Eighteen one-on-one interviews in five days, a 2000-word essay (written in the 18 hours before it was due), and a final 45-minute interview to — quoting a few friends — “test how well you handle pressure.” This describes my the components of my experience in The Crimson‘s Turkey Shoot, a process by which our daily newspaper chooses its president and top leaders for the upcoming calender year.
I’m shooting for “Director of Web Strategy,” a new position on the publication that aims to bring a greater emphasis on our web product and blogs to ultimately improve our online experience and expand online revenue. It’s exciting because even while in college, I can make an impact on a site that reaches tens of thousands of people a day and helps keep our community informed. But the road to it is no simple ordeal. To shoot, I wrote a statement of purpose in a surprisingly constraining 2000-words after talking to the outgoing president, managers, and editors across our building. The following week, “shooters” as students like me are known interview one-on-one with each editor who would like to deliberate on the new office-holder through a process affectionately and humorously known as “schmoozing.” Finally, there is that final interview where each of your deliberators sit together, keeping you on your toes for 45 minutes; for positions like President or Managing Editor, there can be 25 or more for more deliberators. Upon writing, I’m currently finishing up my 18 schmoozes.
Students here throw themselves into everything they do, extracurricular activities being no exception. With a talented set of peers, getting the opportunity to lead organizations can thus be a rigorous process. The Crimson‘s is by far the most intense I’ve seen; almost every small and large organization makes do with simple elections or applications. In the middle of it, “the Shoot” as it’s commonly known can seem a bit absurd just to figure out who’s going to lead our publication. It probably is Actually, it definitely is a bit absurd of a process, but by taking a moment as an organization to critically think about our long-term vision, there emerges a consistently amazing set of leaders who edit and mange almost every part of the publication from content to advertising to even printing (we are one of a few papers in the nation that owns our own presses).
And so while the process is intense, it shown me the possibilities that exist upon bringing together motivated students and giving them a few resources. After hearing and reading about everyone’s ideas and talents over the past week, those possibilities seem almost endless.