Volunteering at Messenger is educational for student


Editor’s note: Bridget Garnica, a senior at Iowa State University in Ames, volunteered with The Catholic Messenger this summer. The daughter of Karina Garnica, an immigration counselor with the Diocese of Davenport, Bridget reflects on her experience for our readers.

Members of The Catholic Messenger staff include, front, from left, Anne Marie Amacher, Nancy Hamerlinck, Barb Arland-Fye and volunteer Bridget Garnica; back, Corbin Jensen, Celine Klosterman and Tony Forlini.

Bridget Garnica
Age: 21
Family:  Mother, Karina; father, Gilberto; and brother, Gilbert, 22
Hometown: Davenport
Parish: Sacred Heart Cathedral, Davenport; and St. Thomas and St. Cecilia parishes in Ames
Hobbies: Latin Dance Group, playing the violin and drawing
Favorite prayer: The Guardian Angel
What made you decide to help out The Catholic Messenger? My major at school requires a student internship, but since I can’t do my official internship until next summer I wanted to help out at a place that’s still in my area of study in order to gain experience. I heard about The Catholic Messenger and my family receives the newspaper at home. Since it’s not as large as other companies, I thought it would be a good place to start for my career.
What is the important thing you learned helping out here? Even if you find a job in your field, you won’t always be doing that exact thing. Most of the time there will be other small things that you need to do that aren’t in your field. So you need to learn how to be flexible.
What skills did you learn here that will help you in college and beyond? I learned more about how to operate Photoshop for creating ads. Not only can you save them in Photoshop, but also in other programs. I also didn’t know some of the names of websites where you can get free images to use and to modify your ads. I’m not sure what I will need to do in my last year of classes or in my future job, but I know that if I need to design or lay out pages, or do an interview, I will have the basic information in addition to knowing how to create ads. I took an English class last semester where we had to write a proposal. I didn’t really see the point of it since my area was designing ads, but during my time here I saw The Messenger working on a proposal and I learned it is important to know how to write a proposal even if it is not in your area of study.
What have you learned about how The Catholic Messenger operates? Even though The Catholic Messenger isn’t a big company like other newspaper companies, I learned how a newspaper company works. I imagined you needed a lot of individuals, but it’s not true. The Catholic Messenger only has six employees.
What have you learned about the Catholic Church from proofreading The Catholic Messenger? Having many individuals proof the paper is good. That way if there is a mistake it can be found. Not only do individuals in the company proofread, but also individuals from outside The Messenger.  I was able to know more things that were going on in the Catholic Church because of my proofreading.
How many mistakes did you catch proofreading each week? I found a few typos, but they weren’t big.
What is your favorite part of being at The Catholic Messenger? Helping out at The Catholic Messenger was a great experience. I came here to learn more about creating ads, but I walked out knowing how the Messenger works and how to do a little bit of everything: from planning, creating, selling and placement of ads, to designing and laying out pages, to interviewing and knowing the simple editing skills. I didn’t just focus on advertising, as I was able to apply what I learned at school such as proofing and editing skills to working with Photoshop. That is unlike other jobs or places where you’re working on something different that doesn’t apply what you learned in school.
What are your plans for the future?  I would like to have a family and possibly move to California. But for my future career, whether I work for a company or an agency, I would like to create ads for beverages or food products. I enjoy drawing and designing things, so for now any place I can do that would be great as long as I enjoy my job.

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