When Tamara Snight graduated from high school, she decided to explore her options before making any choices about her future career. After earning her diploma from Douglas High School in Minden, Nevada, she moved to the island of Maui.
“I wanted to get more life experience before committing to a university,” Snight said. “I just wanted to have fun and experience life that I had no idea about.”
After Maui, Snight moved back to her hometown of South Lake Tahoe, where she attended Lake Tahoe Community College and obtained her associate degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in social science. Because of the university’s proximity to her family and friends in Tahoe, she decided that attending the University of Nevada, Reno was the next right step.
“Once I had my associate [degree], I was like, okay, I kind of want to keep the ball rolling since I'm motivated, and I'm here for it.”
A friend of Snight’s, a Reynolds School of Journalism alumna, spoke highly of the school and recommended it as a great place to attend. After thinking about what she wanted for her future career and hearing more recommendations from other alumni, she realized that journalism would be the right path for her.
Delaying her four-year degree helped her to succeed at the University. Snight was recognized for her achievement as the Fall 2020 Reynolds School Senior Scholar.
“It's just a personal achievement for myself; it's something that keeps me going,” she said. “I hold myself extremely accountable, sometimes too much, and I think that's really what helped to drive me to my academic level.”
A motivating force in her academic journey at the Reynolds School was her Senior Scholar mentor, professor Alison Gaulden. In the three classes that Snight was her student, Gaulden saw Snight ask questions, absorb the material and meet deadlines.
“She is wicked good at her craft, her strategic mind will benefit any future employer and her commitment to quality and ethics will improve the industry,” Gaulden said.
Connecting with her professors was also a big factor in Snight’s academic success. She explained that a tactic she used to be successful was talking to her professors, perhaps more than the average student. Snight praised journalism faculty for making themselves available for any questions or concerns, even when times were uncertain.
“I'm a firm believer that you should always run things past your professors because they're more than willing to help, but especially at the RSJ,” she said. “2020 has been weird, to say the least, but I think that the teachers still try to make themselves available.”
Following graduation, Snight will work as a content creator at a freelancing company in Reno. With an uncertain job climate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she has plans to build upon her current position and establish her personal brand.
“I'm in the process of thinking of exactly where my dream job would be,” she said. “I just plan on expanding my experience there, and then we'll see where that takes me.”