Valuing teamwork is the key to TSM success

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Editor's Note: Jan Ross Piedad, the Moody College of Communication candidate, has written the following column on a topic of the her choosing relating to her campaign. She agreed to forgo print space.

In a recent job interview, I was asked to describe myself in three words. At the time, it felt like a moment of cosmic karma. I had asked the same confusing, oddly personal query to my fellow colleagues about a year ago while working at the University Interscholastic League, featuring students assistants across all departments and backgrounds. Thoughtful expressions and a brainstorming session tended to follow, but I didn’t have the same luxury when put on the spot this time. Here’s where I eventually arrived: hardworking, flexible and visionary.

This season of campus-wide elections, I am on the ballot to represent the Moody College of Communication on the Texas Student Media Board of Operation Trustees and it is my heartfelt belief that the same qualities will embolden success for the position. As a third-year journalism major, student life isn’t just about assessments and the next student organization meeting, there’s stories and group projects too. It’s a personal truth that I work much harder and better when the effort is for a group, when the product is a direct reflection of more than just me.

Whether it stands for three people, five TSM properties, all of the University and beyond, I will commit to benefit the many. My flexibility in what I am able to do as a multimedia journalist, as well what I am willing to do as a leader, are assets to the responsibility of representing the diverse departments of the Moody College. Visionary is less of a prophecy but more of a purpose. Last summer, I was the sole student representing the University at the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, a three week seminar with students, professors and media professionals belonging to all parts of the world. From the experience, I grew to appreciate the gift of education and an understanding for media literacy: the practice of analyzing, evaluating and creating messages through an assortment of mediums for a critical and culturally competent outcome. Media literacy is lifelong discipline and I believe the practice is where the future of these media entities can be.

My greatest connections to TSM are my two semesters on The Daily Texan editorial staff and three years volunteering for Texas Student Television. Now working primarily on social media for Good Morning Texas, I see the potential we have to connect as a community. There’s a need to recognize that yes, we do have a radio station, TV studio and satirical publication working right here on campus. And you can join as well. Promotional efforts are one a few things I will work to address during my term, along with greater interconnectedness between the five entities and appeals for updated equipment. Because yes, I work with those cameras, soundboards and computers too.

Service is at the center of my values and it is my deepest hope that I could be of help to a greater cause. In the past few years, I have been involved with a variety non-profit organizations for a range of purposes, from college scholarships to child advocacy to hosting globally-focused events. One similarity between all these efforts is effective communication, and everyone needs a little more of that in our lives. The special thing about TSM properties is the long-standing tradition of student expression across print, radio and television, documenting the UT Austin community daily. It is important to uphold this legacy to create a more inclusive, creative campus through TSM properties: The Texas Travesty, Cactus Yearbook, KVRX, Texas Student Television, and The Daily Texan.