Ellie Booton is from Prairie Village, Kansas, and is in her third year at the University of Kansas. She is pursuing a major in journalism/strategic communication and a minor in business. She is the digital media coordinator for the KU Center for Digital Inclusion, is on the University Daily Kansan marketing staff, and is a member of the KU Ad Club. Last year, Ellie was the event coordinator for her sorority and was a public affairs intern for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This summer, she will work as a brand and communications intern for Lockton Companies in Kansas City. Ellie is an archivist of ideas and words and is constantly on the hunt for inspiration through new experiences, new people and new stories.
Ask and you shall receive. The J-School is designed to give you as much as you put in, which sparks initiative in students who are thirsty for success. If you want to gain work experience, look to The Agency, Media Crossroads and the UDK (among many others) to answer your call. If you seek strong mentorships, you can find it with supervisors and professors. If you know what you’re looking for, ask for it. Anything can be made possible.
“Help will always be given at (Stauffer-Flint) to those who ask for it.” - J.K. Rowling/Ellie Booton
Research methods with Joseph Erba. Erba’s zest for research is contagious, and after a semester of focus groups and SPSS, it itched its way into my heart. This class is unlike any other in the journalism school; it allows students to problem solve for clients through qualitative communications research and present their findings in a persuasive way. Research is at the core of this major, so this class is an exciting way to learn the basics of it. As Erba would say, it’s amazing what you can learn by talking to people.
Journalism is about your portfolio. When you graduate, it won’t matter whether you got an A or a C in Journalism 101 (sorry, Professor Benson). What matters most is that you have something to show of your time here. So, conduct research. Edit videos. Write, design. Do it all. There is no better time to try out investigative reporting, to see if you’re cut out to be an account executive at The Agency, or to see how your voice sounds on the radio at KJHK. Put yourself in the position to build your repertoire by getting involved with student media and putting your best effort into projects, no matter how small they may seem. By the end, you’ll have an impressive portfolio to show off.
In high school, I wrote, designed and edited for my high school’s newspaper, the Shawnee Mission East Harbinger. From staff writer to editor-in-chief, I thrived on the thrill of the process of building a bold publication. Here, I was able to edit hundreds of stories, craft leads, pitch ideas and even dip my toes into broadcasting. Because of the Harbinger, journalism was the natural choice for me. However, I was looking for something slightly different than reporting, which is where strategic communications came in. This major introduced to me a new side of journalism — research-based storytelling in fields like advertising and public relations — and is the side of journalism that I will pursue as a career.
Looking forward, I’d like to diversify my cultural experiences to prepare myself for a career in global journalism. Ideally, I’ll finally get around to mastering Spanish and get a taste of media systems around the globe. As journalism becomes increasingly globalized, I’d like to learn more about the world around me.