Journalism freshman Ashley Reed wasted no time gaining experience in the media industry. She spent her first college spring break touring New York City with fellow classmates on the NYC Field Experience - Media Production trip with the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. ComArtSci offers six different field experiences designed to help students explore career options and network in their field.
“This trip was a huge eye-opener for me as a freshman, because I wasn’t completely sure of what I wanted to do when I came to MSU,” Reed said. “But going to New York put things into perspective for me and helped me see that I can pursue the dreams that I have.”
The trip took students to various media companies, ranging from coverage of music, radio, video — you name it. They met with executives that work in the business, as well as Spartan alums, who explained day-to-day life as professionals in the city.
A love for media at a young age
Growing up, Reed knew that she wanted to be involved in the media industry. She always imagined having her own television show. She decided that majoring in journalism would allow her to explore all of her media interests.
“My favorite part of the trip was seeing people do what they love,” Reed said. “I know in my family, most people who did or didn’t go to college, aren’t doing what they love to do. Going on this trip, I am now more hopeful that I can do what I love to do, especially going as a freshman and knowing I will still have more guidance.”
When Reed was around eight years old, she started singing and songwriting. She began with short stories, which turned into poetry, which turned into songs.
“After I started doing this, I just wanted to keep creating more things,” Reed said. “I really opened up and wanted to know what else I could create. I started making little music videos and getting into cameras. Everything I created, I had to figure it out by myself.”
Her senior year of high school, Reed started The Belle Society, which is a women empowerment group. She started the social media pages for the society and produced videos and facilitated photo shoots, too.
“This is where I self-taught and learned how to do most of this stuff. This society was also a way for my peers and me to lift each other up,” Reed said. “My love for all things media came in high school.”
Seeing opportunity in the city
Reed says she would love to be the female version of Ryan Seacrest one day. In fact, her biggest take-away from the trip was that dreams like this one are actually possible.
“One of the most memorable moments from that trip was meeting an alum that now works at MTV,” Reed said. “It was great to hear how he started as an intern and then came back to work full time.”
The students also visited an alumnus that is working as a news reporter at ABC News. He allowed the students to come back and watch his team in action.
Reed said it was great to be around media professionals and to see MSU alumni making an impact in such a large city.
If she could do anything, she would want to be a singer, songwriter, television personality and producer — she would do it all.
“I love hosting and producing videos, but sometimes it’s hard for me to just focus on one thing,” Reed said. “The possibilities and options of the media industry have always just grabbed my interest.”
By Meg Dedyne