Tag: School of Communication

Are You Sure I’m Almost a Senior?

Are You Sure I’m Almost a Senior?

I promise you that just last year I was moving into a college dorm for the first time, trying to decide on a major and making new friends.

Or maybe I was back for round two, just starting to get the hang of things, making some really good friends and even spending a semester abroad at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center.

Okay, Okay then I’ve only just begun year three, finally getting to move off-campus, am excited about my major and am embracing being an upperclassman.

But there’s no way I’m almost a senior.

Then again…

For the past three years I’ve been calling Chicago and Loyola home. These years have felt like some of the fastest of my life. As they say, ‘Time flies when you’re having fun!’ Which I would say has been exactly the case for me. Sure, I’ve faced my fair share of stresses and hardships during my college experience, but honestly I wouldn’t take any of it back.

My junior year has been especially good to me. I’ve finally chosen a major that I’m excited about in Public Relations and am looking forward to another year of classes at the School of Communication. And thanks to some inspiration from a favorite Loyola professor of mine, I’ve also added a Marketing minor. My classes this year have pushed me academically, made me a better writer and helped shape my worldview.

I’ve gotten to live with some incredible girls during my time at LUC and this year has been no exception. I’ve loved having the chance to live in an apartment off-campus where I get to be more connected to the Rogers Park community.  This year I got much better about getting out and exploring the city and hope to continue doing so over the next year. (One of my new favorite foods is Spanish tapas–which are especially good at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba in Lincoln Park!)

This year I’ve experienced the most personal growth yet, academically, spiritually and in my relationships, for which I am truly grateful.

My college experience has been completely different than what my freshman-self would have expected and everything my (almost) senior-self could hope for. I’m not sure what this next year will bring or what will follow, but I think I’ll have a hard time topping my junior year at LUC.

So I guess that after looking back on it all again, it does seem like it’s time for me to be a senior. Even if I’m not quite ready to admit it.

Letting SOC Feed Me for the Week

Letting SOC Feed Me for the Week

Well, technically they only fed me twice.

This was a busy week at the School of Communication. In true college student fashion, I took advantage of opportunities for free food, which meant I ended up attending some really special on-campus events.

The first was on Monday evening. A networking reception was held for students in the Advertising and Public Relations program, alum from the program and professionals in the industry. Many of the professionals are people working at the companies where Loyola students intern, providing the perfect opportunity to network and scope out potential internships.

This hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour was held at our Water Tower Campus on the 15th floor of the Corboy Law Center. This venue provides breathtaking views of the city and exactly the right atmosphere for the occasion.

I had the opportunity to chat with several of my professors and two Loyola alum who now work in the city, who I’m looking forward to getting to know. Next semester I’ll be looking for an internship, so hopefully these connections can help get me on the right track!

Friday marked the beginning of Loyola’s Weekend of Excellence, and my second chance for a free meal. I was honored to attend the SOC Honors Ceremony and Student Showcase on Friday afternoon. This ceremony involved a formal presentation of several awards and recognition for different student honors. The awards presented included, Outstanding Major Awards (a winning student was selected from each major within the School of Communication), Top Original Student Work and and an SOC Teaching Award. Students were then honored for graduating from the university’s honors program, for receiving scholarships and new members to the Beta Rho Honors Society were inducted into the organization (that’s were I came in).

Students within the School of Communication are truly producing some incredible work and I’m excited to be a part of a school that is pushing their students toward such excellence.

A huge congratulations to all who were honored during this ceremony and to all the students and faculty who will be celebrated during this Weekend of Excellence! (Where I’m sure there will be plenty more excellent free food.)

Career Week 2016: Resumes in Review

Career Week 2016: Resumes in Review

Your ticket to the industry, a piece of paper listing your greatest accomplishments, or your rite of passage to adulthood. No matter what you call it, a resume is a vital part of entering “real life”. Something that, for me, is approaching more quickly than I’d like to admit.

Considering the necessity of a good resume when entering the workforce it was a no-brainer for me to attend the resume workshop, an event hosted through Loyola’s School of Communication Career Week.

On Wednesday, 30 communications professionals joined students at the Water Tower Campus’ Lewis Towers for the “Resumes that Pop to the Top” event. Students had the chance to meet with several professionals for resume critiques and career advice. The workshop was “round robin style”, which allowed us about ten minutes with the professionals we met before rotating to someone new.

