West Virginia University recently hosted a conference to benefit the service members who are now full time students. The conference was held at the WVU Alumni center and hosted a number of activities. Veterans were given a chance to meet other veterans, listen to some guest speakers and have a chance to meet some employers who sole purpose was to find veterans to provide them with potential jobs. All of this was done because of the WVU Military Veteran Department.
When i was at the Veteran Summit I had a chance to meet Steve Ernst. Ernst was a Marine who served in two tours in Iraq and was now a student here at WVU. Being a Veteran, he knew that there were benefits that were available to him, but had a hard time actually getting those benefits to him. This is were the WVU Military Veteran Department came into play. Ernst said after a few visits to the department, he had the benefits that were available to him, and found about some more that he did not know about.
This is story was one of the easier ones that I have done here at WVU. Being part of the military, I felt that very comfortable going into the Summit and getting the shots. I first arrived to the alumni center and approach the greeters who were in charge of letting people know where the go. I informed them i was from the J-school and that I was interested in talking to a student/veteran. After the coordinator found out why i was there and who i wanted to talk to, he pointed in the direction of Mr. Ernst. I told him that i was there and wanted to do a story on Veteran/students and the benefits they get from the school. He was ok with conducting the interview, so i went out to my car and grabbed my camera.
I found it extremely beneficial to approach people and introduce yourself WITH OUT your camera if you are meeting them for the first time. A camera is a very intimidating thing, and the greeter who I first meet thanked me for this time. The applause was just an example, but i felt that most of my interviewees were more comfortable and had better things to say when you let them know a head of time that you will have a camera or that you will be coming back with one.
After i was finished with the interview, I went and got some shots of the WWII memorial that is across the street from the Mountainlair, and then started the grind in editing the video for class
What to Take Away
Try to do something that you are comfortable with. I have experience with the military and was in comfort zone with this one. i know this will not always happen, but when it does, take advantage with it
Some Extra Stuff
here is the video footage i used for KDKA:
Here is the Package that I am currently working on for West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Note: this package is not completed. I am still in the process of editing