Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why Journalism is Totally the Best Major Ever (But Really)

Hey everyone!

So, obviously I'm a little biased, but I don't think there's any better major out there than journalism. As a "MJD" major (media studies, journalism, and digital arts), we get to explore the super exciting world of media in all forms- print, photo, video, design, etc!

I came to St. Michael's already knowing that I wanted to become a journalist. What I didn't realize, however, is how many different directions you can take with the major. Freelancing, documentary filmmaking, public relations, magazine writing, photojournalism, website design...ahhh! So much to choose from! But that's also a good thing...

I found that my interest in magazines, like Cosmopolitan and Glamour, tied in with my desire to become a print journalist, and thus, my decision was made. One day, I will be a features writer for (hopefully) Cosmopolitan magazine. Dreaming big!

The thing is, anything is possible. St. Mike's, and specifically the journalism department in this case, makes it super easy to learn about exactly what you want to do, and get involved with outside experience opportunities!

Before coming to school as a freshman, I was interested in getting involved with activities that might pertain to my journalism major, hence why I was so happy to become a blogger! This year though, as a sophomore, I have found that even more opportunities have arisen....

For my investigative reporting class, we got to write a couple articles for The Defender this semester (the campus newspaper), which was an awesome experience, and also a great addition to my portfolio! Also, I was lucky enough to be able to work at the Burlington Free Press for election night...getting to be a "real" reporter on election night was an amazing opportunity, and I learned a lot about the job of a reporter!

Election night @ the BFP

That brings me to my next point: gaining experience is essential. Going to class (taught by wonderful and knowledgeable professors, might I add) is just one element of the whole college experience. Doing outside experiences, like internships and study abroad, are also necessary in learning and progressing as a journalism student...or any student for that matter. Which is actually why, as a journalism major, we're required to study abroad and have at least one internship by the time we graduate. So cool!

This summer, I plan on getting an internship at a newspaper, whether that's in Burlington or at home (I'm not quite sure of my summer plans yet). Then, in spring 2014 (my junior year) I will be spending the semester studying abroad in ROME! ...and that's where my Italian minor comes in.

Being an Italian minor is kind of rare, per say (but not really). I've actually never met another Italian minor..but obviously there are quite a few of us out there! Professor Languasco, my Italian language professor, is literally the sweetest man who is from northern Italy, and he has the accent to prove it! Aside from the language portion of the minor, we're required to take 3 extra electives. I took History of Rome last semester and plan on taking my other 2 electives while I'm studying in Rome. Hey, when in Rome..right?!

But anyways, back to the journalism part. As a major, we're learning to do interviews, make deadlines, whip up creative and informative articles, and enjoy every minute of it.

Adobe Photoshop icon

Oh, and apparently people like to ask who my favorite professor is in the department. Well, I always have trouble answering that...mainly because I've learned so many different and helpful things from all of them! Professor Griffith last year, in Media Revolutions, helped me understand the wide variety of media outlets and Professor Swope is amazing at teaching Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver skills in his Digital Media course.

I have also taken Photojournalism with Professor Bullis (who teaches courses at Champlain College too) and Foreign Correspondence with Professor Kelley (who is a reporter for Seven Days, among other news publications), and they both have been amazing as well!

My first article for The Defender!

...My favorite professor so far, though, is probably Professor Cleary. She was my professor for Investigative Reporting this semester, which ended up being my favorite class. On top of being incredibly nice, she has greatly helped me improve my interviewing, writing, and reporting skills, and I am so thankful for that. It is, after all, what I want to do with my life!

That's not nearly all of the professors in the department though, and I look forward to taking classes with the rest!

Oh, and how could I advisor, Prof. Mike Donoghue, is also a reporter at the Burlington Free Press (who set up the election night opportunity) and has been awesome to work with so far. He even said that if I'm interested in interning at the Free Press, the opportunity is open! How exciting is that?!

...See what I mean? The possibilities are right there in front of us!

Want to check out the major requirements for MJD? Click here!
Click here to see my schedule for next semester
...and here for a blog posts about writing articles for The Defender...
Or here to read my 2nd article on The Defender website
Oh, and here to read about my experience at the Burlington Free Press for election night!


p.s. This post by Gabbi is both wonderful and totally accurate. Go MJD!!

Just another day in the life of a journalism student...

My 2nd article for The Defender!

The most important book a journalism
major will ever possess. No joke. 


Click here to view some 
photos of our beautiful campus 
that I took for photojournalism this semester!

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