Monica Hying

"Curiosity thrives at HSJMC."
McHenry, IL
Strategic Communications

Interview by Alex Smith

Why did you decide to become a Strategic Communications major?

I chose to become a Strategic Communications major because I wanted a degree in something that was multifaceted. I love pursuing a degree in Strategic Communications because it has provided me with the opportunity to get involved in a variety of projects in public relations, advertising, and professional journalism world. I have been able to gain key skills through the courses I have taken and have also been able to challenge myself with some pretty cool internships.

What has been your favorite part of your experience at HSJMC?

My favorite part about HSJMC is how interconnected the students and faculty are. I have found that several of the professors really care about their students and I personally love how willing they are to help my fellow peers and me out. Not only do we have insightful conversations in the classroom, but that conversation is further expanded upon in life outside of class. Curiosity thrives in HSJMC and I appreciate the fact that most of my professors are just as passionate about campaigns and class projects as I am.

What journalism class or professor has had the biggest impact on you?

Sherri Katz. I cannot say enough nice things about her as she is one of my (many) favorite professors here at the U. I first had her as a professor for my Jour 3201 course during my sophomore year where we quickly formed a great bond during office hours. She is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the industry and teaches with such a vigorous passion that I decided to take a second class with her, Jour 4251. She teaches the material in such an invigorating way and is always quick to offer helpful feedback. Whether you have a question about a project or just want to chat about career options, Sherri's always available to help. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend taking one of her classes as you will learn a lot!

What minors, internships, or activities are you pursuing outside of your Journalism major? How do you think these enhance your study of Journalism and/or your future career plans?

I am also an English major within CLA and have been involved with a variety of different opportunities outside of my Strategic Communications major. Throughout my time in HSJMC, I have had internship opportunities in the advertising, publishing, and public relations field. During my junior year, I studied abroad and was able to land an internship with Enitharmon Press. That opportunity led me to my current position as Marketing Director for The Tower, an undergraduate literary magazine on campus. Currently, I am additionally serving as Editor-in-Chief of Odyssey where I manage a group of about 30 writers. Lastly, I also work as a CLA Ambassador and am the Marketing Intern for Mixed Blood, a small theater company located downtown. I love to multi-task and have been able to take advantage of many of these opportunities strictly because of the guidance I received from my various mentors at the University of Minnesota. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have had half of the opportunities that I’ve experienced thus far.

What journalism course would you recommend for other students in your major?

If you're a Strategic Communications major, I highly recommend taking Jour 4242, the portfolio development class. You'll gain the opportunity to work on a variety of different campaigns all while developing your own, personal portfolio of work. Len Mitsch is fantastic at offering feedback and I love how openly collaborative the class is. The course really gives you the opportunity to learn from the other talented students around you and serves as a great test-run for the agency lifestyle.

What is your dream job? 

Honestly, I don't quite know which path I will take after graduation. What I do know is that my job will have something to do with storytelling as stories, at their purest base, are what has always driven me. Whether I’m creating my own or telling someone else’s, I want to be in the business of creating.

What advice do you have for future HSJMC students?

Just go for it! Don't be afraid to take the initiative and interact with your fellow students and professors. Be sure to ask for help when you need it and learn how to expand your network. I would highly recommend joining a club or student group as there are so many great ones to choose from! Don’t forget to make relationship building a key focus during your undergraduate experience as the relationships you form during this pivotal time are what you’ll remember most.

Monica Hying