Hannah Margaret McDonald – Digital Media Production and Spanish

          “Edinboro taught me how I can blend two things that I love into one career path.”

          BTB McDonald1

          Journalism and Public Relations

          Less than two weeks after graduation, I will be boarding a plane to move to St. John, the U.S. Virgin Islands, with my cat (Otis) and two suitcases. In the islands, I was offered a position serving and bartending at a high-end restaurant. I will do this in the evenings while I work on my travel writing, ongoing projects, and my blog, which will be officially launched in the two weeks leading up to commencement. The blog will document and share my travels in addition to the platform for home yoga and female empowerment that I've started creating on Instagram in the last six months.

          While in the islands, I will be exploring as much as possible. This particular island is the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands and about 60 percent of it is National Park land. I will explore, hike, and document day and weekend trips I take while living down there. I'll write about them and send the pieces to travel magazines or use them as content for my travel blog. In addition to those projects, this past semester I started working on a creative nonfiction piece, which I would like to extend into a novel. 

          Edinboro gave me a jump start on traveling, my second love behind writing. My freshman year, I was chosen for a study abroad program through the PASSHE honors program. We went to Belize for a life-changing, three-week trip where we became fully immersed in the culture, people and geography of the place. That trip was invigorating and showed me that my life will be most fulfilling when I'm traveling — seeing the gorgeous planet we are living on and meeting the people who inhabit it — and writing about it for those who wish to travel in the future or can't and enjoy travel writing as the next best thing. 

          I went into journalism because I knew I loved to write, but I also knew that I didn't have a talent for fiction. I wanted to learn the craft in an applicable way and learn about media as a whole. What fascinates me about journalism is how, when done correctly and objectively, it is arguably the truest form of documentation for people, events and life in general. 

          I give my support system of friends and family all the credit for helping me get to this place. Without the love and support of my parents during long and hard semesters, I would not be graduating. They are my rock, and I love them more than anyone on Earth. In addition to them, I'm thankful for my friends with whom I've formed some of the most honest and supportive relationships.

          Edinboro was incredibly helpful with helping me get all 120 credits, a study abroad program, an internship and multiple editorial roles with The Spectator squeezed into three years. The career center was always helpful when I needed to draft a cover letter or had questions about job searching and finding internships. And, as I said before, Edinboro taught me how I can blend two things that I love into one career path.