Calli Peterson



I came into this semester as a strategic communication major switching over to journalism. It was not a drastic change; I was still in the communication sequence. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t starting something new.

Right away, I knew there was something different.

Journalism looks more at the people, the culture and the various ways to describe surroundings. As journalists, we explore the unknown and bring light to the hidden wonders of the world. Those wonders, this semester, just happened to be the businesses I covered.

When I first started searching for topics, I was a little worried. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to write for a business beat. It was something I had never done before, and I needed to find a way to incorporate my style of writing into this beat.

My strategic communication background came in handy as I worked on the business beat. I was able to understand why and how owners try to become recognized in the community. By writing about the businesses, I was able to learn more about how they have advanced their appearance.

This semester I wrote stories about people who started businesses in Salt Lake City. The stories didn’t make me want to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or donate all I had to the homeless. They didn’t change my life. But they did show me how to be a better journalist. I needed to improve my reporting skills, advance my social media brand and uncover the hidden entrepreneur treasures in SLC. I needed that realization that I still have much to learn.

By writing for this beat, I gained a greater knowledge of small businesses in Salt Lake. I realized that there are great people who have started with nothing and created something much bigger than they could have expected. That would be my takeaway.


You would think writing a biography about yourself would be the easy part, wouldn’t you? But that’s the thing: I don’t want to write about myself. I want to write about the people around me and about the people who remind me of myself but are not actually me. That’s what inspires me to write and especially what inspires me to take on this journalism major.

I grew up in a small town of a 143 people (last counted) in northeast South Dakota. The area where I lived consisted of the same people doing the same thing with the same friends. There’s not really room for branching out or, at least, it’s not really expected. That’s why I changed the status quo. I chose to be the only student in my high school graduating class to leave the state, attend a large university and start my life in a big (yes, it’s big) city.

OK, so the story of a small-town girl moving to a big city may get a bit old, but that’s my story. I’m a small-town girl who broke away from the conformity of small-town life. And I couldn’t be happier with how my life has turned out.

I came to the University of Utah in the fall of 2013. Currently, I hold a position in University Information Technology as a documentation writer for Unified Communications. I also write for the Arts and Entertainment desk for the Daily Utah Chronicle.

Recently, I changed my communication major sequence to journalism, and I’m happy with the decision I made. I have a lot more to learn and a lot more to improve on, but I’m ready to take on new challenges. Looking forward in life, I have no idea what I plan on doing. But I know that writing will be, in some way, a part of whatever it is.

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