekend happen.
If your media outlet can similarly benefit from a summer retreat, here are highlights from our experience:
- Having students focused in a room with no competition for hours is wonderful. Being able to make sound decisions without students leaving for other meetings, practices, or commitments makes a big difference.
- Turning the outside world off. No personal electronics. Asking students to print notes prior to the meeting, send links in advance to project, and write things down ahead of time helped drive the productivity.
- Fresh perspective. Luckily we have students working intense internships with news stations this summer. These few months away made the Muskingum University media world more real to them. Expectations for their peers are now higher.
- Local reporting. This is an odd summer for us because we don’t have any working reporters due to outside jobs and internships. Students were able to turn around local news features this weekend during their off time to populate our website for the rest of the summer.
This group set the pace for hopeful future retreats. I am proud of their initiatives and decisions to better Orbit Media. I am looking forward to their planning paying off for the fall term.