Monday, October 29, 2012

Q&A with Assured Journalism Student Thomas Gooding

Next up in our Q&A series: the Assured Journalism program. Through Assured Journalism, students not only get assured admission to the J-school, but early exposure to all the resources within the school and special coursework that allows them to jump-start their studies. To tell us more about the program, here's Thomas Gooding, a first-year from High Point, NC.  (Get more info about all nine special opportunities that we offer to incoming first-year students here and here.) 

Madison Morgan (left), Elizabeth Gooding, and me at Relay for Life on campus
What do you hope to do with your degree in journalism?
I plan to pursue a specialization in reporting, multimedia or electronic communication. With my degree, I hope to investigate human rights and international conflict as a reporter or foreign correspondent for a national news organization.

What past experiences made you want to study journalism?
My mom is a graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism, and her experiences as a reporter have inspired me to pursue a career as a journalist. She helped convey the significant influence of journalism in facilitating conversation and inspiring change.

In addition, many experiences in high school nurtured my interest in journalism. I had the opportunity to write a monthly opinion column for my local paper, through which I realized the value of challenging readers to consider important issues that affect our community. Overall, my experiences helped me understand the importance of informing the world and thus fostering positive change.

What are some of the benefits of being in the Assured Journalism program?
Students in the program have the opportunity to explore the field early in their careers at UNC-Chapel Hill. A wonderful benefit of the program is the opportunity to interact with top professors at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which allows students to build relationships and gain the individual attention necessary to excel at the school. The program challenges students to think creatively and profoundly, gain new perspectives of mass communication and discover their potential as journalists. Through the Assured Journalism program, I have developed confidence as a student and gained an opportunity to pursue my goals in my first year of college.

Any study abroad, internship, extracurricular, or other interesting experiences you’ve had or plan to pursue?
The opportunities available through the Assured Journalism program and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication are many. I hope to write for The Daily Tar Heel, the student-run newspaper at UNC-Chapel Hill, which has earned numerous national awards and honors. I also hope to participate in broadcast and multimedia journalism through Carolina Week and Reese News.

Neha Kukreja, a fellow UNC student, and me in Alaska
through a scholarship program at Carolina
Academically, the school offers a unique opportunity in conjunction with UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School to pursue business journalism. It is just one of the many specializations offered, from photojournalism to electronic communication.

 In addition, I would love to take advantage of the study abroad opportunity in London, which boasts state-of-the-art multimedia studios and contact with professionals from the BBC, The Times and The Guardian. The study abroad programs in Spain, Argentina, France and Australia are also exceptional opportunities.

Why did you choose Carolina?
The liberal arts education that Carolina offers can be summed up in one word: opportunity. The diversity of disciplines and fields of study at Carolina allows students to explore beyond their immediate interests and discover their greatest passions. It allows students to learn how to think critically, search for innovative solutions to problems and make important decisions.

Community and diversity are incredible aspects of the Carolina family. Not only racial and cultural diversity, but also diversity of study, opportunity, and exposure to new ideas and issues. At Carolina, students know that they can be themselves. We celebrate the value of each individual and the uniqueness of his or her background.

Most importantly, the Carolina family is dedicated to helping students and faculty succeed. Opportunities inside the classroom and in the community, local and international, provide every student with what it is he or she needs to excel. The Carolina community is dedicated to each Tar Heel with the trust that he or she will make a positive impact on the world.

What else would you tell prospective students who are interested in studying journalism at Carolina?
The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication is one of the most distinguished in the United States. Students in the school learn from top professors who have worked with major news organizations and come from diverse backgrounds of journalism experience. There are numerous opportunities on campus for students to immerse themselves in journalism. It is truly an exceptional and rewarding program.