Baker will speak at the School of Communications Convocation at 9 a.m. on April 26
Camille Baker returned from her mission unsure of what she wanted to study. Formerly an English major, Baker found herself searching for something new.
“I didn’t really feel at home in my classes,” she said. “I felt like I couldn’t connect with some of the students and the professors. I still really loved writing and editing, and my original intent was to be a book editor, but I didn’t really want to go through BYU without having any friends in my classes. I figured I’d look around for a degree that would give me enough credibility to be a book editor.”
The solution, she concluded, was the news media major. Her experience in the introduction to communications class validated that decision.
“I took the prerequisites, and I was having a hard time feeling like I found purpose in my major,” Baker said. “I had friends who are studying medicine, special education and teaching. They all had these passions, and I just wanted to move commas around.
“One of my classes was the Comms 101 intro-level class with professor Jessica Zurcher,” Baker continued. “She shared Elder Bednar’s talk on sharing goodness — ‘Sweep the Earth as With a Flood’ — and she said that she found her passion in communications because she realized that, in order to share the goodness of the gospel with the world, she had to learn how the world communicates.” This resonated with Baker and encouraged her to move forward with studying news media.
Even with this broader vision of potential paths within communications, Baker had made up her mind to pursue book editing.
“My mentors and professors knew that at the beginning, and I was kind of stubborn about it,” she said. “But, I had a really, really positive experience in my reporting classes. It completely changed the way that I saw journalism and how I saw my future. So, I decided to become a journalist.”
The Daily Universe, BYU’s campus newspaper, has been central to Baker’s college experience. “I wish that news media students took advantage of the Daily Universe newsroom,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of classmates and friends in the program who will choose a different part-time job on campus that pays a little bit more and not work at the Universe. I think that they’ve really missed a good opportunity.”
According to Baker, The Daily Universe benefits students in two ways: first, it gives students the opportunity to attain important work experience that will be valuable no matter their career path. Second, it puts students in contact with the faculty involved with the Universe.
“They miss out on the opportunity to work with Steve Fidel and Carrie Moore, who are exceptional resources for the students there,” Baker said. “I wish that every student that went through the news media program was on the staff at the Universe, because it’s amazing.”
Baker now works as the Deseret News’ newsletter coordinator, a job she received while interning for the news organization.
“It was a couple weeks ago that my boss’ boss pulled me into his office and said, ‘Hey, I’ve had a lot of people come up and tell me that if there’s anybody we can’t lose after their internship, it’s you,’” Baker said. “Which was really good to hear and a very nice compliment. They didn’t have any openings at the time, but he mentioned that he had been throwing this idea around about creating a position for a newsletter coordinator. They essentially created a whole new position so that I could stay on.”
Baker hopes to continue working with the Deseret News in this capacity for the next few years before moving on to be a reporter. “Eventually I would like to transition into in-depth reporting, whether that’s at the Deseret News or another news organization,” she said. “My passion lies in writing and editing.”
Q&A with Camille Baker, BA ’19
Communications | Communications: News Media
What’s your favorite snack to eat between classes or while on break at work?
“If I didn’t have a lunch while I was working in the Universe newsroom (which was for like a year and a half), I’d grab an Uncrustables in the Brimhall vending machines. They just got me. We have Smucker’s Uncrustables at work now. Maybe it’s a good omen.”
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“Initially, when I was in first grade, I wanted to be a first grade teacher and, when I was in second grade, I wanted to be a second grade teacher, and so forth and so on. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a chef. I had carefully planned all my credits so I could take a culinary arts class. That went out the window when I took my literature class and fell in love with writing and editing. So, teacher, chef, writer, editor and journalist.”