Prior to the workshop I had thoroughly convinced myself that my resume would need to be completely thrown out and started over based on the critique I received. Thankfully, I was wrong. I had the pleasure of meeting with three different professionals, all of whom offered really helpful advice for not just my resume, but for the start of my career. In general the reactions to my resume were positive, which allowed me to take a huge sigh of relief.

The most common criticism I received was to change the order of my resume, so my most recent experience was showcased first. A piece I hope to add to my resume is a personal statement of sorts at the top. A few short sentences that provide insight into my personality rather than my technical skills is something I can only hope will “pop my resume to the top”.

Now that I’ve reorganized my resume, changed some sentence structure, and gained some insight into the professional world, I feel far more confident in my resume. I was, however, reminded that a strong resume is only one piece of the puzzle and I’ll need an impressive cover letter and interview to complete the picture. Although my resume is solid for now, it is a living document that will even need updating by next fall. But I’ll worry about that when the time comes.

For now, I’ll be grateful for the advice and continue to ask for reviews from others at every opportunity I’m given.


My First News Video Package

My First News Video Package

Check out my first video news package!

This semester has been quite a whirlwind! From classes to work and to participating in extracurriculars, I have hardly been able to take a breather; but I know that what I have been experiencing as a junior at Loyola University Chicago will be all worth while.

This semester I am taking a course on technology for journalists. In this class, I have been exposed to and picked up general skills on software and equipment I may be using in the field. In the video above, I used a video editing program called Final Cut Pro. Getting used to this kind of program was interesting because it can be a bit more tricky than just using iMovie or Windows MovieMaker. I definitely will pursue getting familiar with this program, for it will come in handy one day.

In the video I covered AfroDescent’s dress rehearsal before their first performance at the Taste of Africa Thursday.

As The Semester Comes To An End…

As The Semester Comes To An End…

I truly cannot believe that my sophomore year is virtually over!

I cannot wait for finals to come and go, but I anticipate continuing to find my calling and my way with the time I have left at Loyola University Chicago. I now will be advised through the School of Communication, so I can have the guidance and perspective of those that are active in the field in regards to questions and concerns I have about anything.

This year was very stressful, but very rewarding. While pushing myself to improve my grades and enroll in challenging courses, I was able to balance academics with activities that I am passionate about. I am excited to continue the work I have done to build community on this campus, and I am also excited to explore what more I can do!

School of Communication and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Event

School of Communication and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Event

On Tuesday, my classmates from my media law class and myself attended a free media law workshop that was hosted by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) and the School of Communication. The workshop covered gaining access to court records and proceedings.

The RCFP has provided free legal advice, resources, support and advocacy to protect the First Amendment and Freedom of Information rights of journalists working in areas where U.S. law applies.

Representatives from the RCFP provided a folder full of vital information for journalists in regards to how to access public federal records and the Illinois reporter’s privilege. I will definitely keep this safe for future use.

It was really interesting and thought-provoking to hear what was shared at this workshop because not only does this help me remember what I have learned in my media law class, it shows that this will be of importance to me in my future career as a journalist.

In regards to that thought, I also think about how opportunities like these are so important for my development and perspective. The School of Communication has been very adamant in providing opportunities to have students and people in the field come together and have these conversations.

School of Communication and Chicago Headline Club Event

School of Communication and Chicago Headline Club Event

On Tuesday, I took the opportunity to attend an event that the Loyola University Chicago School of Communication and the Chicago Headline Club hosted on the effects trauma has on journalists.

The panel discussion included Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, Julie Lieblich and Dr. Frank Ochberg, all of the DART Society. The event was moderated by Randi Belisomo of WGN.

The discussion was very informative for me, as an aspiring journalist because they explained the four stages of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and how this condition can effect the work and well being of journalists. Some of the journalists on the panel, have been in the field so they gave advice and recommendations as to how to deal with reporting stories on traumatic events.

The discussion also covered how to handle the grief of the subject and the grief of  journalists themselves, when to know to stop the story if the subject would not like to continue and to be open to sharing and talking about traumatic experiences on the field with others.

