Change of Plans

I originally came into college as a criminal justice major, and my dream job when I was in middle school and high school was to be an FBI agent. This was evident by the final paper I wrote in the eighth grade about the FBI, the week-long camp I attended during February break at the FBI headquarters in Chelsea, MA as a freshman in high school, the extra criminal justice college course I took as a senior in high school, and meetings I had with FBI employers. My goal was clear, and I was setting myself up nicely to achieve it, so what changed?

As the days leading up to my online freshman orientation grew closer, I started to panic. Did I really want to confine myself to one career path? What if I couldn’t land a job as an agent? Then what? I remembered what some of the FBI employers had said to me during those meetings: that I could major in anything. They were actually looking for agents who majored in different subjects and areas. So, while I wasn’t sure of anything else that I was passionate about, that I could see myself doing as a career, I decided to pick a major that I felt left me the widest range of options. I was going to be a Strategic Communications, PR, & Advertising major (with a writing minor that I added halfway through freshman year). I was still unsure of how much I would like doing that kind of work, but there was genuinely no other option I could pick. There was nothing else I felt drawn to.

During one of my first meetings with my advisor, Professor Joe Alicastro, I remember him giving me the option of changing advisors, since my major didn’t really align with what he taught and with what his specialty was. But I turned down the offer, and it ended up being a life changing decision. I didn’t want a different advisor. Professor Alicastro seemed like he was willing to work with me and help me throughout my confusing journey. And I enjoyed our conversations about Italy, the Northshore of Massachusetts, and his NBC stories. I have Professor Alicastro to thank for where I am today and who I am today.

His experience in journalism, specifically in the broadcast news industry, certainly played a role in the classes I registered for. Despite being a PR & Advertising major, I ended up taking predominately journalism and production courses. If I’m being honest, I’ve only taken a total of two PR & Advertising courses in my time here at SHU. But I’m not bothered by it because I’ve come to find my passion.

This passion led me to take on larger roles within some media clubs, like The Spectrum and The Pulse. I’ve enjoyed writing articles and scripts, producing my own videos and photos, and being a team leader. I have The Spectrum to thank for my initial involvement that has sparked a new level of confidence in my new interests. Joining the board as the assistant photo editor last spring was the first time I had stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to become part of an important team. Now I’ve been the photo editor for two semesters, and while it’s only been a year, my experience has been so rewarding and has given me valuable experience.

While part of me is a bit sad for letting down my younger self, I could not be prouder and more excited with my new career goals and my newfound passion in the fields of journalism and media production. I think my younger self would be just as happy for me, too.

I want to thank the entire Spectrum board for being such an amazing and fun team, you’ve made time here so enjoyable. I also want to specifically thank Professor Alicastro, Professor Joanne Kabak, Professor Sidney Gottlieb, Professor Gregory Golda, and Professor Keith Zdrojowy for all having an incredible impact on me during my time in the SCMA. I will never forget the lessons you’ve all taught me.

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