Meet Sophia Blackwell, a Media and Communication Studies sen
By: Louna Temsah
Photo Credit: Sophia Blackwell
Sophia will be graduating this spring and looking forward to working close to her home and family for the government. Coming back to school after a few years out, she discusses her ways of managing her personal and academic life.
Q: Hi! Would you like to introduce yourself for those who don’t know you?
Hi, my name is Sophia Blackwell, I’m a senior here at UMBC and a transfer student from College of Southern Maryland (CSM).
Q: What made you come back to school? And why did you pick UMBC?
After I finished my two year degree at CSM, I decided I wanted to use my opportunity to finish my BA degree. As an adult learner, it was hard assimilating back into school, but I stayed strong because I wanted a better life for my children and I. I chose UMBC because initially I wanted to go to dental school at UMD, so getting my undergraduate degree at UMBC would help me get there.
Q: Outside of UMBC, who are you?
Hmmm, I would say I am a fun loving person. I enjoy nature and doing fun activities with my kids such as crafts, bike riding, going to events, and just getting out of the house. My kids are my world so everything revolves around their lives. Joseph is 9 and he’s in 4th grade, and my daughter Hannah is 7 and in 2nd grade. We also have a dog named Ivy, she’s a golden retriever. Go retrievers!
Q: You say that you are a mother of 2, what are your tips and tricks on balancing your academic and personal life? Do you catch a break?
This might sound weird, but coming to school is my break haha! I feel more focused and relaxed when I’m at school. Being at home is hard because of the many distractions, house work etc. My tips for any parent returning to school is to keep a tight schedule and know that the sacrifice is temporary. For me, my google calendar is my best friend. Between kids appointments, due dates for class work, and work schedules my calendar keeps me on track. Everything is in one place and that works best for me.
Q: If you could go back in time and change your major, would you?
Nope! I love this degree. It is so versatile and it also allows me to use my creativity.
Q: What did you choose to focus your capstone project on?
For my capstone, I chose how the media portrays immigration and its implications. A lot of our views and perceptions are based on what we see in the media and this is an important subject to explore in how it is framed and interpreted in our society.
Q: Were you always interested in that subject?
Not really, but I did always have an empathetic view on how migrants are viewed because of misinformation.
Q: Have you completed your internship requirements? Tell me about it?
Yes I have! I did two really cool internships so far. The first was last summer and I got to work at the Baltimore City Hall for the Inspector General, Isabel Cummings. I got to design and summarize the annual report which was so much fun! Also, currently, I am working for Senator Charles Sydnor as a Legislative Aide.
Q: What was the process of applying for your internship like?
Both processes were pretty easy. The only hard part was the interview process.
Q: Did any MCS classes come in handy throughout your internship ?
Yes they have! Especially for my internship at the City Hall creating the annual report.
Q: What advice would you give to freshmen coming into UMBC about to begin their MCS journey?
I would advise them to always feel brave enough to speak up in class, many will learn from you and you'll learn alot about yourself. Also the teachers will help you, never feel afraid to ask them.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
My plans after graduation are to work close to home for the government. I live very close to the Pax River Navy base so there are plenty of opportunities for me to make a great income and put my communications degree to good use.
Q: If you could, what advice would you give your younger self?
An advice I would give my younger self would be that “It’s going to be hard, but it’s so worth it.”, “Be very careful who you chose to be close to you”, and “You ARE good enough, you ARE smart enough and you ARE worth it”.
Posted: April 19, 2023, 2:19 PM