Why did I go back to school?

I’m a graduate student in Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. When someone asks me what I’m getting my Master’s in, I tell them I’m getting a Master’s in Social Media. I’m joking, of course, but part of me thinks there really is something to be said for focusing strictly on “new media” and how traditional media are going to evolve in the coming months, years and even days.

I received my undergraduate degree from the aforementioned school in 2005. After 6-or-so years in various industries — beer sales, radio, TV, and handbag sales and marketing (on the wholesale side) — I decided I wasn’t really getting where I wanted to go. That brought me back to school. In all honesty, after being turned down for a job I was insanely qualified for because the company was going to hire an intern that was already in-house, I figured I’d go be an intern myself. I haven’t gotten an internship yet, but I’m working on it.

In the majority of my career experience, I’ve worked with websites, social media, and the like. It’s what I really enjoy and prefer to fill my time with, whether I’m being paid for it or not. So why not try to get paid for it, right? What I’m focusing on in my current studies is how traditional media — television, radio and print — are using the web to expand their brands, reach new and existing audiences in new ways, all while performing the balancing act that is making money from advertisers while not driving away those audiences.

With this blog, I’m hoping to chronicle my experiences as a student, intern and beyond as a web-focused media professional. Thanks for reading and feel free to engage in discussion! With the daily changes in the online landscape, we’re all learning as we go together.

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