The University of Maryland, College Park Communication Program at USG is known for its emphasis on Digital Media and Visual Communication. Throughout my 2 years in this program I’ve taken hands on classes in digital imaging, film making, photography, and more. This program has helped shape many talented and creative students who have moved on to pursue a career in all kinds of positions in the communication realm. The classes I’ve taken here at USG helped foster my passion for writing and media.
Throughout my childhood I was the type of person who needed a creative outlet to get me through the day. Whether it be redesigning my room, experimenting with fashion, taking pictures, making music videos with friends, and especially writing poems and creative stories. Thanks to my education at UMDCP, USG I’ve confirmed my desire to enter the world of communication and media.
Graduation is approaching in May and I have just about a dozen questions running through my head – What is a career in this field really like? What kind of jobs are out there? What kind of lifestyle can you expect?
Luckily I was able to hear it straight from the source. I met several professionals in the field with job titles including: Reporter,Associate Producer, Radio Show Intern, and Field Producer.
The first person I spoke to was Nadia Palacios, a freelance reporter with local Montgomery County newspaper, The Sentinel. Immediately I could tell that Nadia was reporter material she was smart, confident, and most of all she had that hunger for a story. The most intriguing part about my conversation with Nadia was the lifestyle of a reporter. It’s basically the opposite of a 9-5 job and involves a lot of investigation, phone calls, site visits, and finally writing. It can be exhausting especially given the tight deadlines, but Nadia wants to make a difference and the only way she knows how to do that she said it through pen and paper.
I also met Associate Producer for Al Jazeera America, Osman Noor. I met Osman during my internship with the nonprofit organization God’s Connection Transition (GCT). Osman was doing a video story on Arnold Harvey, the organization’s founder. I was able to observe Osman and his crew on set as they were filming our GCT team in action. Immediately I was intrigued by Osman’s work and also organized a coffee meet with him. The best insiders advice Osman gave me for making it big in the production world? – Know how to do everything. That means writing, producing, directing, editing and everything in between. Also, the most important thing to know as a producer is that having an idea is not good enough, you need to have an idea and a plan and that is how you pitch a successful project.
I connected with a former radio show intern on LinkedIn, who worked for the NPR show “All Things Considered”. He raved about his internship with the famous radio news station, and said that he learned a lot about news stories and the radio process. NPR was a great internship because they through you right into the production process starting from day one. Through this very intensive and comepetive internship he gained a lot of new skills including pitching, booking, pre-interviewing, and storytelling.
Finally I met a highly experienced journalist/field producer who was also covering a story on my internship organization GCT with Good Morning America. Just like Osman I was able to watch her and her crew in action as they were filming our GCT team in action. I was curious to know more about her experience as a journalist and set up a phone conversation. I was blown away by the thrilling stories she covered all around the globe, including the war in Afghanistan.
Communication – sounds like an exciting field doesn’t it? The question is which route to take. Reporter, Associate Producer, Field Producer, Radio Show – these are only 4 job titles in the vast world of the communications and media industry.
The options can be overwhelming, but the good thing is that the UMDCP Comm Program here at USG offers a variety of classes that can be applied to various career paths. Communication, and especially media is a field for those who are seeking a life beyond a 9-5 desk job. It’s a field that offers an exciting,versatile lifestyle, and it’s ideal for creative minds who need that creative outlet to make it through the day.