Emma Court '15
The Cornell Daily Sun
As a freshman, I met with the managing editor and he told me how formative the Sun had been in his experience at Cornell and how he couldn't imagine his time here spent any other way. I said, "That sounds really great, sign me up."
I started off writing, and I really liked that. I enjoyed seeing my name in print the day after writing a story. It's a very cool feeling that never really goes away. Later on, I became a news editor and then city editor.
As I got more involved, I saw there was a vibrant community at the Sun. It's a special place. There are certain types of people who are attracted to it, I think. They are more intellectual, or more interested in practical experience.
I've gained so much through the curriculum, particularly its interdisciplinary nature and its emphasis on organizational psychology in history and law. I don't know what I would have majored in otherwise. You can't major in all these things unless you are in ILR.
The curriculum is designed for people who have a wide interest in world matters beyond one discipline.
For example, I am very interested in feminist issues. I took a Women and Family History seminar, which was fascinating. I took a creativity class, too. Last semester I took a class with the former chairwoman of the National Labor Relations Board. This semester, I'm taking International Labor Law. All of these things interlock so well that I feel I have a comprehensive understanding of the issues.
One of my defining Cornell experiences was the course Labor Law, with Professor Gold. I took it extremely seriously. I came out of it having done really well and it taught me there are things you might be afraid of in college, like taking classes that are too rigorous, that you can handle.
My sophomore year, I was part of a group that developed ResCUer, a smartphone app for safety resources on campus. It's really simple. There's a Get Help button and a Go Home button. Get Help takes you to the police, EMS and other emergency resources; Go Home takes you to phone numbers for friends and taxis. We got funding from CU Collaborate. Then, we entered it in the Red Ideas Festival and won third place. We're working with Cornell to bolster its presence on campus.
One of the things I've learned is that you have to create your own opportunities. When I was an intern at CNN, they had a specific set of duties for interns. I wanted to do more, so I looked around the workplace and saw that each semester they had to train a new set of interns. I realized that institutional knowledge was getting lost in the shuffle, which made for stressful situations.
I asked my supervisor if I could create an intern manual that explained the basic tasks. I worked on it in my spare time, and they actually put it into their HR manual. My ILR background gave me the understanding of how a company works and how to function within that environment.
Last summer, I interned at The Miami Herald.