Northwestern Personal Statement

Northwestern Personal Statement

Please provide a statement of 500 words or less describing your interest in this program, your goals for your future career, and how you think this program will help you achieve those goals.

If you had asked my family when I was younger what I would enjoy doing when I grew up, I am positive that they would not say sharing stories about myself in front of any sort of audience. But, despite being tremendously shy as a kid, that’s exactly what I have come to enjoy doing. While working on articulating my thoughts better, I kept a journal during my two years of high school in Costa Rica. I graduated to a blog while studying abroad in Israel and Turkey in college, so my writing became available to anyone with access to the internet.

This past year, I made the move to live storytelling where I recount true stories in front of an audience. In the handful of shows I have participated in so far, a key element of any successful storyteller is the ability to connect with the audience. People are much more likely to enjoy a story if they can personally relate to the emotions or situations being told. Journalism, I believe, would allow me to further develop my storytelling skills and follow leads outside of my own personal experience.

Despite my lack of formal journalistic experience, my past academic work and personal writing samples demonstrate my ability to tell complex stories and my interest in approaching topics from creative angles. I plan for the focus of my future journalism career to be blending lifestyle and investigative reporting to humanize previously marginalized groups or unexplored areas of society.

Medill offers many opportunities to reach this goal with its location in a major U.S. city and a 12:1 student-faculty ratio. Following my own news beat in Chicago would give me hands-on training that would prepare me for the real world after graduation. Medill has a reputation as a leader in promoting new and innovative media platforms, especially digital media, which I look forward to taking advantage of as well. This multimedia approach to storytelling would provide me with a solid understanding of many different tools that I could use in producing stories that are original and effective.

I am extremely interested in the Medill Explores and Global Residency programs. The opportunity to work for an international newsroom alongside local reporters before graduating is an experience that few students outside of Medill have. Adapting my storytelling skills to a different audience and culture would be a great challenge but one that would make me a stronger journalist in the end.

Working with the extensive alumni network and knowledgeable Career Services team would complete my Medill experience and hopefully lead me to find a career that matches my journalistic strengths and interests. Pursuing a degree in journalism is a logical next step in my career because I have discovered my desire to report stories that are relatable and that matter. I am confident that Medill would provide me with the necessary skills, real world training, and connections to be a positive influence in the media and actively work toward this goal.


-Peter Jones