Her CUP runneth over

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Sheena Goodyear takes first national assignment

Sheena Goodyear (right) is the new National Bureau Chief of the Canadian University Press (CUP).

You may not have heard of Sheena yet. But mark my words: that is going to change. Goodyear is currently the editor of the Muse, the student newspaper at Memorial University, and a talented writer, which you can verify for yourself by visiting her Don't Quote Me on This blog (she doesn't update often, proof of how busy she is).

Her National Bureau Chief term is a one-year assignment that begins in May. It is a major career boost for Goodyear, 22, who hails from Labrador City. She has five more courses to complete for her English and Political Science double-major. She had planned to pursue a Masters in Journalism, but that may change now.

"I don't think that journalism school is in my future now," she said, "because people who get national positions with CUP usually step into media careers directly from that."

There are more than 80 university and college papers across the country who are part of the CUP organization, Goodyear explained. "They offer a number of services, the main one being a newswire. So papers can upload their stories to that wire and others can pick it up, and I would be in charge of editing all content that goes on that newswire. I would also be in charge of any other editorial projects that CUP pursues. There is a podcast, for example, and we are looking at adding blog content and maybe streaming video. So I will be in charge of all that, editing it to make sure it is nationally relevant, libel free, that sort of thing."

The position is full time, with a salary that seems high for Goodyear after her lean university years. "I'm pretty excited about it. Kind of nervous too because this is the biggest city I've ever lived in. And they're going to pay me enough to live, which is nice."

Goodyear won the CUP position two weeks ago in a competition at the national conference in Ottawa, which was attended by about 600 people. Goodyear described it as a "complicated" and "completely stressful" process.

"You have to submit your resume, cover letter, letters of references, all that stuff to a hiring committee, who do a pre-screening then after you get through that you do an editing test, the results of which are posted on the wall at the national conference, along with your head shot, cover letter and resume. Those get posted and you just sort of meet people. Halfway through there's a 10-minute question and answer session with people from various CUP papers. And then at the end during the plenary at the AGM there are more pre-screened questions and answers from the hiring committee. Then you give a speech followed by a vote It's completely stressful. I didn't expect to get the job when I applied for it because I'm afraid of public speaking but I feel a little better about it now.

"A big part of (winning) is just being out there and meeting all the people from the other papers and letting them know who you are and that you are interested in their newspaper and content."

I asked Goodyear how she happened onto journalism as a career path.

"I had some idea that it might be what I wanted to do in my last year of high school. When I was really young I wanted to be a scientist., but it didn't take me very long, once I got into high school, to realize that I was an English student not a Science student. I also really enjoyed watching the news and keeping up on what was going on. My dad would always watch the news with me and we would discuss it, so I had this idea that maybe journalism was something that I could pursue."

During her second semester at Memorial, Goodyear joined the staff at the Muse. "That's pretty well what did it for me. I fell completely in love with it. I like just being able to talk to people on the same level, like politicians and key players at the university, and have them be on the same level as me. I liked meeting people at the Muse and it was just a huge amount of self-discovery a big growing process."

Goodyear says she "absolutely" intends to pursue a full-time career in journalism, but expressed some doubts about her chances here. "I would love to be able to work here in the city but I don't know what the prospects are I don't know what kind of opportunities there are here, with regard to media."

Have no fear, Sheena the prospects are always good for those with talent.

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