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Thanks for the memories

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I would like to use this platform that Upstate Courier has given me to make an announcement. As of November 29th, I was offered and I have accepted a producer position at Spectrum News Albany. This is a great opportunity for me to begin my career in a field I dreamed of working in. Getting to this point was so incredibly difficult that I would like to tell you a little about how this happened and how thankful I am for this opportunity.

When I graduated from Marist College in December of 2016 I did not think it would take a full calendar year to find a real job. Perhaps I was hopeful, but more delusional than anything. Graduating from Marist was my life’s crowning achievement and a dream come true. I was riding a constant high only to be brought down to rock bottom.

The last year has beaten me up mentally more than any semester of college could ever do. This is the real world, this isn’t pulling an all-nighter to get a good grade on a project. This is pulling an all-nighter to put together a 75 hour work week to survive. That’s not including the job applications at two in the morning with multiple Red Bull’s in your system just to be told that the company thinks your qualifications are “impressive” but you don’t have the experience they’re looking for.

A “rut” is putting it lightly, mentally, I have been in a standstill. Grasping for any little bit of hope that presented itself. The Upstate Courier was the hope I needed. It presented me with a chance to get my name out there to an already established audience. Last January when I wrote my first column for then 518 Sports, I had no idea what I would think of this site. I would write an article maybe once a month on anything I could and they gave me full creative control.

That led to them believing in me and my work enough to offer me the UAlbany Football beat, one of the biggest and most important in this market. Even that would have limitations for me due to my work schedule, but I did the best I could at covering the team with the utmost respect for the program. I would often cover the game, go to work and then write the article after work in the early morning hours where I probably wasn’t doing my best work.

When you’re in college for journalism you are repeatedly told that this is the golden age to be a reporter and there are so many opportunities out there. Except in this world of social media, there are so many outlets but there’s not enough positions for companies to hire everyone. That’s where the other thing you’re told about in college comes in: this is a damn competitive field and only the best, most credible and hardest-working journalists have the privilege of writing the world’s stories.

The former athlete in me is competitive as hell and the Upstate Courier has allowed me to compete and prove my worth. For those who don’t know, this website is run by mostly high school kids. I had to swallow my pride at first to work for and with kids who I am almost 10 years older than. Dylan Rossiter and Aidan Joly have done such a fantastic job with this that you could not tell that it was founded and operated by kids who can barely buy cigarettes. Without them, this does not happen for me. So I am forever grateful.

I was starting to think that an opportunity like this wasn’t going to present itself. I was starting to lose faith in myself. But the never ending support from my family, friends, girlfriend, my two jobs and the Upstate Courier really picked me up. So if you are someone who has rooted for me, has helped me and has followed my career to this point. I can’t thank you all enough.

This is my last piece for the Upstate Courier, however if you’d still like to follow me and my career you can do so by watching Spectrum News Albany (Channels 1, 9, 200) and on Twitter @RandyTHJ

Thank you so much.

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