By Riagan McMahon, Guest Blogger
Riagan McMahon was nominated to participate as a National Youth Correspondent, representing Saratoga Springs High School and New York State, in the Washington Journalism and Media Conference held July 8 through 13. As a National Youth Correspondent, she was recognized as one of the most promising young leaders in journalism and media and joined scholars from across the country to share in this experience.
As part of this elite group, she participated in hands-on learning projects that challenged her to solve problems, as well as dive deep into the creative, practical, and ethical tensions inherent in journalism and media. If she was interested in communications and public relations before the conference, she is downright committed to the field now.
Riagan reached out to Palio for corporate sponsorship and we made a deal: We would gladly sponsor her if she agreed to write about her experiences. In the next series of posts, Riagan shares the insights and moments that most impacted her during the conference. In this first post of five, she takes you through the week:
Hello, I am Riagan McMahon blogging about the experiences I was fortunate to have at The Washington Journalism and Media Conference. I am a senior at Saratoga Springs High School and an aspiring communications and public relations major.
I was fortunate to be nominated and then ultimately admitted as one of the 280 National Youth Correspondents at the wonderful conference held at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The conference has given me opportunities that would seemingly have been impossible. Among many industry leaders I had access to at various press conferences and workshops were Chuck Todd of MSNBC, Hoda Kotb of “Today,” film critic Kevin McCarthy, and George Mason University professor, Robert Litcher, director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs.
As if this were not enough, we “Correspondents” traveled to Washington, DC, to visit various historic buildings and museums, including Newseum, The National Press Club, and Capitol Hill. We even had a moonlight tour of the National Mall. I found that although the areas we visited were incredible, it was the speakers at the conference who most inspired me through their words and humbling advice.
The key message that was communicated and reinforced to us was that we should always push to prove the potential we have within ourselves. In order to reach the success that we had the privilege to observe around us, we learned that we must push ourselves harder than our competitors. Because of this experience, I understand to the fullest extent just how important it is to be relentless and to never give up.
I am very grateful for this opportunity. Such an experience will undoubtedly develop solid foundations for my future in the field of communications and public relations.
Palio is an advertising agency revolutionizing pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing to create experiences that will Never Be Forgotten.