The Daily Bruin was the place at UCLA where I was able to most grow my curiosity.
Picking up the paper each morning, I was always in awe of how students were so effectively covering the many layers of what was happening on campus and in the surrounding community. I was so excited to become a part of the paper and share the innovative work of people on campus and the challenges they were taking on.
After joining, I realized the most important part of the experience was the chance to work with the ambitious people at The Bruin, who were pursuing their curiosities and working to inform the community. The Bruin connected me with like-minded people who were inspired to do what they could to share important stories with the community. I realize how lucky I am to have been a part of an organization that has informed so many parts of my personal and professional growth.
The paper provided me an opportunity to practice my interdisciplinary interests. Because of the cohesive nature of the paper, I was able to not only write stories, but I could produce videos, take photos and copy edit articles. Reflecting on my work at the paper, I realize how many different types of stories I could cover. Even though I primarily focused on the science and health beat, I was able to explore my curiosities in a wide-ranging set of articles.
Working at the paper during the pandemic led me to integrate my interest in health care and in journalism. I looked at the development of a new COVID-19 test at UCLA called SwabSeq that led to the on-campus testing vending machines as well as the inequities that exist in access to health care. To help answer student questions during the rapidly changing pandemic situation, I developed a monthly video briefing series with university health officials to discuss the pandemic’s effects and changing protocols.
I saw how the community came together to help one another, from the efforts volunteers were taking to help with vaccine distribution to the work done on campus to recruit members for a bone marrow registry.
Whether it was highlighting the effects of a critical blood shortage or the development of a mobile stroke treatment ambulance, The Bruin also allowed me to explore my interests in understanding how the community was working through challenges.
I witnessed the ever-changing development and implementation of technology at UCLA, whether it was the creation of gloves that translate sign language, a new medical imaging technique or the launch of autonomous food delivery robots on campus.
While seemingly unconnected, these articles and the articles I worked on at The Bruin were resulting from my curiosity of the way things worked in our community and the freedom the paper provided to explore these curiosities.
There are so many people to thank for the opportunity to cover these unique stories and to employ different mediums for sharing our stories – everyone from my supportive editors to those I collaborated with for stories. I am so grateful they all encouraged me to expand my experience in different aspects of the paper, providing me the tools to express my interests and curiosities.
An aspect of The Bruin I appreciated most was the ability to see all of the necessary elements that go into a successful project. Whether it was the copy editors working on stories or designers formatting the paper, The Bruin allowed me to gain the important understanding that there are always so many people behind the curtain who work to ensure that things run smoothly.
As a part of the Daily Bruin Editorial Board, I was able to gain a better sense of the impact you can have by bringing important ideas to the forefront. Being on the editorial board with a compassionate group of people with diverse mindsets showed me the power that working together has on sparking necessary conversations about significant topics.
The extensive alumni network was also a formative part of my experience at The Bruin. Connecting with Daily Bruin alumni, whether they had graduated years or decades ago, showed me the breadth of impact The Bruin can have as we work toward our goals. Each alumnus I spoke with could easily detail the enormous role the paper had played in getting them to where they are – no matter the field they ultimately entered.
My UCLA experience was shaped by my time at the Daily Bruin, and it has helped direct the work I hope to do in the future.
I will always be grateful for the experience and the people that helped me throughout the journey.
Danesh was a Video contributor 2019-2022, News contributor 2020-2021, Photo contributor 2020-2022, News staff 2021-2022 and editorial board member 2021-2022.