For Spring Break, I didn’t sunbathe in Cancun or live it up on the West Coast.
Instead, I traveled to London with the School of Media and Journalism. It was, without a doubt, the most productive Spring Break I’ve ever had in my life.
Along with 11 classmates, I visited companies like Google, Facebook, Bloomberg, the BBC, Arsenal Football Club and various others.
At Arsenal, they walked us through the process of covering soccer match days from the back room to the conference room, and we got to take a peek at the locker rooms as well. For fans of Downton Abbey — we saw Lord Grantham! Well, kinda.
We saw Hugh Bonneville filming a scene for W1A outside of the BBC office and were able to gawk and stare despite the production crew shooing us away.
Visiting Facebook was just as cool as you would expect, and we were introduced to the amazing world of content strategy. Bloomberg was ... confusing for me as a non-business oriented individual, but the coffee was fantastic.
I know, for a fact, that I never would have had any of those opportunities if it were not for the School of Media and Journalism.
Although it was a jam-packed week, it reaffirmed the value of the School of Media and Journalism and further proved that every single pop quiz, exam and stressful assignment has been worth it.
I was able to hear from and connect with industry professionals who affirmed that the School of Media and Journalism is, quite literally, grooming us for a career in the media industry.
Learning about the various paths to entering communications fields on various fronts showed me, first hand, how complex paths can be.
I was able to roam the halls of The British Museum, which houses artifacts that I studied last year as a student in my “Archaeology of Egypt” class. In the midst of traveling the Tube, downing fish and chips and roaming the streets of London, I gained 11 new friends.
Traveling with a group of strangers easily could have been stressful — but it was amazing. Despite our differing interests, professional goals, and backgrounds we formed into a nice, purposeful bunch.
I’ve always known that UNC is a top institution. But hearing the skills and qualities that top PR agencies and industry leaders are looking for are the exact skills I have gained through my classes was transformative.
Also, if you’re a School of Media and Journalism student reading this, I highly suggest you apply — it will change your life.
Beyond that, though, I hope that all students can reach the epiphany that I did.
Despite the overwhelming nature and bubble of UNC, there’s so much more in store for us beyond Franklin Street.
I hope you know that, although you may not see it now, but one day it will truly come together.