Get to know some of our College of Media students! Emmie Larson is a Class of 2023 journalism major.
When did you decide on being a journalist, and why did you stick with that decision?
Oddly enough, I took a career quiz in high school that said I would be a journalist. I always knew that I wanted to write in some way, shape, or form that would connect with people and give me a voice. So that quiz has always been a joke of mine, but it solidified what I wanted to do. Journalists live for deadlines. As a result, I schedule life on a day-to-day basis. I sometimes have to find pockets of time to complete work, sometimes sacrificing sleep. However, I might just be a born procrastinator. I work well under pressure, and deadlines make my work cleaner and sharper, forcing quick thinking to decide what is important.
How did you get involved in Fighting Illini Productions, and what do you do there?
Junior year, I took a producing class that allowed me to work at Fighting Illini Productions. This experience helped me find exactly what I want to do with my career, working in sports broadcasting. This year, as executive producer of Illini Sports Night, I oversee my peers and I have a voice on what we cover for our different shows, whether that’s non-revenue, sports, more women’s sports, or different topics. I try to have everything done the day before the show airs, but sometimes there are a few last-minute changes. We might have some extra time on the air, where I can make some additions, like putting in a segment highlighting the athlete of the week.
What do you want to do in the future?
My big dream is media production or directing in sports, so I can get a voice in the industry. After I am done producing a show, I want to be able to walk away saying, “I produced this” or “I was the director of this show.” Once I get a bigger presence in directing, I want to use my voice to give more exposure to women’s sports.
Do you have any tips for fledgling college students?
Make friends with upperclassmen because that is how I got involved. My peers encouraged me to try different things, telling me that I was never too young to do certain things, such as produce. Most of my peers who produce are seniors, so I was a bit worried to try things as a junior. However, those upperclassmen taught me a lot. If you just sit back and listen, you will learn a lot.
—Interview by Piotr Fedczuk, New Voices Intern