When I graduated high school, I had spent four years on the school's paper being afraid to do interviews. Although I had a talent for writing, I knew almost nothing about how real newspapers ran or what I would be expected to do if I ever worked at one. I chose to attend University of Missouri, AKA Mizzou, February of my senior year. I wasn't even sure it was the right choice.
This coming fall, I will be a senior at Mizzou, hopefully graduating in May of 2020 with my bachelor's in journalism. Not only will I have received my degree, I will have survived in and excelled at the nation's top journalism school. At the beginning, the program was beyond daunting, but as it is coming to a close for me, I see how it changed my life and ME as a person.
I was so shy back in high school that I only did one interview the entire time I was on the newspaper staff. At Mizzou, I was pushed out of the nest sophomore year and forced to set up at least a dozen interviews for news stories. I got over my fear of interviews quickly, with Mizzou teaching me how to speak with and get information out of almost anybody.
While my writing was pretty good coming in to the program, I had a lot to learn. By the end of my major news writing courses, I had received two 100 percent grades on the two biggest article projects. Junior year, I started my interest area of public relations, being tasked with designing an entire advertising campaign and writing multiple press releases.
This summer, I worked as a corporate communications intern for Navistar International, a Fortune 500 company. With less than two week left, I already have five different connections at five different agencies because my team loved me so much and wants to see me succeed. I have a meeting with the executive vice president of Edelman, on of the biggest national public relations firms, a week before I head back to school.
While I know I reached this success because of my skills, I 100 percent attribute each and every skill to Mizzou's journalism school. Never have I ever thought I would be so confident in myself and my writing that I would not be nervous starting my very first internship. I came in knowing that I could handle whatever was thrown my way. I just needed someone to give me the chance.
Sure, there are other great journalism schools in the country, like Northwestern or Columbia. But after seeing what I can do with my skills after only three full years of schooling, I am biased to say that Mizzou is the best. The professors don't hold your hand, they bust your ass to make you better. You aren't confined in the four walls of a classroom, you are pushed out into the community to write for real newspapers and work for real advertising clients. The Missouri Method, basically a hands-on method to learning how to be a great journalist, is no joke.
I almost transferred out of Mizzou freshman and sophomore year because I was so homesick. Now, heading into my senior year, I can honestly say that staying was the best decision. In May of 2020, I will receive my journalism degree from the first and best J-school on Earth and nothing could give me more confidence to step into my future career. I am proud to be Mizzou Made.