Choose Your Own Adventure: SOJC Experiential Learning

What Do You Want to Be Today?
Stories By Ed Dorsch, Laurie Notaro, and Andra Brichacek
Student portraits by Cheyenne Thorpe, Class of 2019

Choose your own adventure. Photographer, writer, multimedia producer? Maybe documentary filmmaker, social media strategist, or ad executive. There are more personas to try—you may even create your own.


August Frank photographing the water


UO students on a rainforest canopy walk in Kakum National Park in Ghana


Students presenting about Allen Hall PR


At the School of Journalism and Communication, students learn the power of storytelling from best-selling authors, industry influencers, research scholars, and Pulitzer Prize winners. They also learn by doing—and making and creating—through experiential learning opportunities.

It all starts with Gateway to Media—a three-course sequence that covers the basics for students engaging in collaborative media projects. Then you may choose journalism, public relations, advertising, or media studies as your focus of study. From there your path branches out into some surprising directions. Your directions.

Don’t worry, you’re not stuck with one hat. Chances are, you’ll be asked to wear several at a time. But all that role-play is also a lot of work. You’ll be collaborating in teams, completing other duties as required, and dealing with the messy reality of reality—the kind of professional experience that your future boss will be asking you about.

Choose Your Own Adventure


Srushti Kamat Srushti


David Choe David
Art Director


Rachel Benner Rachel


Quinn Blackwolf Quinn
PR Account Executive


Travis Kim Travis
Ad Executive


Jaclyn Robinson Jaclyn
Nonprofit PR Strategist


Kim Duyck Kim
Public Information Officer


Ben Knauer Ben
Advertising Copywriter


Kaylee Domzalski Kaylee
Multimedia Journalist


Ashley Rendall Ashley
Magazine Community Builder


Zach Putnam Zach
Documentary Filmmaker


Emma Childs Emma

Learn about magazines by making one—such as Flux, a publication that’s won nearly 300 awards so far. Master public relations by joining a student-run agency with real clients. Explore advertising by developing ad campaigns—or video production by (you guessed it) creating video content.

The list goes on, and it will definitely change next year. Maybe next week. Because we’re keeping pace with some rapidly changing industries. In fact, we’re helping change them ourselves.

Immersive learning adventures also take our students to places such as San Francisco and New York, where they network with industry leaders and learn firsthand what it’s like to work in agencies. Some go even farther afield—for instance, Ghana, where students gain practical, professional experience along with all the personal growth that comes from living and working in a different country.



UO SOJC students Scotty Williams II, Ryan Hus, Duane Harris sitting on a curb with camera equipment


FLUX faculty advisor Todd Milbourn working with students in a classroom.


Science & Memory Alaska students created multimedia stories showing the effects of climate change on Sheridan Glacier

So here’s your client, your deadline, and a staff of dedicated students (just like you) who also get a charge out of staying up late and pushing their best work to a better level. We’ll give you all the tools and advice you need. The rest is up to you.

But be careful. Experiential learning can lead to failure, success, limits pushed, and lifelong lessons. You’ll also graduate with a stellar portfolio, and gain a network of professionals who are familiar with your experience—and your potential.

So what adventures will you choose?

Learning Beyond the Classroom

In the School of Journalism and Communication:

participate in hands-on learning
hold at least one internship
participate in a student publication, agency, group, or competition
attend learning and networking trips