What now? Students balance school and career

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Kellie Sanchez


Mass Communication

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I always knew I wanted to do something that had to do with producing, but it wasn’t until I was a sophomore here that I figured out what I could do with that. The School of Mass Communication helped me get to where I am now: associate producer at WDSU from 3 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. But like these ungodly hours, the SMC got me there early.

I became a journalism major because I was signing up for classes and told one of my professors I wanted to try a journalism class (I was a public relations major at the time). I said I had always liked the news, and she said, “that’s probably a good indication that you should be a journalism major.”

Once you find that passion, you need to figure out how you’re going to make your career happen. This is where the SMC helped me. The curriculum helped me learn the basics of mass communication and the advanced journalism lab class, which produced the Maroon Minute, helped me figure out that I specifically wanted a broadcast journalism career. From there, Professor Collins helped me apply for the internship I had last summer. You are required to have at least one internship before graduating, but it’s up to you how you utilize this requirement. It’s what you make of it.

When the associate producer job became available, it seemed like the next step in reaching my career goals, so that was the primary motivating factor for me to apply. But I was definitely concerned about the ungodly morning show hours (3 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.) and the fact that I would probably end up sacrificing a lot of my social life and leadership positions. But then I realized, “If I don’t apply I’ll hate myself for the next year and a half.”

Now I have this job and, yes, it might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life so far. Not only do I have to wake up super early, I also had to learn how to actually do my job. I also think it’s just as hard maintaining discipline to go to class, go to bed early and make acceptable grades. I honestly wish I could focus just on doing well at my job, but obviously I cannot, because I really need that degree. I try to convince myself that I need to learn about creative arts and cultures, another world religion and Global History II to be a true adult. No offense to the advanced common curriculum (I have taken some really interesting classes), but I wonder how they’ll help me get the job I already have.

Although I wish Loyola had the resources to help students not only achieve their dream jobs, but also go to school and work those jobs at the same time. I could not ask for more from my school. The SMC in particular has given me tons of opportunities that have helped me get to this point. But when I think about why I’m doing this, why I want to be a journalist, the struggles seem worth it.

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