Go Big or Go Home?

When it comes to the Missouri School of Journalism, students get worked into a frenzy about a lot of things. Ever since freshman year, we have been freaking out about J1100 tests, getting the free food at Franks with Faculty and getting the best summer internship.

And of course, we all want an internship that will put us on the map. My friends, frenemies, classmates, etc. are frantically getting recommendation letters, gathering clips and polishing resumes to send off to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg, CNN, etc. It seems as though everyone is using this final summer before senior year to work to “Go Big.” But I’m “going home”. I’m pretty set on staying in Kansas City this summer. I’ve narrowed the list of places I’m applying to less than 10, and most of them don’t even want my resume until next semester.

This decision to stay at home is partly because I am studying abroad next semester. And this partly stems from financial reasons, but also wanting to come home to familiarity after five months abroad. But a lot of it is that I know Kansas City is a place that I would like to end up post-graduation, so it seems to make sense to start building a network there now.

But I wonder if I should be looking at those media outlets that I’ve always wanted. Should I be vying for an internship at Time magazine, the Huffington Post or NPR?

I had a similar dilemma when I was applying for schools. I had known that I wanted to pursue journalism, but I didn’t apply anywhere other than Missouri. I have never doubted my decision to come here. I think Mizzou has the best J-School ever (and I’m so thankful that I get paid to tell that to prospective students). But sometimes I wonder if I would have been a competitive candidate to get into Northwestern, Syracuse or NC-Chapel Hill.

I know that I will never be one of the notable alumni who are mentioned in the presentation shown to all prospective students. I know the J-School isn’t going to distribute a press release on the internship I get this summer.

But I think I’m OK with that. I love the media outlets in Kansas City. And I love reporting for people and about people who are connected to the city I love.

It’s not the Big Apple, but that’s part of why I love it.

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