Student Spotlight with Marissa Luckie
Name: Marissa Luckie
Hometown: Charleston, SC
Career Goal: To become a writer
Why did you choose Auburn?
Marissa: My grandpa went here, so it was always on the radar growing up, but I was really set on UNC Chapel Hill when I was a high school senior. My mom took me on a college tour and I went to UNC Chapel Hill, Clemson, and then Georgia and Auburn. The first place we stopped was UNC Chapel Hill and I didn't really love it, which was kind of disappointing, because I was hoping that was going to be the place. Then we went to Clemson and it was kind of the same thing. I liked Georgia but then we came to Auburn and it was one of those things where I just knew. It was awesome to have the feeling that everyone said you would have. It's just that homey feeling, but it's not too small. At Auburn you can walk around, and it's gorgeous and everyone is so friendly.
You’re from Charleston. What was it like being an out-of-state student?
Marissa: Yeah, there was one person from my high school who came to Auburn but we weren’t friends. I am so glad that I went out of state. If you're thinking about going out of state, absolutely do it. I think it pushes you to meet new people. It's more of a full college experience. You're away from home and you have to do things by yourself. When you're not close enough to go home every weekend, it forces you to be fully present and to step out of your comfort zone and do those things that make you feel at home.
How did you decide on your major, journalism, and what are your career goals?
Marissa: My sophomore year of high school I had a great English teacher, and he really the ideas behind literature more than just the literature itself. Form and structure was not his thing. He got me into what I like about writing and words - the human connection and telling stories. And that's obviously more fitted to journalism. I love to learn and I think journalism is great for that. You can meet new people and see new things. You're connecting and telling stories. As far as my career aspirations, I want to write but I'm not completely sure where yet. I'm taking the next year and going to teach English in Budapest. I want to start a blog so I can keep writing while I'm over there.
What has your experience in the journalism program been like and who are your favorite professors and classes?
Marissa: The journalism program at Auburn is great. I don't think there's a teacher in journalism who I would not feel comfortable going to during office hours and chatting or asking for help. Even now I'm working on a story for one of my classes and I needed help finding sources. So I went to one of my past professors, Mr. Rawls. He’s been really helpful and instrumental in helping me get contacts and find sources. He’s so willing to share his knowledge and experience. I love Dr. Carvalho. He actually wrote a recommendation when I applied for a Fulbright. Even though I only had him for class once, he was so willing to help. Nan Farley is the same way. I had her for advanced magazine and feature writing. Everyone is so kind and wants to be of use to their students.
My favorite journalism class was advanced reporting with Mr. Rawls because we got to partner with the Montgomery Advertiser to write stories about the campaign. It was cool to see your work in an actual newspaper. Going to interview candidates, being in the Montgomery Advertiser’s newsroom on election night, watching the results come in, eating pizza with the staff and being all together. And calling candidates as results were coming in, it was so much fun and an amazing experience.
Was there any advice that you wish somebody would have given you when you were a freshman?
Marissa: I put a lot of pressure on myself to know immediately what I wanted to do. I came in as a journalism major and immediately started working at The Plainsman, which was a wonderful experience. I'm so glad I did that. But I kept pushing and pushing and pushing and I never took the time to take a breath and look at all of the other options. Even though I'm glad where I ended up, it was hard for a couple of years. Around the second semester of my sophomore year and into my junior year, I was feeling a little unsure and I was also feeling stuck because I felt like I was too far along to switch majors. I wish I had taken the time to do the freshman year thing. And also talk to career specialists and different people to see what else was out there, so I was absolutely sure that I was where I was supposed to be.
What has been your most impactful experience here?
Marissa: Academically, The Plainsman. It really taught me so much about writing and about being a journalist. For the next two years in my classes, I felt like I had a head start on things. I knew how to do citations. I knew the editing. It was my first introduction to the journalistic style of writing. It also made me put myself out there. I had to call people, cold calls. Before I didn’t even want to call the doctor or want to order food. That was always uncomfortable for me. Getting out there and making phone calls and having interviews and approaching people was so instrumental to me having the confidence in myself that I could do it. And that's an essential part of journalism.
And sorority recruitment, which is surprising to say because I'm not that involved in my sorority now. It pushed me to take that first step as an Auburn student, and to step outside my comfort zone, which is what freshman year is about. I made it through the week with no tears, and I ended up joining a sorority That one week of recruitment made me feel like, I can do this and Auburn can be my home
Tell us about your internship.
Marissa: I did an internship last summer. It's a requirement for journalism majors and I'm so glad that it is because it really gives us an advantage. I interned at a technology company in Charleston called Blackbaud. It was a great experience. I loved learning the ins and outs of PR, which is very related to journalism. And I got to work with journalists from the PR side, which was helpful. It was great to know that I could handle an actual working environment. It was my first time having an actual job and one in that field. It was just nice to be immersed in it and see what day to day life is actually like for someone in PR.
Last Updated: April 23, 2019