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Profile of the Week: John Hawks

By Ada Castro
On January 27, 2017

Photo by: Ada Castro 

The Campus is featuring one Ottawa University student every week to make sure our readers find out about the cool things our apprentices accomplish. Our first Profile Of The Week is Kansas native, John Hawks.

He is a Communication Studies major, loves horses and is learning tons from his internship at the Ottawa Herald.

Hawks describes how he ended up at the herald as a “funny story.”

“I had an idea that college students are supposed to look for internships. … I started sending emails out, and one of the emails I sent out was to the publisher of the Ottawa Herald. It was a fluke because they were actually looking for an intern at that time,” Hawks says.

So he went in there and tried to rock the interview with his previous high school knowledge of what “professional” looks like. Though he concludes the sentence laughing, “Of course I didn’t know anything.”

Hawks is lucky to have found a team that “is willing to take him under their wings.” He explains that everything he has learned from journalism is from the classes with OU professor Jon Niccum, but mostly from his internship at the herald.

His role at the Ottawa Herald is evolving as years pass by; Hawks started the winter of his freshman year as a staff writer, although he still likes to think of himself as an intern. “I still do a lot of that (news features) but I started taking more photography roles. I go out to different events and see what I can do to capture them and, you know, tell other people about it. I’ve learned from Lee Stabler over at OU and from Clint Dick at the Herald,” he says.

Most college students feel anxious about going into the real world and working for a company. Hawks’ take on this thought is that the internship is definitely reducing his fear of going “out there.”

“You can go to class, after class, after class, but you really don’t know what it is like out in the real world until you’re there in your first day on the job. ... It hits you when they give you very real expectations. But if you can have those placed on you in places like internships, where someone is going to say, ‘Here, this is actually how you do it,’” Hawks says.

Hawks also shares this fun fact during the interview:  “I grew up riding horses. I am pretty proficient in horsemanship and from like the age of three, I have been on a horse.”

This future journalist’s message for young readers is, “Definitely get out and don’t be afraid to apply to everywhere you can. Don’t think that you are not adequate because what they don’t tell you is that people are pretty nice, generally, and they will teach you. You don’t have to know everything; you just need to have an attitude that says, ‘I’m gonna hustle and do the best I can’ because … people like that!”

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