Being an RUSL Writer: Behind the Screen

PHOTO: Amanda Kuo

It was at the end of August last year when I received an offer to join the RU Student Life (RUSL) team as a writer. I was elated. I had gone on a whim applying for the Career Boost program, not really knowing what it was until a week before application deadlines were do. I was stunned to see how many jobs there were for students to apply to and how great these positions would be to have during the semester.

Coming from a background of working with children for three years, I was ready to step out and try something new. I remember the day I had my interview with Ariana, our supervisor and queen of digital storytelling, I thought I was a wreck. I had to do the interview on my lunch break from my camp job and remember thinking if I had done enough to prove I was worthy of the position. But some time passed and as soon as I saw the email offering me the position, I jumped up called my mom, which sounds very cliché but she has always been someone who has pushed me to take on any opportunity that comes my way. And this was one of them.

Beginning my new role as a writer at the start of the fall semester was exciting. I was prompted to start brainstorming, learning the roots of Buzzfeed, WordPress and other platforms we use to post content. Subsequently, I met the rest of the amazing RUSL team filled with photographers, multimedia creators, social media storytellers, etc. Being invited into a welcoming and creative atmosphere motivated me to strive to do as much as I could while holding this role. It gave me so much hope that the team would have a successful year of posts geared for students, made by students. And we did.

As a writer, I made my entire focus on creating content that students would thoroughly enjoy. Whether it would make them happy, give them a laugh, brighten their day, or get their mind wandering about a certain topic. I wanted to ensure that whatever content I made would be something students could react to. At the beginning, I started off creating  Throwback Thursday posts on Buzzfeed and engaging with students to hear their worst commuting and customer service stories. This was not only fun for me but proved to be popular amongst students. Being an outlet that students could relate to and laugh with has been a great and humbling experience. In fact, having our content during the year revolve around posts students could relate to, learn something new from or be made aware of was something we all, as a team excelled at. We were all able to stick to our ‘by students, for students’ motto without being cringey or overbearing like we have seen other outlets do.

If you’ve ever wondered what typical week as an RUSL writer is like: it’s filled with office hours, weekly writing team meetings and brainstorming throughout the week of what posts we can create for the upcoming week. As well as planning ahead for other posts that may be timely for special occasions such as reading week, Christmas and more. Writing is my role and it is what I do best but I have also been grateful to have collaborated with the rest of the team to create awesome digital content. From my collaborations with other members of our team, the ‘Spilling the Safe Tea’ video and The7TO photo essay has to be in my top picks.

Coming to the end of the semester and school year, I am personally so humbled to have been welcomed with open arms to a team of incredible individuals. It has been one of the highlights of my second-year and I cannot wait to see what else the RUSL team will have in store for the upcoming year.

If you’re interested in learning more about RUSL, or how to join our team, please feel free to reach out to myself, other members or visit the Career Boost website for future postings. We also love to hear from everyone, even if you want to say hey, have an idea for a story or would like to learn how you can be more involved.