"Who are you? What do you do?"

"Who are you? What do you do?"

January 4th, 2009 by Chloé Morrison in Anniversary

Chloe Morrison, reporter, on her first visit to the Times Free Press in 2003 ...

I was a freshman or sophomore at UTC and we had to do a "mini internship" shadowing someone for a day. I wanted to focus on print journalism, so my professor got me hooked up with features editor Mark Kennedy at the Times Free Press.

I ended up going out and about with Ashley Heher, a reporter who now works for the Associated Press in Chicago. I asked her questions and quietly observed and it was a helpful experience. But the part that sticks out the most and is the most amusing to me now involves Sunday editor Chris Vass.

I was sort of hovering around the newsroom awkwardly - not knowing what to do and feeling very green and a little intimidated - when Chris stopped whatever she was doing and looked me right in the eye.

Then she said, "Who are you? What do you do?"

I managed to speak and tell her that I was a job shadow, at which point she just went back to her business.

What makes the story great is that, now, nearly three years into a full-time position here, I know that Chris is not a scary editor - although that is not to say she isn't a strong one. As a young college student, I was just taken aback by her frank question.

Today, I work more closely with her and I still see her draw respect effortlessly, as she did from me upon our first meeting.

I also like the story because it is evidence of how far I have come. I've grown from a somewhat timid college student into an adult and professional journalist. I know that today if faced with a similar circumstance I would not be thrown off by a little candor.