College of Arts & Science at Miami University
Christina Kazanjian (Class of 2011)
- senior double major in journalism and American studies
- from Bloomfield Hills, MI
- interned at Channel 9 in Cincinnati and Bravo/NBC in New York
Update (September 2011)
Christina now works in New York City as an assistant to the president of Diane von Furstenberg fashion design.
[Read more about Christina's position in The Miami Student article "Alumna lands dream job at NY fashion house."]
My advisors in the College of Arts and Science, journalism and American studies made [choosing a major] so much easier. I realized how important it was for me to attend a school like Miami where I could have so much one-on-one time with the heads of these departments.
"My name is Christina Kazanjian and, in 2007, I was a high school senior searching for the perfect college: the one that would balance challenging academic opportunities with exciting extracurricular activities. I knew I wanted to make new friends, take unique classes and contribute to on-campus organizations. What I didn't know was who I would become by 2011.
As a freshman I experimented with a variety of courses, all of which resulted in the same major: undecided. Chemistry, anthropology, gerontology, mathematics — you name it, I tried it. It wasn't until sophomore year, when I took my first journalism class, that I would catch a glimpse of my future.
After taking just a couple of journalism classes, I knew that I wanted to be in broadcast journalism with a focus on entertainment and popular culture.
Because journalism majors need to have a second major, I also declared American studies. What I love about American studies is the diversity within the major that allows you to choose from 5 different tracks:
- American Institutions, Ideas, and Experiences
- Diversity and Difference
- Public Culture and Civic Engagement
- Popular Culture, Media, Consumerism.
And, if those don't seem interesting enough, you can self-design a concentration. Because my interests met in the intersection between journalism and entertainment, I chose Popular Culture, Media and Consumerism.
A side note: Picking a major is hard when you're not sure what you want to be. My advisors in the College of Arts and Science, journalism and American studies made this process so much easier. I realized how important it was for me to attend a school like Miami where I could have so much one-on-one time with the heads of these departments."
"After solidifying my majors, it was time to get some real world experience. In my mind, there was just one way to do this: internships.
In the summer after my sophomore year, I interned with a fashion and art magazine called Clear. Although I loved print journalism, I knew that television was where I wanted to be.
Then one of my journalism professors suggested I apply to intern with WCPO-TV Channel 9 in Cincinnati. A couple of e-mails and interviews later I became the newest intern with Channel 9. I worked there 3 days a week during the spring semester of my junior year. My experience at Channel 9 reinforced my desire to be in television, but I still hadn't fulfilled my dream of being in entertainment television.
With solid internship experience under my belt and the yearning to take New York City by storm, I dug deep to think of someone — anyone — who would have a connection for me in The Big Apple. And then I remembered Marissa, a recent Syracuse grad who worked for the president of Bravo, a cable channel owned by NBC.
Another side note: I learned from many of my mentors at Miami to have the confidence to fearlessly utilize my connections. Nothing is as valuable as getting your foot in the door and I learned that priceless lesson (and gained the confidence to do it) during my time in Oxford.
Again, after interviewing and little poking and prodding, I became a summer intern with NBC, specifically with Bravo in the program planning department. I lived in the most amazing city in the world while moseying my way to 30 Rockefeller Center every day for work. In other words, a dream come true.
Because of my proximity to the most prestigious networking opportunities in entertainment, I was able to interview for an entry-level position with NBC following my graduation. Two days after leaving NYC, I learned that I had secured the position. Relieved, ecstatic, crazed are just a few of the emotions I felt that day."
Not done yet
"I don't feel that just because I have a job I've marked the end of my internships. In fact, my advisors in the College of Arts and Science have helped me to potentially set up another internship with NBC in New York during my last semester. This way, I will be able to finish up my last 12 credit hours with a mixture of internship credit and independent study.
With constant support, creativity in scheduling and unmatched accessibility, I was able to become a successful student prepared (and excited!) for the real world. In 2007, I left high school without a trace of direction. In 2011, I'll leave college with confidence in my future and a priceless education to help me along the way.
Look out New York: this Miami grad is coming your way."