Grant Heiman is the current audience engagement editor at the Kansan, majoring in Strategic Communications and News and Information.
Every single semester, I said I wasn’t reapplying to work at the Kansan. My friends and family can confirm.
A few months later? I always found myself sitting at another round of the staff training.
I saw my work at the Kansan as a hobby, and while journalism is my major, I never planned on working at a newspaper.
Yet that’s the funny thing about the Kansan; you work tirelessly at all hours of the day, for not a lot of money, but little by little you build a home here.
You build friendships to last a lifetime and enough experience to last 10 of those.
I started as a page designer out of sheer luck — I applied before I was even officially enrolled at the University. Eventually I landed a paid role, moved up to an editor position, and seven semesters later I’m still here.
Formative moments in my life, education and career were spent in the newsroom. I sat in the newsroom as Christine Blasey-Ford testified before the senate. As students stormed Massachusetts Street after men’s basketball advanced to the final four, we produced a special section. And as Gov. Laura Kelly won the 2018 election — I was at the same newsroom table live-tweeting the results.
In the past three and a half years I’ve written too many tweets to count, consumed even more margaritas, designed a few pages and developed a reader-submitted question platform. This is work I am immensely proud of and extremely privileged to have taken part in.
Thanks to the Kansan, I realize it’s the work I want to spend my career doing.
Every meme someone let me tweet, every story I copy edited and every newsletter I sent has been the highest honor of my college career.
So thank you. Thank you to my coworkers and friends, my advisers and professors. And thank you to that messy newsroom in the Dole Human Development Center room 2000 that molded me into the journalist I am today.
Support student journalism. Cheers.