Evergreeners explore the city that never sleeps

Three journalism students, industry tours with Murrow college.



Ivy Schank, Alisa Volz, Mikayla Finnerty and Saydee Phothivonsa on Monday, March 13, 2023.

A group of Murrow students spent the first half of their spring break in New York City visiting some of the top public relations and news organizations in the country, connecting with Murrow alum and seeing all the iconic sightseeing locations. 

Coordinated by Sara Stout, Murrow College Assistant Dean, and Justin Barnes, Murrow scholarly assistant professor, this group of students got to experience what working and living in New York could look like as well as learn from Murrow alumni about how they got to the Big Apple. 

Saydee Phothivongsa

There were so many highlights of this trip for me, it is hard to choose just a few to share! This was not my first time in NYC (although, the first time I went, it was for an 8th-grade-trip and I try not to remember that time in my life), but it was the first time I felt like I actually understood and appreciated the city. I was surprised by how comfortable I felt there and how much excitement and energy the city gave me. 

Mikayla and I made it a point to list out all the places we wanted to see and things we wanted to do to really make the most of the few days we were there. My favorite thing we did was visit Central Park.

This was my first time visiting Central Park and I truly underestimated just how vast it is. There were so many sights inside the park as well, like the Bethesda Terrace, which has been an iconic New York scene in many movies.

The industry tours we went on did not disappoint. As both a public relations and multimedia journalism major, I was able to see the inner workings of organizations in both areas. Visiting places like the New York Times and NBC studios made me realize that the work I am doing here at the Evergreen really is preparing me for an amazing career, and meeting so many Murrow alums in NYC showed me that it is possible to get there someday. We even got to visit the set of “Nightly News with Lester Holt” and watch Lester himself record pieces of the show – definitely a pinch me moment!  

We also had the opportunity to tour a few PR agencies, such as MSL, where I was able to see what working at a PR firm would be like, and I loved it! It was inspiring and reassuring to know that there are two really solid career paths for me where I can see myself thriving in either one. 

I would encourage everyone to take a trip like this. It was the perfect opportunity to grow professionally and personally and I left the city only wanting more. 

Mikayla Finnerty

I felt safer in the city of New York than I have ever felt in Seattle. I grew up on the west side, with Seattle being the home base for any city experience, and so I had fears of roaming New York. 

My experience in New York was filled with exploration and learning. Our Airbnb was located in Brooklyn, about a 40 min Subway ride to Manhattan. Saydee and I joked that we were “locals” by day two. And in a sense it was true. New York is a vast city with gems at every corner, but once you figured out what was uptown and downtown, directions become simple. 

It is hard to pick just one industry tour that stood out to me. With the group being a mixture of journalism, public relations and advertising majors, each industry tour was tailored to some more than others. But at each industry tour, as a multimedia journalism major, I could see myself working there. 

Some of the places we toured were JASA, NBC, Mustache agency and The New York Times. At each of these, I could see my skills that I have learned in college being applied. I could also see other interests outside of my major being implemented into the real world. It brought reassurance that I was on the right track, and to not stress about where I was going to end up after college. 

Overall, as someone who has always wanted to go to New York, this experience was amazing. The structure of the trip allowed us to sightsee outside of the industry tours, so you weren’t holed up in the Airbnb. Sara Stout, the Murrow College of Communications Director, was very hands-on, and I appreciate all her guidance through this experience. 

After this trip, my advice would be to get out and do it. Do not let your fears and anxiety hold you back from being your best self.

Alisa Volz

Visiting New York was such a dream come true to me. I had always wanted to live in a big city, especially New York, and I had such an amazing time doing so for a week. Going with the Murrow College made it even better because I knew I was in a safe and supportive group of peers and faculty. I loved getting to explore the city alongside other Cougs. 

It is difficult to narrow down one favorite activity, but a major stand out is the industry visit to The New York Times. I felt starstruck by being in their newsroom and sitting in on their editorial meeting, and it solidified that professional journalism is my dream. That industry visit further ignited my passion for writing, and made me realize that I will do as much as I can to work at a major newspaper like The New York Times someday. 

My favorite sightseeing activity was seeing “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” on Broadway. Along with my passion for writing and journalism, I am also a huge fan of theater. I’ve participated in plays and musicals since I was a kid, and it has always been on my bucket list to see a show on Broadway in New York. I was so excited that we got to do so on this trip and it was even better than I could have imagined. Everything about the play was so amazing, from the beautiful Lyric Theaszater to the acting and lighting. I felt so inspired throughout our trip as an actor and as a journalist. Visiting New York was such a beneficial experience.