Journalism School Personal Statement

This piece served as my personal statement as part of the application to the Wisconsin School of Journalism.

The world today is competitive; it’s a race to be the first with the newest Blackberry, the first to tweet about J.J. Watt’s triumphs at the game, the first to upload pictures on Facebook, the first to write an exposé on a corrupt politician. Part of being an American citizen in this current climate is expressing myself in such a way that I stand out and am heard by my peers and community. To achieve this goal, I am pursuing admission to the UW-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication.

My first experience in the world of communication occurred during my three-year run on my youth group’s executive and regional boards. As an active board member for United Synagogue Youth (USY), I forged my path as a leader by exercising unique communication methods. As USY President, I implemented a revolutionary outreach campaign as a means of contacting our members. I accomplished this by utilizing the previously untapped potential of mobile phone and email technology by engineering a method that allowed for the delivery of our email notifications as text messages. This resulted in a dramatic membership increase and a significant boost in weekly program attendance. Because of my leadership and accomplishments in USY, I later received the Howie Stillman Young Leadership Award. This prestigious recognition is granted annually to one Jewish high school senior in the Twin Cities who exemplifies the leadership, values, and qualities of the late Howie Stillman, a fellow Badger and student in the UW-Madison J-School.

After receiving this great honor, I wondered if my similarities to Stillman could one day lead me down the same academic path. Through further research and an enlightening internship experience last summer, I realized that the field of strategic communication is the perfect outlet for my interests, skills, and leadership abilities.

This past summer I had the unique opportunity to intern at The American Jewish World, a newspaper highlighting important issues in the Jewish community of Minneapolis/St. Paul. This internship was a positive learning experience for me because it gave me the opportunity to apply my communication skills and enthusiasm in a real-world setting. I conducted interviews, wrote several articles and news briefs, and edited pages before they were sent to press. For the first time, I worked side by side with professional journalists and felt the incredible sensation of seeing my name in print. In addition to working with the print edition, I was responsible for the newspaper’s website, Facebook, Skype, and Twitter accounts. These outlets put into perspective the exciting opportunities that technology has afforded the journalism industry. I also designed and helped implement a campaign to boost readership, both in general and among younger members of the Jewish community. Once completed, my campaign will effectively spread awareness of the newspaper to primarily new Jewish residents in Minnesota.

My passion for Journalism continues as I begin an internship on campus in the Public Relations department of Cardinal Creative, the new advertising division of the Daily Cardinal. As a PR intern I will meet individually with clients who seek to promote their businesses through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. I will assist them in the creation of these resources and counsel them on how to use them to their best business advantage. This invaluable experience will afford me additional hands-on practice in the field of strategic communication while I pursue my academic goals.

These experiences have propelled me into the world of communication, each building skills that are integral in the study and practice of strategic communication. With that, I am anxious to begin my formal education in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, and, if admitted, I know that my ideas, work ethic, and experience will help me succeed in the strategic communication field and fuel my passion for my studies.