Featured Student - Peter Nicieja

. 3 min read

Lots of students are procrastinators, and it’s often because they want to skip a tedious task and move onto what they’re passionate about. For many journalism students, transcribing interviews is exactly the type of task they tend to put off.

Peter Nicieja is a rising senior at DePauw University in Indiana. Before he first heard about Otter while at a student journalism convention, he did his transcription the old-fashioned way.

“I'd spend at least an hour transcribing my interviews,” he said. “It was a boring and tedious process and one that I least looked forward to.”

While at the journalism convention, he was discussing interview processes with another student who mentioned that they don’t spend any time transcribing their recordings because an app did it for them. That app was Otter.

“They had to show me for me to believe it,” Peter said. “I was amazed and immediately downloaded the app on the spot!”

He’s been avidly using Otter since then and has noticed a major difference in his reporting routine, which was once much more tedious and lengthy.

“Once I began using Otter, my life changed!” he said. “I spent less time transcribing-- and by less I mean no time-- and I was able to focus on writing my articles.”

This means that Peter not only has more time to hone his writing skills as he learns more about journalism, but also that he has more time to focus on the actual content of the interviews he conducts. As a result, interviews are informative conversations instead of tiring chores.

“My best Otter conversations are the ones I have with the president of the university,” Peter said. “They're always filled will insight and great discussion.”

Oftentimes, in Peter’s interviews that discussion turns to the topic of Otter.

“Every time I interview someone I show them the app, and they are amazed by its capabilities,” he said. “One time my interviewer called in his secretary to show her the app, and they spent a few minutes watching their every word get transcribed. It was so funny!”

Peter has several favorite features within the app, but one of his favorites is the search-ability of the conversations that Otter generates.

“I love the fact that I can keyword search anything in a recording,” he said. it makes searching through longer recordings a breeze!”

This feature means that users can instantly find the quote that they’re looking for, rather than having to listen through an entire recording again or scrubbing through the entire audio to try to find the correct moment. Users can also skip ahead to a certain part of the audio to play the recording from that spot.

Peter also loves the ease of turning an interview that he has already recorded into an Otter conversation, which can be done with audio and video files and even Zoom conversations.

“I can import an existing recording and watch the whole thing get transcribed in front of my eyes,” he said. “It’s incredible!

Although Peter primarily uses Otter during interviews he conducts as a student journalist, he’s also found that the app is great for remembering material from lectures as well.

“I have recorded an entire class before to ensure that I knew what was going to be on the final,” he said. “It helped so much!”

Otter has made a major difference in the work and study habits of many students like Peter. The app helps users reduce time spent on the tedious parts of their assignments and focus more of their energy on the parts that they’re excited to learn more about.

“I've loved every moment of using it, and I haven't looked back since!” Peter said.


Whether you’re just getting started or you're already a pro, we’d love to hear your experience using Otter as a student.

Submit your story here for a chance to be featured on the Otter blog or social media channels. All featured students will receive 1 year free of Otter Premium.



Sydney Kuntz

Sydney Kuntz is a freelance writer who likes using interactive media to tell diverse stories. She writes about ice hockey for SB Nation while she finishes her BA in Journalism at American University.