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Student Spotlight: Ximena Bustillo, from Boise State to Washington D.C.

Ximena Bustillo, a stand out Comm & Media student, has been working towards her goal of becoming a political journalist since she was in high school. Bustillo will earn a BA in Media Arts with a Journalism Emphasis, and a BS in Political Science with an International Relations and Comparative Politics Emphasis in May 2020.

As a Boise State student Bustillo has been active in various student organizations. She credits much of her success to involvement with the Talkin’ Bronco, the university’s national, award-winning, student debate team. She chose Boise State to be part of the Talkin’ Broncos and joined the team during her first year of college. Bustillo is now the Vice President of the debate team and has won over 50 awards including national titles, regional awards, and individual tournament placings. 

Bustillo credits debate with improving her critical thinking and reporting skills. Talkin’ Broncos helped her develop effective research methods and storytelling techniques, both of which fueled her passion for journalism. 

“I believe that current events need to be a bigger part of the education system. I see journalism as a method to help educate the public on items happening around them and as a platform to give voices a space to speak,” Bustillo said.

Bustillo leveraged her experience to obtain valuable internships and professional opportunities. This past summer, she was one of 12 students in the nation awarded the opportunity to attend the POLITICO Journalism Institute in Washington D.C. and was an intern for The Washington Times. 

At POLITICO, Bustillo worked with editors and journalists to help produce a policy feature on federal education. She also covered Capitol Hill hearings and interviewed United States representatives. During her internship with The Washington Times, she covered local and national D.C. news, such as events and Mayoral press conferences. Read one of her articles here.

Bustillo’s experiences have confirmed her career goals. “The internships in D.C. allowed me to test run what I envisioned to be my ‘dream’ job,” Bustillo said. “Not only was I able to confirm political journalism is what I want to do as a career, but also something I enjoy doing and want to keep doing.”

Bustillo is currently working for the Idaho Statesman as a breaking news reporter. She hopes to start reporting political news after she graduates in May 2020.