Interviewing Tsipras (Biggest Name in Headlines)… NBD

This summer is a crazy time to report in Brussels, Belgium. At Thomson Reuters we cover a ton of topics, but the Greek debt crisis consumes most of our time and energy recently. It may not seem like that big of a deal to everyone at home, but it has consistently been at the top of media headlines from many countries this summer (including the US). I wanted to share some of the things that I have been working on with everyone at home because the videos we produce are bought by media companies all over the world. So many of the things we put out from Reuters in Brussels ends up on CNN and other American news channels.

So why exactly is Greece a big deal and what exactly have I been working on?

Last night history was made. Greece had been fighting default for five years, but last night Greece missed a payment to the International Monetary Fund and they are the first developed country to do so. The Greek crisis is far from over. Greece is headed down a path to leave the Euro and there is fiery tension between the Greek government and their creditors as well as other EU leaders.

I must say that reporting in a foreign country is difficult, but it is even more challenging to be thrown into such an important and complex story. The past two weeks have been a marathon for political reporters here in Brussels. Here are the three main types of meetings that we covered in regards to Greece.

  1. Eurogroup Meetings – The Eurogroup meetings are between all of the finance ministers from countries that use the Euro.
  2. European Summits – European Summits are meetings between the heads of state of all 28 EU member-states.
  3. Meetings between key EU figures and Tsipras – There were frequent meetings between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and key EU people such as Juncker, Dijsselbloem, Draghi, Lagarde and Schulz.

Working these events can be challenging, but I have interviewed some of the world’s top leaders regarding one of the biggest international stories of the year. I was standing just an arms length away from Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras when he said the highly-used quote about how EU leaders are blackmailing Greece. At this point in time, the world thought that Greece was wanting to reach a deal, but I got to see the expression in his eyes and the demeanor in which he stormed out of the EU Summit first-hand. I told my colleagues that did not see his it up-close that Greece was out. Sure enough, Tsipras called for a referendum later that night.

That video of my interview with Alexis Tsipras was bought by over 75 clients around the world. My video was on top news channels across the world including CNN. Here is the interview published on Reuters’ website (about 30 seconds in).

During the month of June, the Reuters Video News Team in Brussels produced an all-time record of 116 stories in one month. 116 stories does not sound like very much, but I would like to add that there are only 5 real employees and 2 interns at this branch.

I started thinking about all of the world leaders that I have either interviewed, held a microphone up to for a statement or filmed at a press conference. Here is the list.

  • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
  • President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz
  • European Central Bank President Mario Draghi
  • President of the European Council Donald Tusk
  • Eurogroup President Jereon Dijsselbloem
  • IMF President Christine Lagarde
  • And countless financial minister

What Going Greek Meant to Me

go greek

Before formal recruitment, I was skeptical about whether I was the type of girl for a sorority.  I have never been much of a “girls girl” and I always enjoyed hanging out with guys more because girls in middle and high school can be so catty.  I had so many different friend groups in high school, but I never had those friends that I knew I could count on for anything.  It wasn’t until formal recruitment that I realized sorority life is way more than what you see on movies.  In fact, sorority girls are typically anything but what Hollywood makes them out to be.  Going through recruitment, I learned that this system was nothing like “buying your friends”, but a door to endless opportunities.

I had great connections with many girls from many different chapters, but the house that stuck the most was Alpha Phi.  I felt like, towards the end of recruitment, it was the house that matched my personality best and where I felt most comfortable.  Bid Day really was a start to a whole new beginning because even in my short year as an A Phi, I have so many wonderful experiences that I never would have gotten if I were tackling Mizzou alone.

What have I benefited from Going Greek?

Connections- Being a broadcast journalism major at Mizzou is extremely competitive, but older girls in the house that are in the same field of study really helped get me on the right track.  Not only was their support helpful, but watching their success at KOMU inspired me to jump start my journalism career and strive to be like them.

anchoring

Friendships– The first semester of school can be very lonely.  You are no longer going to school with the same people you have known since kindergarten and Mizzou is such a large and intimidating place.  No matter if I had met the girls or not, if there was an Alpha Phi around she always stopped to say hi or ask how I was doing.  Nothing is more exciting than running into new sisters and being welcomed by older girls when walking around campus.  After a while, you really start to get to know girls in the house, especially from your pledge class and I can say with full honesty that I have met my lifelong best friends and cannot wait to see how much living in house together next year will bring us closer.

ace of hearts

Motivation- Being Greek means that almost all of your classes will have another person from your chapter in them.  My sisters were always there to help me study, send notes if you were sick, or encourage you to do your best.  We would motivate each other to sit in the front of the lecture hall and challenge each other not to get our phones out.  It’s just the little things that keep you moving.  Not only are they academic motivation, but motivation to be the best person that you can be. Looking up to older sisters has inspired me to push through my comfort zones and achieve my goals.

soccer spirit

Opportunities- Through Greek Life, I have had the opportunity to hold leadership positions in the house that have taught me about organization, communications, and leadership.  I had the opportunity to help organize a large philanthropic event that raised money for heart health as well as numerous smaller service activities such as volunteering at the Mini Relay for Life, the Food Pantry, Blood Drives, and Dream Factory.  Not only did I have opportunities to help the community, but they look great on a resume as well.

dream factory poker night

Should You Go Greek?

go greekOnce I knew that I was going to Mizzou, I knew that I had to decide if I was going to rush a sorority or not.  I really wasn’t sure if the whole sorority thing was right for me for a few reasons.  One reason was the way that the sorority girl stereotype was portrayed on television.  The other reason was that in high school I tended to get along with guys better than girls because of all of the drama that it entails.

Then I thought about how busy I kept myself in high school.  I was involved in cheer, softball, newspaper, NHS, Peer Teaching, Captain’s Council, etc. I was constantly on the go and that is how I like to live my life.  I hate feeling like I am sitting around doing nothing so I decided that joining a sorority could really be a good thing for me to do.

If you are having doubts about rushing that is completely understandable because I was once in your shoes.  I am not going to sit here and try to convince people that sorority life is right for them because it really isn’t for some people.  However, I am going to tell you the facts so that you can make the right decision.

Each sorority has its own personality so if you are more academic there is a house for you.  If you are a sporty girl, there will be a house for you.  If you want to look hot and get drunk well there will also be houses for you.  With that being said, each house will also have girls that you have things in common with.  You may not like everyone, but you will likely find some girls that you can really connect with.

Also, sororities like to party, but that is not the purpose of them.  They do a lot of good for the community and the school.  It is also a fantastic network that can help you out with jobs and academics all throughout your life.  It is also a great opportunity for your resume.  There will be opportunities to hold positions in the house that relate to your major and many opportunities for service that look great on a resume.

If you do decide to rush, I will definitely make posts about how to decide which house is right for you and how to tackle the horror of rush week (just kidding it isn’t that bad).  Maybe with all of this being said, Greek Life still is just not for you and that is totally cool, but this is some information that I really wish I had known.