College of Arts & Science & University Studies
Amy Scalia: "Without Having that Liberal Arts Degree, I Wouldn’t Be as Effective"
(In this video Amy Scalia [Miami 2004], publisher of Cincy Chic, describes how one professor opened her eyes with regard to the future of media.)
"I came to become a mass comm [communications] major because I wanted to have a very broad base and I knew I wanted to go into media. My scholarship was English-focused, so, basically, I had to take a certain amount of English courses, but it could be very general across the communication majors. I wanted to go into mass comm; I knew I wanted to do something in the media. Media actually runs in my family. My grandma was one of the first newspaper reporters in Ohio and I went to college thinking, 'I'm going to be a newspaper reporter.'
"One of the professors there talked to me about media and how it's going to change, and through that amazing conversation with that professor, he opened my eyes to what the future of the media would be, and that's why I took the specialty in electronic journalism in the mass comm department, and it simply changed the course of my life.
"I'm so glad that Bruce Drushel told me about the electronic journalism focus in mass comm because I learned a little bit of graphic design, web design, web streaming video, and also writing. It was this perfect world where I was able to graduate and be sort of a one-woman band. I think that's what originally got me hired right out of college. A big publishing house in Philadelphia hired me because I was very unique. No one else had all of the capabilities that I had; so essentially, they got to hire one person and got a whole team of people.
"So, I packed up my bags and I moved to Philadelphia and I took on this really great job where, essentially, I got to start my own business under someone else's wing, and that's what eventually got me to start Cincy Chic, because I realized how easy it was. But I wouldn't have gotten that initial job if it weren't for Miami and how they prepared me.
"The advice that I would give to a student, if I was talking to them right now, it would be to select a general area of whatever you want to go into. I don't think you have to be absolutely specific because, especially as a business owner, you wear a lot of hats. The more you know, the better it is, which is why I like the Miami Plan, where you're able to learn a lot of different things about a lot of different fields. In the real world you're not sitting in a silo; you're integrating with other fields; if you know how to do their jobs, or how to collaborate with them, the better.
"I think a liberal arts degree is so important because it really touches on all the soft sides of business and running a business. I think without having that liberal arts degree, I wouldn't be as effective as I've been able to."