The Badger Herald introduced me to my dream job.

When I joined the Herald, I became a journalist. Within the walls of our office I grew as a writer and within the city limits of Madison I grew as a reporter. After working my way through the editorial ranks, I spent a year running a newspaper.

This year we were tasked with executing a transition from a twice-weekly production schedule to a once weekly production cycle. I couldn’t be prouder of every single person who came through our doors and contributed to making that change happen smoothly.

We’ve created an incredible print product. Our staff made each cover, special design and photo tastefully and eloquently. Each feature story was captivating and thorough. Each section filled their pages with relevant and well-produced content every week. Each comic was unique and well thought out. Our editors are innovators in their respective sections.

Our transition was about more than creating a new weekly magazine-style tabloid that would stand out on campus. It was about standing behind our goal of becoming digital-first and meaning it. Whether it was a hilarious Banter article, quick reaction to breaking news, eye-catching video package or Twitter poll of the top pick for commencement speaker, we stayed with the rhythm of the campus pulse.

Being a part of Board of Directors opened my mind to a new of thinking about making a paper. The people who fill our conference room for every Tuesday meeting are the most selfless, forward-thinking leaders I’ve ever met. Each of them embraces the all-consuming nature of this organization and takes each challenge in stride. With the values they prioritize, they make being a Gentle Clown so worth it.

My fellow upper management staff, Aliya Iftikhar and Briana Reilly, and I were tasked with leading this transition, but everyone who works for us made that task so easy. These two women are strong, brilliant and whip-smart. We spent the year experimenting at 152 W. Johnson St. and I’m so thankful our staff supported us. Together we figured out what kind of leaders we wanted to be and maneuvered the difficulties that come with being women in leadership. I’m so glad I had these two to lean on and lean in when days were a little harder.

(Special thanks to Aliya for luring me into the full-Herald experience when she hired me as her campus associate after I’d only been writing for a month. Then again, for hiring me as managing editor where I learned I am capable of running a newspaper and very much want to do so again. You’re my best friend.)

We are so lucky to have had a young staff this semester and I wish the best to all of them. I have so much confidence that you’ll continue doing great things.

Everyone I’ve met along the way has restored my faith in the future of journalism. Because of the work done here, the challenges that are inevitable in this ever-changing field don’t feel so daunting.

So I here I stand in my rose-colored glasses, looking to the future, ready to start over again and set off in pursuit of my next dream job.