Monday, February 28, 2011

Whirlwind Tour of the Windy City

With the IU School of Journalism preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary this fall, the school has reached out to alumni across the country to participate in the celebrations!

Millennium Park, the site of my favorite tourist attraction-The Bean!

This weekend, 30 School of Journalism Ambassadors and Honors students made the four-and-a-half hour bus drive to Chicago, the second largest hub of SOJ alumni, for a reception and celebration. We networked with alumni, met prospective students and got to know one another better. This celebration was part of a growing trend I see on the Bloomington campus to connect students to alumni and prospective students.

The city!

At Thursday night's reception, alumni enjoyed hearing about all the fantastic programs current students are a part of, including travel courses, organizations, publications and new multimedia courses. We swapped business cards after sharing stories that compared IU past and present before students went out to explore the Windy City.

Friday was packed as students were divided into groups based on our areas of interest and taken on two different media visits. My interest in public relations sent me to Weber-Shandwick and Digitas, two PR firms in downtown Chicago with different takes on an evolving industry. Other students visited ABC, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Magazine.

Students tour the Weber-Shandwick PR firm offices.

We ended our whirlwind tour of the Windy City with a trip to the Cadillac Theater to see Broadway's "Les Miserables." The gorgeous sets, beautiful costumes and talented cast complemented the stunning music and I absolutely loved my first introduction to the classic story. It was a long 36-hour trip, but the networking and opportunity to experience the Windy City was worth the 5 a.m. arrival!

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