By Kyla Pigoni, '13
When I was applying to college four and a half years ago, I thought I knew my whole future. While my friends were checking the “undecided” box, I was confidently throwing all my effort into applying to the best journalism schools in the country. I had dreams of being the next Christiane Amanpour and breaking the news at a global level. During my first two years at IC, I followed this preconceived passion. I worked on The Ithacan, became managing editor of 360 Magazine, interned at the Ithaca Times and even stayed in Ithaca for a summer to freelance for the Times. I was so enraptured in the practice of journalism that I forgot one important aspect of the whole “dream” business: actually enjoying yourself.
Courtesy of the ICLA program, I had the ability to test my passion during the fall of my junior year. I was excited to do the program, despite growing up in California, because I wanted to experience the city that I was planning to move to after graduation. I looked into several different journalism internships, but none of them really seemed like they were the right fit. At the same time that I submitted applications for local newspapers, I also submitted a resume to the internship program at Conan. I figured it was a stretch because I had no experience in television whatsoever, but I decided to give it a try. After a quick interview and acceptance, I knew I had to take the position. I had always wondered what it would be like to work on a production, and I knew this was my moment.
Long story short, the semester turned out to be a turning point in my future career. I realized that the aspects I loved about journalism (presenting creative works to a general audience) could be transferred to the television industry. While I enjoy writing and the interviewing process, I thrived under the pressure of a busy production studio more so than that of a newsroom. When I returned to Ithaca in the spring, I realized that I needed to make some changes. It was obviously too late in my academic career to switch majors, but it was definitely important to learn more about the television industry. A few applications later, I had my second internship at The Colbert Report for the summer term. I was a bit hesitant about the idea of moving to NYC, a city I had never really experience before, but I knew it was something I had to do in order to find out if production was truly my passion. I am happy to report that the summer did nothing if not confirm my desire.
I guess what I’d like to leave to incoming Scholars, and even current students, is that you shouldn’t be afraid to change your dreams. You may be on a set path and believe whole-heartedly in your passion, but don’t be afraid to try something different. Spend a semester in an internship outside of your comfort zone and take the jump by interning in a city located 2,500 miles from your home. You never know…you may find a new dream to pursue.