When presented with the freedom of choosing my subject for the Enterprise Piece, someone immediately came to mind. I knew of Ethan Cisneros from mutual friends on campus, and noticed that he had been featured in news stories before. His soda shop, Thirst, was a frequent conversation topic, and I knew he would be a great subject to do a story on.
When determining what sources I wanted, I knew the most important voice would be Cisneros himself. I wanted allow him the opportunity to tell his story in his own words, so I reached out to him first and foremost. I had an idea of what I wanted to cover, but he gave me even more content than I could have hoped for. He provided me with the answer to every single one of my interview questions, as well as answers that gave me additional directions to take. After just one interview, I knew I had my hands full with a fantastic story.
I then moved onto a Thirst employee, Connor Nelson. I had seen Nelson featured on Thirst’s Instagram before, so I knew that would be my outlet to reach him. I chose Nelson because he is someone who sees and observes Cisneros every day in a work environment, so I wanted his insight on Cisneros’ mannerisms throughout a typical work day. Nelson confirmed what I had already expected. Cisneros is just as pleasant to work for as he is hard working.
Thankfully, I encountered no ethical issues or obstacles in my research. Everything I needed was presented to me very easily, and I found the story writing itself before me. The only obstacle was the surprising amount of material that I was granted from my subject. I had original intentions to include several different elements in my story. Kiley Money from ELK Clothing, individuals from Cisneros’ fraternity, reputable members of the Entrepreneurial department here at the University of Utah, etc. But Cisneros provided me with more than enough content to build a riveting story.
Though the continuous theme of my story was Cisneros and his entrepreneurial climb, I found myself unable to pick merely one focus. He balances so many elements in his life, it seemed unfair not to address them all, and give credit where deserved for all of the projects he has devoted and currently devotes his time to.
And so, a great story was born. But after I got it all down on paper, it was nearly triple the required word count. The content flowed in more heavily than I had anticipated. Once I began the writing process, I knew it would be difficult to achieve a clean, newsworthy draft. It took a lot of revising to effectively summarize my story into a layout I was satisfied with. I completely rearranged my entire piece at least three times, and the addition and removal of different elements took a lot of time. As the due date came down to the wire, I dove even further into the editing process. Maybe a better way to put that would be the “hacking away at my story” process. Like previously mentioned, it took a lot of editing and collaboration with Professor Becker in order to achieve the story structure I wanted and determine the relevant pieces of information needed to be featured. I learned one very pertinent lesson about my writing during this process.
What I realized within my craft is that I am a wordy writer, always have been and always will be. I have a tendency to gather a lot of information, and once I put these details into my story, I have a hard time letting go and prioritizing. It’s important to be able to differentiate great details from exceptional details, or as Professor Becker put it, know when to kill your babies. But overall, I am satisfied with my piece, and though it’s still lengthy, I feel it’s important to do Cisneros justice for all the work he is doing. He stands out among everyone else his age, and that’s a story worth telling.
I am a student living in Salt Lake City, currently enrolled at the University of Utah. I am spending my four years attaining experience and knowledge to someday work as a creative director for a respectable company, ideally. I am majoring in Strategic Communication, so I am learning skills in marketing, advertising, branding, as well as public relations. Though I am not currently pursuing a career in journalism, I do have a piece of work that I am proud of and I believe to be worth reading.