MCST Student Shares Top Reasons Why You Should Consider the Program

Banner photo by Jack McGuirk '21

When he isn’t shredding the slopes or driving around with his camera in search of the perfect shot, Jack McGuirk ’21 spends his time studying in JWU’s Media & Communication program. As graduation approaches, he's taken some time to reflect on his experience at JWU and share the biggest reasons why other students should come here — for the Media & Communication program and in general.

1. The program is flexible and gives students plenty of options 

"You can really choose your own path and take all the core classes but then really mix your electives to go for what you want to do," says McGuirk. "Whether it's writing, media production, podcasting — you can really carve your own way through the program."

From its conception, the Media program was designed to be this way. Students get to explore all the facets of the media and communication industries, but also learn skills that will prepare them to work in virtually any industry they choose.

2. State-of-the-art production equipment and creative spaces offer a truly hands-on education.

In many of the program's production-focused courses, classwork consists of playing with the awesome equipment in the fully decked out Center for Media Production.

“What I love about checking out the equipment is being able to play around with it and just try new things and learn,” says McGuirk. “You can test things out before you decide if you want to buy it or not.” 

The JWU senior has already started building up his own inventory of equipment, which he uses to photograph landscapes, architecture, and portraits of his classmates. 

3. JWU's small class sizes and dedicated professors allow you to build strong connections.

"I think this major is going to grow so much within the next five years that it will be one of the top programs around," says McGuirk. "That’s all due to the MCST students' willingness and desire to learn new skills, and because the professors are all here for us and want us to succeed in and out of the classroom." 

He also noted that he loves knowing he can go to his professors with any question and get the help he needs. Plus, the small class sizes allow students to get to know each other better and make new friends. "The major is small enough where you get to know a majority of the kids in it," says McGuirk.

4. Internship/Externship opportunities can help set you on a path to success.

McGuirk's recent internship experiences have taught a lot of valuable lessons. He used a project opportunity in his Sound Production class to capture his experiences in podcast format.

In the podcast, he tells the story of how his internship with WPRI News 12 was cut short in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The disappointment of the canceled internship plus finding out his senior year would shift to remote learning made McGuirk felt some uncertainty about what might happen beyond college. But then, he got an awesome externship opportunity in NESN’s Grand Slam Training series, a virtual externship program that provides professional development skills and networking opportunities with NESN employees from a variety of departments.

“This program has opened my eyes to new roles and positions within the television production industry,” said McGuirk. “It’s also taught me how to answer the question ‘tell me about yourself?’ and it’s helped me gain confidence for those nerve-racking job interviews.”  

As graduation quickly approaches, interviews will certainly be in McGuirk's future. But, his ultimate goal is to work in the television industry as an executive producer or director. “I’d love to be able to say the Monday after the Super Bowl that I was in charge of what everyone watched on TV. That would be the dream role.”

With his JWU degree, we have no doubt he'll reach that goal and more. We wish you luck, Wildcat!

Explore the Media & Communication program 

Photography by Jack McGuirk '21

A photo of a forest hill by Jack McGuirk '21
A photo of a church surrounded by autumn leaves by Jack McGuirk '21