Meet Northwestern USA Today Contributing Writer, Medha Imam!


Name: Medha Imam

Year: Class of 2017, Sophomore

Major: Journalism, Political Science


How did you land your internship with USA Today?        

During the summer, a couple of my friends and I were walking through the streets of Chicago in search of Froyo. While wandering around, one of my friends approached me and began talking about future careers. When journalism came up, he said he got an email about an opportunity for USA Today and encouraged me to apply to the program. So, I went on their website the same night and began working on my application. Soon enough, I received a response email from the USA Today College editors offering me a position in their Contributing Writer Program.


What are your responsibilities as an intern for USA Today?

As a contributing writer for USA Today College, I cover stories regarding college students, Northwestern University or breaking news.


How was your experience covering President Obama’s speech at Northwestern?

Covering the speech felt and still feels like a dream. I was honored to attend the speech along with my frNBNds, my wonderful co-editors at North by Northwestern. Although the speech was amazing, my favorite part was actually interviewing audience members, students on Sheridan Road and the Kellogg faculty. Meeting new people and hearing their stories, their passions and their dreams brings me so much joy. That’s really why I love journalism.


What was the best piece of experience that you had while working for USA Today?

My favorite experience while working for USA Today was writing an article about the Thiel Fellowship and entrepreneurship. After being involved with the Global Engagement Summit at Northwestern, I fell in love with entrepreneurship. So when the pitch for my story was approved, I was really looking forward to writing about it. The piece demanded a really quick turnaround, but the experience was so humbling because every Thiel Fellow I interviewed was brilliant. The Thiel Fellows really are a group of ambitious people who view the world through a critical lens, which sincerely captivated my attention.

So after interviewing them, I chose to present a few of their stories and wrote all night on a deadline grind. The next morning, I burst through the door of a news agency, grabbed a copy of USA Today from a stack of newspapers and sifted through the pages all while my heart was beating ridiculously fast. I will never forget the feeling when I saw my name in print. For me and for my whole family, the opportunity to have my name in a national newspaper was unbelievable.


What get you interested in Journalism in the first place?

I aspire to be my grandfather’s legacy by pursuing a career in writing. My grandfather Syed M. Imamuddin traveled the world and wrote historical and sociological books, most notably about Muslim Spain. And I hope one day, I can honor him and my family, who left their lives in Pakistan to build a better life for their children in America. And I vow to try to continue my grandfather’s legacy in the States and use writing as a way to value my culture, my religion and myself.


What other Journalism related on-campus groups are you involved in?

I am currently involved with two school publications on campus as one of the News Editors of North by Northwestern and Editor-in-Chief of Al Bayan Magazine.