The past four years have changed me to my core, and I’m so happy I ended up here.
Interviewing the family cat when you’re 3 years old doesn’t necessarily mean you are destined for a life of media and journalism. But in Blair Mishleau’s case, that was just the beginning.
After affirming his love for all things media by working on the school newspaper as a freshman in high school, the Wisconsin-raised Mishleau knew he could find success at Columbia College Chicago. The college’s emphases on employing working professionals as faculty, promoting real-world experience, and providing internship opportunities are what inspired Mishleau to enroll.
It’s safe to say that he’s taken advantage of all of the above.
As a Columbia student, Mishleau landed several internships, including competitive gigs at the Chicago Tribune, Logo TV, and online British magazine Don’t Panic. As a result, he’s had multiple articles appear in the Tribune, and he traveled to New York City to report on the state’s legalization of same-sex marriage and London to cover a variety of topics ranging from music and film to technology.
That’s a far cry from interviewing a cat with a tape recorder.
In May 2012, Mishleau graduated with an interdisciplinary degree that combines journalism and interactive arts and media, which he labels “digital journalism,” along with a minor in American Sign Language.
Mishleau credits his success and opportunities—not to mention his identity—to the college.
“Being Columbia, to me, is taking the last Brown Line train because you were just finishing the perfect film shoot,” he says. “It’s being kicked out of a building at 11 p.m. because you fell into your work and couldn’t get out. It’s learning a new skill every day.
“It’s something I’ve lived the last four years, and something I won’t easily live without,” he adds. “The past four years have changed me to my core, and I’m so happy I ended up here.”