Things I Loved About Montage: Hands On Learning Experience

For those of you that don’t know me personally, I recently attended the Miami Montage program at the University of Miami. At Miami Montage, student journalists from all around Florida are chosen to spend three weeks at the University of Miami where they write for UM’s annual publication; every year only 20 students are chosen. You can imagine my surprise and excitment when I got accepted! So, for the past three weeks I’ve been writing, researching, interviewing, filming, photographing- the basics of journalism. Attending this program ultimately reminded me of why I loved journalism in the first place, so I decided I would do a short series on my blog, titled “Things I Loved About Montage” so that those future students that apply can have a small sneak peak into what they’re getting themselves into.

So, now that my super long introduction has been written, let’s take a look at why these past three weeks have been phenomenal.

Number One: The Hands On Learning Experience.

In my previous three years of attending a journalism class I was always encouraged to interview professionals and people well informed in whatever topic I was writing about. I won’t lie: in those three years I did not step out of my comfort zone from fear of failing. I brought my best friend Nathalie with me on interviews, I stayed at a fairly local range when looking for people to talk to, and I stuttered all through my interviews (every single one).

This changed in Montage; I was thrown out of the bird’s nest at once. They didn’t want me to be comfortable, even going as far as saying it explicitly. One of my administrators, Fred Blevens, told us that if we were comfortable writing the article, we we’re already doing something wrong. Articles are supposed to excite you, make you nervous. I think it was when he said that something clicked inside my mind and from there I didn’t let my fear of failure overcome me.

So I excelled. I called and email what must have seemed like 15 people; I set up and partly filmed my own interviews; I was the journalist I always wanted to be. And while I’m not so excited for school to start, I am excited to go back as a new journalist.

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