Marginalia, Graduate Blog

‘Tis the Season to Apply

Talking B1G Ten with Campus Insiders’ resident football analyst Doug Chapman. Journalism MA Danielle M. Dwyer December 2014

‘Tis the season to apply…

…because you never know unless you try.

What do you have to lose?

With Columbia College Chicago you have so many options to choose.

There’s no wrong decision when it’s where you want to be.

So take the step to “live what you love,” and be free.

Free from the wonder, the past life, the past job, the past choice that left you wanting more.

Free from the lack of experience or education that is holding you back from landing that first job and breaking into the industry.

Free from the debate of making a career change or the questions of whether this is the right choice and the right place.

Doing a college hoops segment with Campus Insiders’ resident basketball analyst Jordan Cornette. Journalism MA Danielle M. Dwyer December 2014

In my last blog I wrote about my one regret being I didn’t start this program sooner—and it’s true. This is the career I’ve always wanted to pursue and instead of letting those employer rejections get to me, I took their advice: I got more education at a place that provided me with the hands-on experience I was missing.

Since my last blog, I finished reading one of our professor’s, books—“Tell Them I Didn’t Cry: A Young Journalist’s Story of Joy, Loss, and Survival in Iraq” by Jackie Spinner.

In her book she talked about a speech she gave to aspiring journalists at her alma mater. She said, “There is only one way to get where you want to go, and it really is quite simple. Start walking.”

Spinner said it, and I’m backing it up and repeating it to all of you who are on the fence, in the process of applying, or still debating about grad school.

Why not? What’s holding you back?

In so many of my blogs I shared the inner thoughts I had about leaving a career I had begun, my hometown, family and everything I had known behind to pursue my dream career.

It’s a tough decision, but deep down if you know it’s the right decision, then what are you waiting for?

I often get questions from prospective students about the application process—“What should I include for my writing samples?” “What should I say in my personal essay?” “Why did you choose Columbia?” “What have you gotten to experience?”

Calling Campus Insiders’ resident basketball analyst Jordan Cornette out on one of his Cinderella teams during our college hoops segment. Journalism MA Danielle M. Dwyer December 2014

Well, my response for the latter of the two has been thoroughly discussed in previous blogs, but as for the writing samples and the personal essay, I say this:

You’re writing samples can be anything that showcases your journalistic writing style—an article, a blog or a research paper. There is no right or wrong work to turn in as long as it’s yours and something that will give the faculty an idea of how you write.

Your personal essay, well, they want it to be just that—personal. They want your honesty in why you’re choosing this program, what is it about journalism that makes you want to pursue it as a career, where do you think you want to take your career and more. They want it to come from the heart and be true to your story. Give them a background for how you came to the decision to apply and where you want to go and how Columbia will help you get there.

Again, there is no right or wrong answer, but the committee wants your answer, not something cookie-cutter that sounds right. For me, I came from a job I did not see myself being in long-term and wanted to make a career change back to the career I always wanted. Maybe your undergrad experience wasn’t hands-on enough, you feel you have more room to grow or you want a city setting experience.

Whatever the reason, tell them that.

It’s been two years (nearly to the day) that I applied to Columbia, and now here I am, finished with the program.

I feel like it was just yesterday I was applying and asking the same questions you all are. I remember getting my materials together, reaching out to my references and picking the brain of the ambassador. And now here I am, at the end of my journey and looking towards the next chapter.

It’s a scary and nerve-racking experience at times, but like I said before, if it’s what you want to do, you have nothing to lose.

So what are you waiting for?

‘Tis the season to apply, so get on it.

Doing a college football segment on the B1G Ten with Campus Insiders’ resident football analyst Doug Chapman. Journalism MA Danielle M. Dwyer December 2014

‘Tis the Season to Apply

‘Tis the season to apply… …because you never know unless you try. What do you have to lose? With Columbia College Chicago you have so many options to choose. There’s …

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

My One Regret

 

Loving what I do during my studio record at my Campus Insiders internship. Credit: Danielle M. Dwyer

Ever since I became the ambassador for Columbia College Chicago’s Journalism MA program, I have received lots of questions about how I knew leaving behind everything to pursue my master’s in Chicago was the right decision.

My One Regret

  Ever since I became the ambassador for Columbia College Chicago’s Journalism MA program, I have received lots of questions about how I knew leaving behind everything to pursue my …

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Alumni Spotlight: Reema Amin

Reema Amin Selfie. Photo Credit: Reema Amin

Reema Amin Selfie. Photo Credit: Reema Amin

Sometimes you end up on a different path from where you started.

For Columbia College Chicago Journalism MA alum, Reema Amin, that was the case.

Although Amin, 24, said she secretly wanted to be a chef or an actress, she started her collegiate career studying law at the University of Illinois.

