Unexpected Outcomes of Senior Thesis

I am an aspiring multimedia journalist, so for my Senior Thesis project I chose to create and produce Eco Philly, a video series that profiles various people and organizations promoting sustainability in Philadelphia. While embarking on the project, I honed my project management and video production skills. In pre-production, I experienced the frustrations of securing interviews and preparing equipment. In production, my shots became more steady. And during post-production, I gained a better eye in managing smoother transitions. I expected that I would have an increased mastery of these skills once I completed this project.

Producing Eco Philly also yielded outcomes that I didn’t expect.

Through my project, I’ve been able to build professional and personal relationships with many Philadelphia community leaders. I conducted my first interview with the Philly Fixers Guild at one of their Repair Fairs, where I met other people interested in participating with Eco Philly. These connections led to more interviews. Now, I have generated a list of contacts that I could potentially reach out to if I were to continue my video series.

While shooting, I learned a lot about my interviewees’ personal lives, aspirations, and passions, which in turn allowed me to share my own personal and career goals. When I interviewed Katie Monroe from Women Bike PHL, she explained that the group was born out of her senior thesis research on gender inequality and biking. After graduation, she formed Women Bike PHL when she started to work for the Bicycle Coalition of Great Philadelphia. Her story made me consider how my thesis could impact my future career.

After attending a Women Bike PHL Coffee Club meeting to shoot some B-roll, I felt inspired to try urban biking for myself. Katie added me to the Women Bike PHL Facebook group, where I found a ton of resources on biking events and classes in Philadelphia. Even though their participation in my project has ended, I feel that I can still reach out to them for future projects.

Producing Eco Philly was very fulfilling for me. I’ve received excellent feedback from the organizations and people that I featured. It also felt good to publicize the issues and causes I covered, including sustainable dining, recycled art, and gender inequality in bicycling.

I realized from this project that I’m not interested in doing just video or just writing as a career. My dream job would be multimedia, encompassing a combination of writing, video, audio, as well as digital marketing. And I’ve also discovered that I want to work in a career that helps a community or promotes a cause I am passionate about.