Meet Hannah Mcllree ’22, a senior majoring in Journalism and Media (News) with a minor in Sports Studies. In this blog, Hannah shares how her passion for journalism led her to achieve her dreams and overcome obstacles.
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Can you describe your journey prior to Ball State University?
In high school, I wasn’t sure if college was the right path for me. I didn’t enjoy my classes and really wanted to take a gap year. However, I decided to tour Ball State and immediately fell in love with the campus.
What made you decide on your major at Ball State?
I always really enjoyed watching Youtubers. I loved the creativity and the idea of making my own videos, so I decided that being a sports journalist would give me a similar sense of freedom and fulfillment.
What is your typical day like?
I get up around seven in the morning. I like to go over my emails, just to make sure that I don’t miss anything for classes or if I get an opportunity to interview athletes for WCRD or NewsLink. Then I typically work out and that’s a good stress reliever for me. I love to go for runs. My stepdad is a marathon runner and so I’ve gotten a lot of tips about running from him. After that, usually shower, eat, and then get ready to go to class. I have Cardinal Compass at 9am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So we sit down, and we talk about story ideas that might go into the show or just that we’re going to turn in for class. After that, I’ll usually get in touch with the management team here at WCRD to see how everything’s going because we have so many departments. Then I’ll hang out with my friends and cats. I’m in a sorority, so I’ll hang out with my sorority sisters, once I get done with all of that.
What has been your favorite class or career opportunity during your time at Ball State?
My favorite career opportunity was attending the Arizona Bowl and my favorite class was News 397.
How have your experiences at Ball State shaped your personal growth?
Ball State helped me realize how great but harsh life can be. In my freshman year of college, my grandmother was dying and my dad was unable to work because he was taking care of her. Due to the loss of funds, I was behind on payments and removed from the residence halls. My meal swipes were even revoked. I had no money and my roommate had to let me in and out of the bathroom in our residence halls and even into the building. It was heartbreaking and frankly, I felt betrayed. I started fending for myself and worked really hard on my extracurriculars. Through these experiences, I learned to only rely on myself. Once my success was being more recognized that was when I started getting other opportunities at the University.
How has the community at Ball State supported your growth?
I mean, it’s meant so much to me because we have such state-of-the-art equipment that we get to learn on, which is a huge stepping stone for going out into the real world. We have the nice Sony 4k cameras. We have amazing studios. I mean, even though we can make sales, a lot of the stuff in here (WCRD) has been donated from Ball State. So without the donors giving the money to make that happen, we couldn’t do almost anything. I wouldn’t have even been able to fly to the Arizona Bowl.
I have such a huge appreciation, especially for the alumni that have come back and with whom we’re able to network. With the job I had over the summer, their general managers are actually Ball State alumni so I was able to make that connection and meet that team and secure that job. It means so much to have such amazing, talented alumni that have gone so far so that we can continue to build on this amazing institution.
Could you give us the top three projects you have worked on?
- Working with Milkmen Baseball
- Interview with Yo’heinz Tyler Arizona Bowl
- Any of the episodes I hosted for Cardinal Sports Live
- The first two are on my website: https://hannahmmcilree.wixsite.com/mysite
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
Getting my job with the Augusta Green Jackets. I will be living in Georgia for my job as well, which I’m excited about. If you work hard and hold yourself accountable you will go far. Learn which professors are trustworthy and reliable. You can lean on them when you need help.