Have you ever met that one person on campus where you think to yourself Wow, this person really has their stuff together. They’re going to make it big someday. Well collegiates, Caitlin Scott is one of these people. Currently a senior, Scott seems to be well on her way to success. She is a major inspiration to aspiring journalism students like myself. With her bubbly personality and dedication to hard work both inside and outside the classroom, one can hope to learn a thing or two from Scott.
1. To start off, tell me a bit about yourself…where you’re from, your interests, etc.
I’m from Apple Valley, Minnesota, which is a suburb of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area! There’s a lot of outdoors-y stuff to do in Minnesota and I’ve always loved to be outside. So I love to hike, bike, window-shop–anything as an excuse for a bit of fresh air!! I also like to read, write, and listen to music when I have free time.
2. Why did you choose UofI?
The University of Iowa is well known as a place for writers and I was drawn by that. Also, it’s a really affordable school. I knew that If I went to Iowa I wouldn’t graduate with an insane amount of debt.
3. Explain your time at Iowa…how you picked your major/minor, what clubs you’ve been apart of and so on.
I decided I wanted to study journalism when I was a freshman. I took Frank Durham’s media history class and was hooked. I have always loved to write, so journalism was a perfect fit. I also started studying French at Iowa because I wanted to spend time learning a new language (I took Spanish in high school). I’m getting a minor in French now, and I’m so happy I stuck with it!
As far as clubs, I’ve been very dedicated to one: Ed on Campus. Ed is an organization for students interested in the magazine industry. It’s always been a dream of mine to become a magazine editor, so when I found out a club like Ed existed on campus I was thrilled. I joined as a freshman and never left! Ed on Campus gave me an opportunity to meet students with similar passions and skilled editors in the magazine industry. I owe a lot to Ed!
4. Talk a little about your executive positions and all that you’ve done in those positions to further your clubs interests.
I started out as the financial coordinator when I was a sophomore. I helped to plan the budget, collect member dues, etc. It was a great way to get more involved in Ed and I learned a lot! I’ve been a co-president since I was a junior, a role that I am very grateful for. I work with an incredible executive board, which includes the other president, Brianna Sudrla. Together, our team organizes meetings, promotes Ed on Campus, plans professional networking trips, and so much more. It can be stressful at times, but it’s all worth it when we get to see our hard work pay off. For example, we are all really excited to be planning our first trip to New York City right now. We’ve never done a trip to New York before, but it has always been one of our goals. We could not be more thrilled that it’s finally happening!
5. What internships have you done and how did you get them?
I’ve interned at a few different places. My first internship was a PR internship at a Minnesota based company called Media Relations. I just sent them my resume and filled out their application and had an interview a few weeks later!
After that internship, I really wanted to find something where I’d get more writing experience, so I decided to reach out to Bop and Tiger Beat magazines. An Iowa alumna was working there at the time. I applied for a web internship, but didn’t get it the first time I applied because I didn’t have any web experience. I immediately signed up for a web class..haha! The next semester I applied again and got the job!
I got a ton of blogging experience through my Bop &TB internship and after that I decided to apply to an internship with Cosmopolitan.com. As fate would have it, I didn’t land that internship the first time I applied either, but the editor told me to keep in touch and apply again. I did, and now I’ve interned at Cosmopolitan.com twice! After I left, the social media manager asked if I wanted to run the Cosmo Tumblr account, which of course I was ecstatic about. I’m still doing that today!
The UofI is a great place to get experience too. I got a job at Student Life Marketing + Design and worked there for one year. I loved every minute of it. It’s a neat place because students get real-world experience in marketing, social media, writing, photo, etc. while they attend classes at the U of I.
6. What are you doing now for your journalism career?
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m working on Cosmo’s Tumblr right now. I’m also freelancing for BHG.com (Better Homes & Gardens), which has been an awesome way to continue improving my writing, researching, and interviewing skills.
7. What are your dream, goals and aspirations as a journalist?
I hope to land a reporting job at an online magazine for women. I think it would be so rewarding to do original reporting on topics important to women, whether it’s fashion or birth control. I think sometimes women’s media isn’t always thought of as “serious” or whatever. I want to be one of the many female writers who prove that women’s media is just as important and valid.
8. What is your advice for students pursuing careers in journalism?
DON’T GIVE UP! I think if my story illustrates anything, it’s that persistence, hard work and determination can help you to land your dream gig. Get used to rejection and use it as a spring board to go on and make yourself that much better.
Hopefully, Scott’s story impressed and inspired you as much as it did me.