My first job! Working as a sports editor in Kansas


Name: Peter Holland Jr. ’17
Hometown: Hollywood, FL
Degree/major: Communications, Digital Media Studies

Where are you working? Title?
I am the sports editor for the McPherson Sentinel in McPherson, Kansas.

How did you get your job? 
I just simply applied and showed them my work samples. They were interested and here I am. This was right after I finished interning for Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah. So, it’s been a grind after I graduated last summer.

What was your greatest fear going into your first job, and how did you face it or overcome it?
Of course, leaving my hometown to pursue my dreams is always fearful but I knew what I signed up for and mentally prepared for it.  My biggest fear would be coming back to Florida and considering myself a “failure.” I just enjoy every minute of my time here, and, if I do have to relocate, I will make sure I leave a mark.

What surprised you the most about your first job?
The people at McPherson are so nice and helpful. They don’t mind lending you a helping hand. Because it’s a small town, everyone knows everybody here. You’re either a relative or a neighbor. It’s a humbling experience.

What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process?
Always plan ahead and always have an open mind.  Months before I graduated, I applied to different places, and I didn’t care where, as long it’s something I wanted to do. [Jobs] are out there, you just have to find them. Never get discouraged if you get turned down. Believe me, I can’t even tell you how many jobs rejected me before I found the McPherson Sentinel. As a journalist, you should never be too comfortable in one area. Always keep me moving to better yourself.

What does a day on the job look like?
I make my own schedule, that’s one of the perks of working here. I check my emails every morning. I plan out my  schedule for the week. If I have an article that’s already published, I promote it through my social media accounts. There are some occasions, mostly in the afternoons, that I have an interview with someone.  So, that would be added to my schedule, as well. I really make my hours when I’m covering a game in the evenings. The main attraction here is the McPherson High School Bullpups. So, say they have a basketball game. I have to cover that game, do my own photography, live tweet during the game, and take notes of what’s going on. After the game and talking to the players and coaches, I head to the office and start working on my recap. I put it on file along with other sporting events that happen that night so it could be in the newspaper the next day. It’s a grind, but fun at the same time because I’m a one-man show.

How does your job connect back to your coursework?
Multimedia production and grammar writing has been useful to me, but most of things I was taught came from working for FIU Student Media, now called Panther Now. It’s pretty much the same. I was able to catch on quicker than I expected. I was part FIU Student Media for two years as assistant sports director and staff writer. I also was member of SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists). I considered Professors Alfredo Soto and Kate MacMillin my mentors. Soto took me under his wing and really pushed me to be a good writer. MacMillin taught Multimedia; I didn’t know anything about shooting footage and video editing until I was in her class. She helped walk me through it all semester. She will always be one of my favorite professors .

How has your transition from school to work? How do you balance your time?
Two days after I graduated, I was on the move. I did my internship for five months at Deseret News. I really loved Utah and was hoping to stay there a little bit longer, but God had another plan for me. Once you’re starting out, you have to understand that it’s not going to be all glamorous at first, or you might not be in the major markets right away.  It also involves a lot of sacrifices. Moving from state to state is hard, but this is the career path that goes with it. I just enjoy my opportunity and never look back.

What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far?
Nothing feels better than going to a game for free knowing that you are covering it. I love going to different high schools, learning about different cultures and meeting new people. It’s a big difference from living in South Florida. That’s what great about all of it.