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Journalism Major Lauren Holt’s Passion for Media Leads to a Career Path

Growing up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, Journalism major Lauren Holt first became interested in media through her avid listening to National Public Radio podcasts such as,

“Up First,” “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me,” and “Hidden Brain.” As time carried on, she started to envision a career pursuit. “It started an idea in my mind like what if I could work on something like this one day. I also had a vision that people in radio would be cool and nice to work with.”

When looking at colleges, Lauren chose Columbia College Chicago because of its natural fit.

“Part of it was practical because it’s not super far from where I live, yet I also knew they had my major and that it’s a great school with a lot of connections. That’s important.”

At Columbia Lauren has delved into opportunities on both the podcasting and radio side. Both of these endeavors allow her to use her extensive writing background and creative abilities. One such pleasure is spending this semester as the creator, host, and producer of her own weekly show on WCRXFM. “The show airs every Monday from 11-3pm and is called, “A Different Kind of Happy Hour.” Essentially, it’s a show that’s meant to encourage, uplift and just bring you joy.”

This past summer Lauren also was able to partake in her first internship. The internship was based around podcasting, but also gave her the opportunity to work closely with high school level students. According to Lauren, “The biggest thing I learned while working with younger students was people will respond to the energy you give them. I’m naturally soft spoken and introverted, so I knew I had to step out of that to help engage the students and also to get them to focus at moments.”

Lauren’s empathy and persistence to succeed comes from a vast number of mentors who influenced and inspired her. “I grew up in the ballet dance world, so most of my mentors were ballet dance professionals, which has nothing to do with my career goals now. Yet what I learned from my mentors was discipline, resilience, passion, and the importance of consistent and thoughtful effort.”

As Lauren begins the homestretch to the conclusion of her career at Columbia, she is able to reflect on some of the attributes that have given her the tools to not only have a stellar GPA throughout, but also connect with professionals. “Always be on time whether it’s virtually or in-person. It’s professional and you don’t have to worry about missing anything. Ask questions and speak up when you’re confused on a task or need more clarification, yet also see what you can figure out first. Put your phone on ‘do not disturb,’ get in the most comfortable and focus producing space you can, and work joyously, not hard.”

In terms of future goals, Lauren is of the mindset to see how things play out, and focus on helping others. “Because of my faith I’m not a huge planner actually. It seems like all my plans end up changing anyway. I really take things one day and one prayer at a time. I of course want to continue editing audio, and having cool thoughtful fun conversations with people and, God willing, work for NPR one day. That’s more of a future goal though. Yet my biggest plan, hope, goal, is really to always stay true to myself, stand up for what is right, and continue to be the most loving humble kind person I can be, and let the light in me make a difference in other people’s lives. It sounds so Pollyanna-ish saying that, yet that’s actually how I feel.”

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