CINspirational People is a feature of Good Things Going Around profiling diverse people of Greater Cincinnati, what inspires them, and what is inspiring about them. You can read more profiles by clicking on the link at the top of the blog. Do you know someone to suggest? Please reach out. Thanks!
One of my summer interns, Liza Hartke, caught up with Seton High School graduate, Erin Davoran . Please learn more about Erin below.
GTGA Liza: What is a motto you live by and why or how has it impact you?
Erin: I often have to remind myself that Intention ≠ Action. There’s so much I always plan on doing, writing, attending, etc. but I have a lot of trouble executing my ideas through to the finish. It’s kind of like the saying “a verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” I am constantly making and breaking “verbal agreements” with myself. I have to work really hard to be more tenacious about things I want to accomplish.
GTGA Liza: What is a recent accomplishment that you are proud of? Tell us about it!
Erin: This summer I interned through the Dow Jones News Fund in Corpus Christi, Texas. I copy edited at the Journal Media Group’s central desk, which probably doesn’t mean anything to non-journalism people. Basically I edited articles for facts, grammar and clarity for seven newspapers owned by JMG (which was just bought by Gannett, which owns the Cincinnati Enquirer). I trained for 10 days in Austin and then worked nights and weekends in Corpus Christi for 9 weeks.
I was really proud of myself for seizing the opportunity away from home and doing work I was proud of. For example, during the Women’s World Cup, there was a teaser to the Finals between the U.S. and Japan on the cover of one newspaper that said “Ladies’ Night.” I felt this phrase, while aiming to be clever, was a very subtly sexist microaggression that demeaned the accomplishments of the soccer players like some bar special where soccer stars drink free. I checked with my boss who agreed. I changed the banner to “Final Fight.” To a lot of people, that might seem trivial, or that there was nothing wrong with the original wording, but to me, I was always aiming to produce the best news with consciousness.
Sure, there were times during the nights I would be exhausted or exasperated. Sure, there were articles that I hated editing or writing headlines for. But most of the time, I loved being part of the process. I was a cog in the news-making wheel, mostly invisible, as copy editors usually are, but also hardworking and extremely grateful.
I hope this accomplishment influences and fuels my future endeavors, whatever they may be.
GTGA Liza: What are some things you miss the most about Cincinnati?
Erin: Skyline, Graeter’s, Montgomery Inn, and LaRosa’s.
I’m kidding. Sort of.
Of all summers, I can’t believe this was the one I missed. As much as I enjoyed my time in Texas and appreciated my internship, there were definitely times I wanted to be in Cincinnati – especially for the Bunbury Festival (The Avett Brothers are my favorite band) and All Star Week. I used to want to get out of Cincinnati as soon as I could, and then this summer I wanted to get back just as quickly. It’s becoming such a cool, thriving town. The passion Cincinnatians have for the city is finally justified.
I read the Enquirer and watched everyone’s Snapchat stories all summer, and whether this was true or my homesickness was conflating the feeling, Cincinnati was/is the place to be right now.
Besides the renaissance of sorts the city is experiencing, I really missed my family and friends, as cheesy as that is to say. I hate that I missed weddings and family reunions. I go to school three hours away and my best friends are scattered in different cities for most of the year. I love that summers in college have been like 3-month reunions for us. Especially since we all graduate this school year, this summer was kind of one last guarantee we’d be together. Moving several states away kind of spoiled that guarantee.
GTGA Liza: What’s next for you?
Erin: I’m about halfway through my fall semester of senior year at Ohio University in Athens. It’s crazy. I have a lot going on, so I really have to keep senioritis at bay. However, I’m not in any hurry to leave OU, so maybe, just maybe, it won’t hit me until I’m way closer to graduation. Next, I have a whole list of jobs I want to apply for. It’s both terrifying and exciting actually, probably because the rejection hasn’t come yet.
I hope to graduate on time in April with a Bachelor of Science in journalism, a media arts and studies minor in screenwriting and digital storytelling, and a certificate in diversity studies. That will only happen if I remember the whole intention/action thing.
After that, hopefully my ensuing job search will be successful and I find somewhere to work and live – whether that be in Cincinnati, another U.S. location, or even going abroad. I was homesick this summer but I also am restless to see brand new places, too.
GTGA Liza: What advice would you give to students that are nervous about moving to another city?
Erin: I’m not sure I’m the best to be giving that advice because I knew my move had an end date. I knew I’d return home soon enough and I got to go back to Athens right after that.
As for a more permanent move, ask me again in about seven months when I maybe have a job away from home. I hope I would have the advice of just being open to whatever experience you’re granted, and if you are lucky enough to have the support and love from your family and friends, know that you always have a place to call home.
GTGA: Tell us about someone who has been a positive influence in your life.
Erin: I’m so easy to influence – in a good way, I hope! The people who influence me really stick out when I think back to decisions I’ve made that have altered my life in big ways.
I remember my aunt being the first person to suggest I look into OU’s journalism program. Then, when I started considering OU, I went to two family friends, both OU students, now alumni, to get their input. Two years later I was in a massive ‘Bobcat Family’ picture at their wedding.
When I was considering my internship offer last fall, I went to my professor/academic adviser who was so excited for me that she calmed my apprehension and made me excited about the opportunity as well.
Months later, when I was so sad to be leaving and not really wanting to move, my friends and parents encouraged me that, though they’d miss me, it was a good thing and a great opportunity.
So I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by many positive influences who’ve helped me at so many times in my life and continue to do so.
I didn’t mention my sister in the above scenarios, but she is definitely a positive influence for me as well, just in general whenever I need her. She lives in Illinois and teaches second grade. I’ve visited her class and seen how great she is with the rowdiest seven year olds I’ve ever seen. I could never do what she does but she does it so well, it’s inspiring.
GTGA Liza: What is your biggest motivator?
Erin: People. Awesome people around me – family, friends, roommates, professors, classmates – push me and help me turn intention into action. I have goals and dreams and all that which I probably wouldn’t get to without people who care about me keeping me focused and motivated. These are also often the same people who sometimes convince me eat popcorn and brownies and watch How To Get Away with Murder instead of studying or going to the gym, but for the most part, they keep me on track.
GTGA Liza: Any other information or quotes you would like for us to feature in your post.
Erin: I guess just a note that if I sounded pretentious (I know I sounded cheesy) in any of these responses, I did not mean to be. Though in this case, intention may not be in control of the result (aka “It’s not up to you if you’re an asshole or not. That’s up to everybody else” – Louis C.K.) Y’know, I’m still trying to find confidence in my abilities and myself, and recognize when I have succeeded. I’m trying to let myself be confident because if I’m paralyzed by self doubt, my intentions will never come to fruit. And that would be my own fault (see, cheesy).
Alright, enough self reflection. Other information? Anyone in the media field who’s hiring, let me know? Haha!
GTGA Liza: What have you learned about yourself this past summer?
Erin: I learned how to be an adult. Well, maybe not a full-fledged adult, but perhaps a pseudo-grownup. I was in a different city and state hundreds of miles from home with no one I knew. In my first big-girl job, I had to tackle responsibility and learn how to use a coffee maker. I had to manage money and take care of myself. Luckily, I learned that I could do it.