Letters Home: Amanda Klohmann

Amanda Klohmann is an
interaction designer at
Mutual Mobile in Austin,
Texas. She graduated from the
Missouri School of Journalism
in 2011 with a degree in
convergence journalism.
The following letter from ONA Mizzou co-founder Amanda Klohmann was submitted March 5, 2012

I’m going to start this letter home by telling you about another letter. Right before graduation I was handed a sealed envelope. Inside the envelope was a letter I had written to myself a few years before during one of my first journalism classes. The letter was your typical time capsule style activity; write your goals, write your feelings, write your little journalistic heart out. I remember totally blowing it off.

Instead of putting forth too much effort, I just wrote a bulleted list, a simple bucket list of the things I wanted to do as a journalism undergrad. A few years, a lot of deadlines, and a cap and gown later, this list was the perfect way for me to reflect on my time at the #bestjschoolever. Slacking off on the activity had actually worked out just fine. I used my list to take note of the things I had done. I had joined the clubs, earned the academic honors and even found a way to hang out at the Sports Illustrated offices in New York for a summer (my bulleted list may have been brief, but it was oddly specific about that one). I felt great about all of the items I could cross off, but I quickly found there were things on the list I couldn’t touch, things I had never even attempted.

And now, in this letter home, I realize there was a lesson in all of the un-crossed-off items. It is okay for your dreams and goals to change.

You will spend all four years of college learning about yourself and you will spend all four years of college learning about the journalism industry. The dreams you write down as a freshman may be drastically different than the ones you have discovered as a senior. You may be 18 years old and ready to become a political reporter, but by the time you are 22 you are applying for jobs as an advertising account manager. There is no shame in that. I spent just as much time sitting court side with a press pass at Mizzou basketball games taking photos and tweeting scores as I did sitting in the engineering school figuring out how to make an iOS app for the Missouri Department of Transportation work. I crashed the Start Comm field trip to New York and took a radio internship in St. Louis. At the end of four years at Mizzou, "random" was the word most commonly used to describe my resume. Senior year this stressed me out, but now I know better.

Spend your four years at Mizzou pursuing your dreams, all of them, no matter how many times they may change. The journalism industry changes on a daily basis, what you want to do in it can too.

I’ve only been in the “real working world” since June, but I’ve already noticed the common trait shared by all of the people in my company who do the best work and have the most respect. They are passionate. They are passionate about what they do and about making their work reach its full potential. If you don’t take every opportunity to pursue all of your goals and all of your interests, you will never find the things you are most passionate about.

I used to agree that random was the best word to describe my resume, but now I think two different words describe it more adequately. No regrets.

Amanda Klohmann
BJ '11 Convergence
Interaction designer at Mutual Mobile (Austin, Texas)


Check out the rest of the Letters Home series

Editor's note: If you're a Mizzou journalism alum who would like to contribute to the Letters Home series, send us an email at onamizzou@gmail.com with your letter, your name, your sequence and graduation year, your current job and contact information.

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