Alumni Spotlight: Reema Amin

Sometimes you end up on a different path from where you started. For Columbia College Chicago Journalism MA alum, Reema Amin, that was the case. Although Amin, 24, said she …

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Faculty Spotlight: Jackie Spinner

On assignment, Salalah, Oman, November 2010, on U.S. Fulbright. Photo Credit: Jackie Spinner

On assignment, Salalah, Oman, November 2010, on U.S. Fulbright. Photo Credit: Jackie Spinner

Most children get the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

But how many actually answer it correctly?

For Jackie Spinner, assistant professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago and working journalist, she was one of the few who did.

Faculty Spotlight: Jackie Spinner

Most children get the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But how many actually answer it correctly? For Jackie Spinner, assistant professor of journalism at …

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

So WHY Columbia?

Post win at the Midwest/Chicago NATAS Emmy's! Student Emmy/Silver Pillar award winner in the Sports category! Photo Credit: Reema Amin

Post win at the Midwest/Chicago NATAS Emmy’s! Student Emmy/Silver Pillar award winner in the Sports category! Photo Credit: Reema Amin

With Graduate Open House happening nearly two weeks ago and the application process going on, the question I keep receiving from potential students is, “Why Columbia?”

So WHY Columbia?

With Graduate Open House happening nearly two weeks ago and the application process going on, the question I keep receiving from potential students is, “Why Columbia?”

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Senioritis: Something You Never Fully Overcome

photo

Bundled up at my internship. The reality of working in a TV studio. Photo Credit: Lawrence Benedetto

Sot it’s my last semester of grad school.

The home stretch.

The light at the end of the tunnel.

My third round of having a senior year, well…kind of.

So with this being like a senior year, why should anything be different?

Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s not.

Senioritis. Is. Still. Inevitable.

Senioritis: Something You Never Fully Overcome

Sot it’s my last semester of grad school. The home stretch. The light at the end of the tunnel. My third round of having a senior year, well…kind of. So …

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Student Spotlight: Sylvia Oben

Travel Writing course on January 2014 in Cusco, Peru at Machu Pichu. Photo Credit: Peru Travel Reporting Class

“I love journalism. I love to share with people and share people’s stories. That’s why I am here. I like to be able to help them.”

If you read her work, watch her report or speak with her, you would have no idea Sylvia Oben began speaking English only six years ago when she began pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Purdue University.

Student Spotlight: Sylvia Oben

“I love journalism. I love to share with people and share people’s stories. That’s why I am here. I like to be able to help them.” If you read her …

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Be The Voice

Mic’ing up Chicago youth boxer Felix Gonzalez for one of my broadcast pieces.

Throughout Columbia College Chicago’s Journalism MA program I have heard the phrase “be a voice for the voiceless,” to describe the responsibility of journalists.

And while I have agreed, witnessed and experienced that firsthand, it has led me to another thought.

As a journalist it’s important to be the watchdog for people—getting involved with community members and seeking out and listening to a diverse group or individuals to hear about underlying issues they, or someone they know, have faced.  BUT, you will never fully get to that point if you don’t do one thing first.

Be The Voice

Throughout Columbia College Chicago’s Journalism MA program I have heard the phrase “be a voice for the voiceless,” to describe the responsibility of journalists. And while I have agreed, witnessed …

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Journos are Back in Town

One of my best friends, Emily, and I as bridesmaids for our friend's wedding.

One of my best friends, Emily, and I as bridesmaids for our friend’s wedding.

Well it’s that time of year again.

The suntans, or burns for some, are beginning to fade, pool and beach days are now “weekends only,” alarm clocks need to be set, books need to be ordered, “good-byes” are being said to family and friends, bags and cars are packed because it’s time to go back to school.

The Journos are Back in Town

Well it’s that time of year again. The suntans, or burns for some, are beginning to fade, pool and beach days are now “weekends only,” alarm clocks need to be …

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Refine and Redefine, but ALWAYS Follow Your Passion

Recording one of the sportscast I cut, edited, wrote and produced at Fox 29 Philadelphia.

Recording one of the sportscast I cut, edited, wrote and produced at Fox 29 Philadelphia.

Sometimes you have to tweak the foundation.

Internships are designed for learning, exploring, discovering, rediscovering and tweaking.

For those of you who have read some of my previous blogs, you know that I love sports and am aspiring to be a sportscaster. You probably also know that I am interning with the Fox 29 Philadelphia station in their sports department. And for me, all of the above ring true with an emphasis on the tweaking part.

Refine and Redefine, but ALWAYS Follow Your Passion

Sometimes you have to tweak the foundation. Internships are designed for learning, exploring, discovering, rediscovering and tweaking. For those of you who have read some of my previous blogs, you …

Journalism MA Danielle Dwyer, danielledwyer14@yahoo.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605