When asked why I got into journalism, I always have to explain that it probably started because of smoking.
I helped deliver a weekly advertising publication when I was younger, and one night my friend and I finished with extra copies. We couldn’t return them, so we decided to burn them in our trash barrels.
As we did so, I pretended to smoke one like a cigar, and I accidentally inhaled.
In my naivety, I panicked that I would become addicted to smoking.
Obviously that is not how the habit works, but I like to tell people I am addicted to journalism because of that night.
Really, though, my journalism career started the summer before my senior year of high school.
I attend the American Legion Boys State of Kansas, and there I was elected editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper that serves the week-long program.
Why did I receive the job with no prior experience? I think I got the job because journalism is what I am supposed to do.
Since my high school did not have anything journalism related other than yearbook, I got my first taste of reporting my freshman year at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.
I was named sports editor immediately. Again, no experience, but I quickly realized I loved journalism.
My instructor and adviser, Alan Montgomery, was instrumental in this. He showed me what journalism was all about. He even helped another student and I cover the round-the-world flight of Steve Fossett in 2005, in which case we were closer to the man than national media.
Of course, that was just the beginning.
Since then I have been the editor-in-chief of two student newspapers; the webmaster of two student newspapers; a weekly columnist for The McPherson (Kan.) Sentinel, a small daily newspaper; an intern at the Greteman Group, a public relations firm; and an intern at The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, a medium-sized daily newspaper. Plus I have been an on-air personality and audio technician at a small radio station.
However, the job I am most proud of is the job of running my own business, Lucky Se7en Mobile DJ Services, which I started when I was 18 years old.
Without some of these jobs, I wouldn’t have figured out how perfect journalism is for me, and I definitely wouldn’t have learned what I want to do in the field.
I am fascinated with technology and its relationship with journalism. I would love nothing more than to perfect my Web site-designing skills and become a Web journalist who can literally do it all in the way of disseminating news via the Internet.
Some of the work I have done for newspapers and business owners can be seen at vogtsworld.com, but I think I can do much better.
I am a life-long learner, and I never want to stop pursuing my goal of being one of the best Web journalists.
I will never stop striving for greatness that Rob Curley and Bob Woodward could both be proud of.