What year are you?
A senior! My first semester of my fifth year. I’ve been pretty busy with jobs and internships and so I’ve taken light school loads. I’m walking in December and will finish up two classes online in the spring.
Why did you choose a Communication Studies major?
I was a transfer student and started out as photojournalism. When I came here I chose Communication Studies because I wanted a really broad education that can propel me to be successful in a range of careers.
What has been one of your favorite CMST classes and why?
I think Popular Culture and Gender Communications have shaped not only my academic process, but also my personal path. They challenge you to think about social issues, media, and popular culture critically. I can’t watch movies or TV, listen to music, or go through a magazine the same after those classes. I’m much more critical now.
What would you say to students considering Communication Studies?
I would tell them that it’s a really great, broad education. It’s valuable because employers can teach hard skills, but they can’t teach soft skills like strong communication and critical thinking. Plus, you have to choose a minor so you can really individualize your education. My minor is sociology, and it’s been a great pairing.
What is one thing you wish someone told you as a freshman?
Be active in your dreams. I would remind students that just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable and you can’t have a valuable internship, part time job, or challenging extracurricular [activity]. Get involved. It’ll make all the difference. Also, I think it’s a challenging time finding who you are. So, I would say remember your worth, and remember it is not tied to grades, another person, a job, or social media likes.
What are your future plans?
I just committed to a nonprofit educational program and will be serving as a full time tutor and mentor in a low income school come August for a year. It’s called City Year and I’m so excited to explore the US education system first hand. I eventually hope to combine my love for writing with a nonprofit organization I’m passionate about.
Have you held any professional positions or internships? If so, please tell us about them.
It’s a bit embarrassing. I am really passionate about local media and value work experience. Over my 4.5 years, I’ve had over a dozen student media positions, internships, or part time jobs. My favorites have been working as a music intern for Westwordnewspaper in Denver, hosting my own KCSU interview radio show, interning for the CSU Development Office, living in Washington D.C., where I worked for two nonprofits, and my current job. I started as an intern for the Coloradoan, which was a full time gig this summer, and I now serve as a part time staff producer and help out with special projects. So, I’m on the digital end of all things Fort Collins news, which is amazing.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of academics?
I love photography and sometimes get to create portraits of my friends and family or be a photojournalist. I also am a runner and get up to Horsetooth to hit the trails whenever possible. Volunteering with my favorite nonprofits like the music organization SpokesBUZZ has created a community for me, where I love seeing local music.
What is your favorite quote/song at the moment and why?
“Life is meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
This is meaningful to me because as I’m starting to leave college for the “real world” it’s important for me to follow my passions and to keep challenging myself. Plus, Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong woman who challenged her society at the time, which is important for all women to strive to do.
What is something you would recommend to do around Fort Collins?
Go to the Mishawaka. It’s a local music venue in Roosevelt National park, right next to the Poudre River. Seeing shows in the summer there is like enjoying a piece of mountain paradise. Also explore the trails around the foothills as much as possible because we are so lucky to have beautiful trails in our backyard.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I traveled to Kenya my sophomore year with CSU’s Alternative Break program, where I (and 12 other students) lived in the bush over Winter Break!
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Mostly, I would like to tell students that your every move in college doesn’t matter like you think. I failed math and science multiple times, I’ve gotten in trouble, I’ve had bad breakups, etc. In the long run, it doesn’t matter, as long as you keep your perspective, learn, and grow. That was amazing to look back on and understand this semester.