Switching your major in college is one thing, but switching into the prestigious E.W. Scripps School of Journalism is another story. Personally, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in coming into college, so I scanned through the majors offered at Ohio University as I was applying. By the time I got my acceptance letter, I had forgotten what I even chose to major in. As I’m going into my sophomore year, I’m about to apply to the J-School for spring semester.
I imagine many other students are in the same boat, and probably facing the same challenges as I am. Make sure to keep the following in mind before applying for the school.
1) Recommendation Letters One of the main challenges I’m facing with this process is finding people who can write recommendation letters about my journalistic abilities. Since I did just realize this year that I love writing, I only took two journalism classes. One of which was a huge lecture hall, so there’s no way my professor would even know my name, let alone write me a letter recommending me. This upcoming semester, I’m taking two more journalism classes, so I’ll be looking to build a relationship with my professors in hope that they will be able to write me a recommendation letter.
2) Examples of journalism work Having just realized that I want to be a journalism major this past year, it’s been challenging to get professional samples of work to be able to submit with my application. However, I did talk to a professor in Scripps, who suggested I join ImPRessions and PRSSA. From there, I have learned so much already, and he also suggested that I join as many clubs that I can.
3) The Pressure I thought getting into college my freshman year was stressful, but now that I’m already enrolled at Ohio University, there’s so much pressure to get into the major I want because if I don’t, I might not graduate on time. If denied acceptance into the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, it is required to wait a whole year to reapply.
4) Resume building Not having much experience in anything related to journalism makes it hard to have a perfect resume that makes you look like you know what you’re doing with your life. Using InDesign to create your resume at least gives it a professional look. Also, asking professors and other J-School students to critique your resume will help make it get that much closer to perfection.
5) Getting help It’s challenging having to ask for help because you don’t know what you’re doing. Transferring your major to journalism is a difficult process, but asking for help is the only way you’ll make it. Email professors, go talk to an adviser, anything helps to get you going in the right direction.
Applying for the J-School is a challenging process, but it will be worth it in the end. I’m looking forward to saying that I’m officially part of the J-School. I have met many wonderful people as I’m applying this upcoming semester.
-Meredith Broadwater is a sophomore studying media arts and studies but will be applying to the journalism school in the fall. Follow her at @Meredithbroad.