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Alum Genevieve O.

Name: Genevieve Ott

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Major(s): Film & Media Studies, minor in Marketing & Communications

Current job: I’m off to grad school at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) to study Graphic Design.

Tell us a little about the path from graduation to your current job/career: In the fall of my senior year, I did a lot of introspection about my aspirations and passions. I realized I was not ready to enter the workforce, and instead wanted to continue my education and further my abilities in graphic design. I spent the winter putting together my portfolio, writing my statement of purpose, gathering letters of recommendation, and soliciting guidance from my friends. I was admitted to MICA in the spring, and I knew it was the perfect path for me. 

Any internships/pre-professional experiences at JHU? Marketing & Communications Intern with the Undergraduate Office of Admissions, Digital Marketing Intern at Groove, Summer Associate at Karson Butler Events, Teaching Assistant with the Film & Media Studies department. I also did freelance design work and worked on some film sets for extra cash.

What extracurriculars were you involved with at JHU? Alpha Phi, Studio North, Hopkins Interactive

In what ways did your Hopkins education prepare you for your career? While the jump from Hopkins to art school may seem unlikely, the amazing film department and other opportunities I was granted at Hopkins crystallized my creative abilities and point of view. Hopkins allowed me to explore different fields while diving into my interests, and this led me to discover that I’m truly passionate about design. 

Any classes, faculty members, or involvements at JHU that helped to shape your career interest? How did they do so? Theorizing Popular Culture with Dr. Meredith Ward truly changed me. It was everything that I wanted from a college class; it blended my goofy obsession with pop culture with fascinating academic social theories. This class served as a foundation for the way I approached every class there on out. I discovered a true passion for media theory, better understood the world around me, and formed a new way of thinking as a student and artist, all thanks to this class and Meredith’s feedback.

Favorite Hopkins memory: Freshman spring, some friends and I broke out onto the roof of Krieger Hall one night. We spent hours just talking and hanging out, trying to hush our laughter so we didn’t get caught by security. The window that led out to the roof has since been locked, but that night remains one of those perfect college memories.

What about being a Hopkins student do you miss the most? Whenever I walked into a film class, I was so excited to find out what new, compelling concept I would learn next. My film classes were so full of surprises, the kind of lessons where I’d walk away with my mind opened and a whole new arsenal of references and terms. It’s such a luxury and privilege to be constantly exposed to fascinating pieces of history and art, and I already miss those hours I spent in seminars and screenings. It was so enriching.

How did going to school in Baltimore affect your college experience and opportunities for pre-professional experiences? I’ve lived in Baltimore my whole life, and I’m so grateful that I was able to extend my stay by attending Hopkins. Baltimore is a unique city with such spirit. It has constantly inspired me, and given me so much. The art scene in Baltimore in particular is so wonderful; there’s room for every perspective. In general, I think Baltimore is a really welcoming place that wraps its arms around everyone who wants to make it its home.

Knowing what you know now, what would you want to tell your pre-college self? 17-year-old me never could have imagined being where I am now–and that’s a good thing! Nothing will prepare you for college and you won’t be able to predict where you’ll end up. Go with the flow, seize the opportunities you’re given, and enjoy the ride. Trust that you’ll end up exactly where you’re supposed to. 

Check out Genevieve’s Hopkins Insider blog.