So WHY Columbia?

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?”

The simple answer…“Why not?”

But seriously, I remember being at that point and wondering if Columbia’s Journalism MA program would be the right fit for me. And now, here I am, thinking why I ever questioned that.

Well, those of you who’ve read my blogs before know I started a career in advertising. After the first year I knew I needed to follow my dream job plans, so I applied to Columbia. I told myself if I got in, it was meant to be, and if not, I’d find another job.

Well on Valentine’s Day I received the best Valentine ever—my acceptance letter. I worked until almost the two-year mark at the agency, moved to Chicago, leaving everything behind, and haven’t looked back since—well career-wise anyway.

Although I do miss my family, my friends and my hometown, I love Chicago and I love every experience I’ve been able to have at Columbia.

So why Columbia?

Everything that attracted me to Columbia has happened.

It’s an accelerated program—you start in August and you end in December the following year.

It’s a hand-on, intensive program—you don’t read about what professionals in the industry are doing, you go out and do the things those working professionals are doing. Sometimes you’re even reporting right alongside Chicago reporters for the main newspapers and TV stations.

It has so many connections and internship opportunities—no matter what media platform you’re interested in—print, radio, TV, online, multimedia, etc.—Columbia has connections to help you get an internship in that field. You’re in the third largest media market in the country, there are more options than you could ever imagine and Columbia will help get you there.

It knows what the industry is looking for in recent graduates—all of the professors and faculty members are working journalists in some capacity, they have extensive journalism backgrounds and so they stay current and adjust the classes to industry changes in order to prepare you for a job the minute you graduate—in some cases, even before you graduate.

So why Columbia?

Columbia’s current motto is “Live what you LOVE,” and honestly, you do just that.

If you have a passion to report, tell and share the story, then you will LOVE your experience here. No matter what your interests are—sports, entertainment, public affairs, politics, crime, health, business, investigative—Columbia will help prepare you.

And if that’s not reason enough, well, how many colleges do you know that have a giant moose blowing a bubble gum bubble on the side of their building?

Moose on the side of the journalism building. Yes, he’s blowing a bubble gum bubble. Photo Credit: Danielle M. Dwyer

Oh, and of course, I can’t forget, Save the Last Dance was based in Chicago, and this scene, well that’s basically Columbia’s campus.

Save the Last Dance scene near Columbia. Photo Credit: Danielle M. Dwyer

Yeah, let that sink in for a bit.

So why Columbia?

Well, why not? If you have the drive to make the most of your experience in a field that you’re passionate about and have a burning love for, then what are you waiting for? Apply!