Somnia Keesey (Class of 2023)

Somnia Keesey

  • Sophomore majoring in Journalism and International Studies
  • Minor in Political Science
  • From Athens, OH
  • Undergraduate assistant in the Department of Media, Journalism & Film
  • DEI chair of the professional fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon and member of the social sorority Alpha Phi 
  • Social media editor and staff writer for The Miami Student
"Trust the process. At first, I felt so unbelievably lost and did not think I was going to accomplish anything, largely because I did not know what I was good at. If you don’t know what you want to do or where you want to go, trust the process no matter how difficult it is. Everything will be OK in the end. You will find your place and a career that you’re passionate about. It will just take time."

Why Miami?

"When my dad and I decided to take a visit, I just fell in love with the Miami campus. It was absolutely gorgeous and felt like a nice medium between my hometown of Athens. I could get away, see new things, and have different experiences, but also be not too far away from home. It was a nice middle ground.

"My first year at Miami, specifically my first semester, was kind of a mess. I had no clue what I wanted to do, so it was more focused on finding myself. I began as a Farmer School of Business major in marketing, but during orientation I changed my major. I was in a Journalism 101 course and absolutely fell in love with it. I knew that I had skills in writing, but I just didn’t know what direction to take them. That course strengthened my writing and opened my eyes up to all of the opportunities that journalism can provide. 

"After journalism, I added my second major in international studies because I really loved to travel. Miami’s international studies major is very diverse, with many opportunities to expand my cultural knowledge. I’m very happy with my decision!"

Best Miami Experiences

Somnia and her father, who she considers a major influence on her and her career goals

"As a sophomore, COVID-19 got in the way of one opportunity that I was really excited to pursue. I was supposed to be going to London for a study abroad program to work with National Geographic and the BBC for six weeks. 

"Right now, though, I am currently an undergraduate assistant (UA) for Journalism 101. I’ve made a great connection there with my advisor, Fred Reeder, who is an assistant clinical lecturer of journalism. It’s really inspirational to share my passion, my stories, and why I love journalism so much with incoming freshmen. Some of them have emailed me saying that they’ve changed their major and path to journalism based on that course and Professor Reeder’s guidance!

"I would like to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. Journalism has opened my eyes to many opportunities and all that I’m capable of. My interactions with Miami faculty have given me a different perspective on myself and my skills. The journalism program really opened my eyes and expanded my mindset on what I can accomplish.

"But despite the pandemic, I wanted to make sure that I was able to take in any opportunity that I could on campus and try new things. I decided to rush a professional business fraternity on campus, Pi Sigma Epsilon, and it was truly one of the best choices I have made so far in my college career. I have learned so many new things and have gotten to meet so many amazing people. I was able to work with companies like Procter and Gamble, and I currently sit as our chapter’s DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) chair.   

"And on the topic of Greek life, I got involved with a social sorority on campus as well, Alpha Phi. That experience has been so much fun, and it’s crazy how close you can get with so many people when you get involved. It’s definitely a major highlight that I have the sisters within that community to go along with me through my college experience!"

Miami and the Liberal Arts

Somnia and her new member team after finishing their first project working for Proctor and Gamble

"As a whole, I would describe journalism as one of the most important career fields. It’s so vital to many aspects of politics and our day-to-day lives. I wrote a piece for The Miami Student titled ‘Journalism is Dead,’ describing what a lot of the people around me thought of my career path. I feel that journalism is very much alive, but it’s changing and evolving. If a student is looking into journalism, they need to know how important their role is in society and how we live. It’s vital for us to create and tell stories.

"Journalism can be utilized in many different ways, and every field needs strong writing. Thanks to the journalism program, I find myself being successful in almost every experience I’ve had because of how strong of a writer I am. Journalism has helped me strengthen my writing and communication skills, which can be applied to anything. They have improved dramatically since I started at Miami. I feel able to effectively communicate any idea and any topic, no matter how difficult it is, to make it universally understandable.

"I am learning a lot within my international studies major as well. Both of my parents were international studies majors when they were in college at Ohio University, and they always talked about how much you are able to learn. I have always wanted to travel the world and tell stories, and an important aspect of that goal is to have the understanding of different cultures, their policies and history, and so on. That is exactly what the international studies major has been able to offer for me."

Professional Journalism and Writing Experience

Somnia with Grace Coggin, another member of Pi Sigma Epsilon

"Before I start a career in broadcast journalism, I have plans to go to graduate school directly after Miami. I would like to move to a city like New York or Boston to broaden my experiences because I’ve only lived in small college towns all my life. I’ve had several experiences in writing and journalism that are helping me achieve this goal.

"Being DEI chair and a member of the PR committee for Pi Sigma Epsilon, I can see myself going towards a business career path, while still keeping the skills I have learned from my journalism major at the forefront to help guide me. I believe that I would be open to going outside the conventional journalism newsroom career, but writing will always have to be a constant with anything that I pursue.

"It was so much fun to work on client projects with members from my team and learn more about sales and marketing. We had the opportunity to work with P&G, providing them with a sales strategy to more effectively sell P&G products within CVS stores amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We specifically targeted the Gen-Z market. It was a lot of work, but that experience was so unbelievable -- I loved it.

"Miami faculty do an amazing job making sure that you’re prepared and have all the opportunities that you can possibly get. I recently just accepted an internship with Cox First Media, where I’ll work in a newsroom within the Southwest Ohio area. I have the journalism faculty to thank for putting me in the position of having opportunities like that to pursue!"

Advice to Students

"Trust the process. At first, I felt so unbelievably lost and did not think I was going to accomplish anything, largely because I did not know what I was good at. If you don’t know what you want to do or where you want to go, trust the process no matter how difficult it is. Everything will be OK in the end. You will find your place and a career that you’re passionate about. It will just take time.

"You can achieve so much with a journalism degree, despite what people may say. You’re going to be the smartest person in the room because you know how to communicate effectively. That is one of the most powerful things that you can do in any situation. I have learned how to tackle a situation because I know how powerful storytelling can be!"

[March 2021]