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A Splendid "Gateway" Between Traditional & New Media

By Hannah McCarthy

Graduate Gateway alumna Hannah McCarthy

Graduating from the College of William and Mary in the summer of 2012, I knew that I had gained a valuable liberal arts education--the foundation for my future. What I wasn't sure of, however, was how best to pursue that future after I graduated.

I debated pursuing graduate school, and decided that several years was a large commitment to something I wasn't certain would be the best fit for me. As an English and Film double major, I knew that breaking into the creative fields would be difficult, and that going to grad school, when I had little hands-on experience would make it difficult for me to narrow what specific area I would be interested in studying.

I learned about the Graduate Gateway Program from a family member and once I researched it more, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to sample graduate courses, while also gaining firsthand experience in my fields of interest.

My Gateway seminar focused largely on print media and the ways that it evolved over the years, especially into the current digital age. I learned about the methods and practices of journalists, and tried my hand at writing varying types of news pieces. As a class, we visited numerous well-known institutions in DC, and participated in lectures with engaging speakers - in an array of organizations focused on media and journalism. I obtained an internship with a television production company in Maryland and was put to work immediately in the day-to-day activities that go into putting television shows on air. The experience was truly invaluable, as I learned an immense amount about the industry in an extremely short period of time - certainly more than any textbook could ever teach me.

Within two weeks of starting the internship, I was offered a position as a production assistant, and have been working at the same company since completing the Graduate Gateway Program. Now armed with a thorough knowledge of my field and the experience to pursue my goals, the future I've worked hard for is in reach.