Alumna Spotlight: Lauren Owens

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Alumna Spotlight: Lauren Owens

FMU alumna Lauren Owens has found her calling in journalism due to her passion for telling others' stories.

FMU alumna Lauren Owens has found her calling in journalism due to her passion for telling others' stories.

Photo by: Thessalonia Thomas

FMU alumna Lauren Owens has found her calling in journalism due to her passion for telling others' stories.

Photo by: Thessalonia Thomas

Photo by: Thessalonia Thomas

FMU alumna Lauren Owens has found her calling in journalism due to her passion for telling others' stories.

Kaitlyn Luna, Editor-in-Chief

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FMU alumna, former Editor-in-Chief of The Patriot and current Education Reporter for the Morning News, Lauren Owens has always known that she wanted to tell other people’s stories.

“I have a passion for writing,” Owens said. “At the end of the day, I just want to be able to tell stories, whether that’s for a newspaper, a magazine or working in an organization telling the story of that organization to the public.”

Although she found her love for journalism early on in college, Owens did not originally consider a major in mass communication. Instead, she started off as a biology major, with the hopes of working for Doctors Without Borders. However, she soon began as a photographer for The Patriot, where she got her first taste of telling stories through journalism.

“The Patriot really taught me the ins and outs of journalism, from start to finish,” Owens said. “Everybody, not just the Editor-in-Chief, but every position in the paper really gets to have a hands-on experience: what news is, how to develop it and how to put it into print, as well as online, and how to actually get the newspaper and deliver it. You really get to see every aspect of journalism in its purest form. Having that experience, and being able to take it into the real world, is just so beneficial.”

After getting a small taste of journalism, Owens found an immediate love for it, deciding to change her major to mass communication.

“I reached out to a mass comm major who was a year older than me, and I asked her tons of questions, I mean, a ton of questions,” Owens said. “It was this terrifying thing where I was like, ‘Alright, I’m literally changing the plan I have had all throughout high school.’ I mean, when I was a freshman in high school, I decided to do medical school stuff. I reached out to the department and they met with me before the semester had even started. I completely switched my entire course schedule. I haven’t looked back. My first day in my classes it was like, ‘Yeah, this is where I need to be.’ I knew. I had this feeling. They say that you do something because you love it, and that was me picking mass comm and journalism.”

While at FMU, Owens received several awards from the South Carolina Press Association for her creative and empowering way of giving others a chance to have their story told, as well as leading her Patriot news team to a first-place award in general excellence.

After graduating in 2018, Owens began working for the Morning News, breaking her way into the print news industry. She hopes to continue to be able to work her way up and ultimately work at the international level.

“I would love to work in an international capacity,” Owens said. “I just want to write stories, whether that’s working for an NGO as a public relations practitioner, or working for an international news organization. I really want to write about stories abroad.”

Although the transition to working in print news was different than what she was used to, Owens has embraced it with open arms and loves how every day is a new experience.

“Every job is going to be stressful,” Owens said. “Even if you love it, you are going to have moments where you just want to pull your hair out. You’re going to just want to quit and throw your hands up in the air. You’re going to have moments where you make mistakes, but you’ll learn from them. At the end of the day, when you have those stories that tell the little pieces of who people are, that makes it worth it.”

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