Mayah Collins, ’11, feels she was born to share stories. Her interest in learning about the lives of others and a gift for writing has led her to a career in journalism.
“Captivating people through the art of storytelling is what journalism is about,” said Collins, who discovered her gift for words in high school and cultivated her skills as a communication major at Meredith.
“I took a lot of communication classes, which helped me understand the fundamental skills of a reporter,” Collins said.
Collins worked as a general assignment reporter at The Daily Southerner in Tarboro, N.C., before attending Columbia University’s School of Journalism, where she completed a master’s degree this year. Fewer than 20% of applicants are accepted into this program.
This summer, Collins was selected for a competitive internship at The Baltimore Sun, writing for the metro desk.
“I pitch story ideas, assist with projects, cover events, and report on breaking news,” she said. “My articles have run the gamut from a story about two Baltimore County public schools achieving a 100% college acceptance rate to a story about the last parachute jump for Maryland National Guardsmen who are being replaced by drones.”
Collins’s favorite aspect of journalism is interviewing, and she has developed an effective method for getting people to share their points of view with her.
“Instead of flooding people with questions, I have a conversation with them. People feel very comfortable when I interview them,” Collins said.
While she can’t imagine any other field that would suit her better than journalism, “it is challenging to confine elaborate and detailed stories to 500 words,” Collins said.
Her professional ideal is to be an arts and entertainment reporter, a lifelong interest that is reflected in some of her favorite Meredith memories.
“I loved attending dance and theatre events at Meredith,” Collins said. “I would go with my cousin, and I honestly don’t think we missed one production – I have the tickets to prove it.”