An important lesson that I took out of this event was to enter a place of gratitude and humility whenever I am covering a story on traumatic events and interviewing victims. I also learned that journalists cannot protect victims from the aftermath of a traumatic event.

I really appreciate an event like this, especially since I am learning the realities of a field that I seek to enter into. I definitely plan on looking into experiences like this and what else I will face as a journalist.

About Me

About Me

My name is Antoinette Isama and I am a sophomore at Loyola University Chicago. I am seeking a degree in journalism with a minor in International Studies. I was born and raised in Silver Spring, Md., and my family is originally from Nigeria. I am also the youngest of three in my immediate family, but I have always grown up to know my many members of my extended family as well.

I have always loved reading, writing and telling stories. Growing up the news was always on tv in my house, so I think that is a huge contribution for my interest in journalism. I have also taken an interest in learning about other people’s lives, different cultures other than my own and becoming aware of national and international issues.

Coming to Loyola all the way from the east coast comes with a lot of independence and opportunities. Even though I miss my family at times, my endeavors that I am involved in on campus help me reflect on my journey here and that my distance from home will be worth while.

These endeavors include participating in the many cultural and social justice based groups that Loyola has to offer. I am social chair of the Black Cultural Center, event coordinator of the African Student Alliance, and a social justice advocate in the Empowerment Pipeline program through the department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

These extracurriculars have enhanced my leadership skills and my ability to work as a team with fellow students, as well as sharing the importance of preserving and learning about black culture and African culture with the Loyola community. I have really enjoyed collaborating with other cultural organizations to reach this goal together too.

When I am not in class or in my extracurricular activities I enjoy exploring Chicago. My favorite things to do so far at my time at Loyola have been going to festivals, checking out different restaurants, visiting museums and attending concerts. Being a student also has its perks with these activities too with the discounts!

With the time I have left at Loyola, I hope to have a better sense of where I would like to be in terms of my career as a journalist. I am also very grateful for the resources Loyola offers its students to guide that aspect of the college journey. I also hope to be more involved with the social media and student run publications, such as The Phoenix.

With this blog I hope to share what I do and how I see Loyola. I also hope to put a lot in perspective through my experiences that I go through on a day to day basis.


Google Me

Google Me

Ok, when you Google me, you’ll probably see these blog entries. But, you’ll also see other articles from various news sites and blogs.  Being a journalism major can be pretty awesome, especially once you see your work published.  Of course,  being published can simply mean writing on a blog.  Nonetheless, I have had my work in a print publication, Adentro de Pilsen, and on several news blogs for Loyola, like the Loyola Student Dispatch and The Streets of Chicago. I’ve also had a couple of packages (broadcast news), featured on Loyola News Chicago.  For my internship, my articles are being published on the School of Communication website, the latest of which you can view here!  Loyola provides many opportunities for journalism students to gain real world, hands-on experience. And I’m always excited to see my work, as well as the work of fellow students, featured.

Internship Hunting

Internship Hunting

As part of the journalism curriculum, students must obtain an internship to practice the various reporting skills obtained in the classroom.  As procrastination and I are very good friends, I am now well into my senior year and scrambling to find a sweet internship for the upcoming semester so that I can graduate on time!

The process seemed a bit daunting at first as it requires resume writing, cover letters and writing samples.  Writing samples I had on hand from my coursework, but my resume was very much out of date and I had no cover letter.  I cannot excuse my behavior as Loyola consistently offers resume and cover letter workshops, and often times, professors are more than happy to edit these sorts of documents.  The Career Development Center is a great resource if you need help with writing or revision.  (Word to the wise—Start your resume now!  Add experiences as you gain them, and by the time you graduate, you won’t be hard pressed to remember dates and details of your experiences!)

As I began the quest in search of the perfect internship, I first checked the School of Communication’s internship database, which has postings from most all news organizations in Chicago.  Next, I went to Loyola’s RamblerLink, a very nifty site that has job and internship postings, AND lets you load your resume, cover letters, and writing samples so that you can just pick what organization you want to apply for and send in all your documents, without the hassle of loading them over and over again for each separate application.  RamblerLink is also a great resource to find part-time jobs, work-study jobs and full-time jobs after you graduate.

So now that I’ve settled on a few places, it’s just a matter of hearing back!