Mohmand: ‘I never planned to become a journalist, but I wouldn’t have it any other way’


Amber Mohmand is a senior in journalism and mass communication.

Amber Mohmand

I never planned to become a journalist. 

My freshman year, I majored in psychology with the intention to go to medical school. I absolutely hated it. I didn’t like my classes, psychology 101? Eh. Chemistry 177? Failed. Biology 211? Disaster. College kind of sucked for me my first semester. I hit what I thought at the time was rock bottom and I knew my plan wasn’t going to work out. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I met some lifelong friends through psychology — Lauren, Derek, Abigail and Roxanne — major shout out to y’all. But I never had the passion some people did. 

All I knew was that I wanted to help people. 

For some reason, I decided to take an introductory journalism class. The Iowa State Daily’s editorial adviser, Mark “Spoon” Witherspoon, came into my class and said “you’re a chicken shit if you don’t join the Daily.” Now I don’t know about you, but that’s an offer I couldn’t resist. 

So I took a leap of faith, joined the Iowa State Daily and I never looked back. 

In the past year and a half I’ve been at the Daily, I’ve had the time of my life. From writing my first article on the relationship between religion and agriculture, listening to the city council meeting or staying in the newsroom until the early hours of the morning.

I found my people at the Daily. The ones who push me to do better. Be better.

The news editors — Kate Kealey, Kylee Haueter, Jill Even and Madison Mason — work so hard to deliver quality content amid the brutal pace of the news cycle. 

The sports boys — Zane Douglas, Stephen McDaniel and Matt Belinson — can write an article faster than lightning — I’m always in awe when I see their byline.

The niche section — Margaret Troup and Sydney Novak — two of the most creative people I know.

Opinion Editor Peyton Hamel, my birthday twin who is so, so smart. 

Visuals Editor, Collin Maguire, a mastermind when it comes to photos. 

Co-Copy Chiefs Megan Teske and Paula Bekkerus, I don’t know where I would be without them. 

Managing editors, Logan Metzger and Gabby Lucas, and Engagement Editor Victoria Reyna-Rodriguez — they’re always here to help. 

Sage Smith, the editor-in-chief. She cares so, so much. 

These are my people. 

Journalism is great. As a journalist, I want to assure you we are not the enemy of the people. We are here to tell the truth and to keep you, the readers, informed. Yes, we’ll make mistakes here and there — we’re human so it happens. But a good journalist will admit their mistakes and do better. 

We keep each other accountable. We push each other to do better. 

I want to get better. I’m learning to get better. I want my next story to be better than the last. I have the opportunity and the responsibility to help people by sharing their stories and keep the public informed. 

I never planned to become a journalist, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. From the frantic calls for last-minute sources to the endless all nighters, the life of a journalist is exhausting but rewarding.