Huntley native Mawa Iqbal is a rising senior at Mizzou, who is studying convergence at Mizzou's Journalism School, but hopes to get into broadcast journalism once she graduates. Mizzou Chicago caught up with its scholarship recipient earlier this summer.
Mizzou Chicago: For you having to come home to do the second half of second semester, was that difficult for you? Was the transition hard to go from in class to everything e-learning?
Mawa Iqbal: Yeah, I'd say so, because I'm a journalism student and I was taking two reporting classes. So, one of the reporting classes was a state government one so I had to go down to Jefferson City and report on what was happening at the Capitol. And so then, obviously, coming home, and I'm from the Chicago area, so coming home and reporting on state issues 300 miles away was definitely different and something that I had to figure out with my editor. But eventually we figured that we could watch live streams and things like that.
But it was definitely difficult, especially because I don't have a lot of the editing software, so the audio and video editing software, I just don't have access to at home. So I was limited in what I could do as far as producing stories goes, and then obviously phone call interviews, which are not the same as in-person interviews. Yeah, I mean, it was definitely difficult at first, but I think after a couple weeks and working with my editor, I definitely figured out a new way of fulfilling my class requirements.
MC: You mentioned you didn't really have a lot of the tools to edit stuff, so how were you able to do that then?
MI: So then pretty much what I was able to do with stuff that I had access to, so I was in the radio part of the state capitol reporting class, so for example, I would watch the live stream and then record on my phone the audio, and then take notes and write the script, everything. And then send the audio file over to someone else on my team who had Audition, and then I would tell them, "Okay, I want specifically this bite to be picked out," and they would do it for me. And then I'd submit that. So that's how we did it. Obviously that creates an extra hoop and I had to rely on another person, but I guess it is what it is, you know?
MC: What's been something you've really missed the most over the past couple months having been stuck in the house?
MI: Well, I mean, I feel like most people, definitely being on campus, walking around. Missouri's really nice this time of year and I do love warm weather. Chicago's been kind of cloudy and rainy up until now, but being on campus, being outside. And as far as academics go, actually be attending class. Because I think with Zoom, it's very easy, especially with my classes, having a video on wasn't required. So it was very easy for me, if I wanted to, to turn my video off and lay in my bed, you know what I mean? But during in-person, obviously, I would be present, I'd be with my friends, I would talk to people, I'd actually be engaged and learning. Especially with my reporting classes, that was something that it was really important to be engaged for.
MC: Over your last couple of years at the school, what have been some of your fondest moments or some of the memories that always really stick out to you?
MI: Well, the personal one's definitely the friends that I've made. They'd be the friends that I feel like I can keep for my life, pretty much. That's how close we've gotten, so I'm really thankful for that. But as far as specific memories go, definitely all the cool stories that I've gotten to cover from my reporting class and stuff. For example, when I was a junior, for my classes I got to go to a gun range to do a story and that was the first time I ever went, so that was a new experience. Or I went to different parts within Missouri that I never would have gone to, like California Missouri, or Sedalia, Missouri and stuff. I reported on stories there. I attended my first Catholic sermon which is really cool. And then I got to cover the Biden rally when he was in Kansas City, so I guess stuff like that.
So I'm also a resident advisor, and summer training, which is pretty much a week long training session that we do with all of the RAs before people start moving in. Those are always really fun because it's fall, the beginning of fall, and everyone's really hyped and excited about class starting again. And this is also the perfect opportunity to get to know your staff and who your co-RAs are and have a lot of fun. And they always try to really hype it up, so those are always really fun too.
MC: What led you to want to become an RA and get into res life?
MI: Honestly, the money. Money was the big, big motivator, because free room and board really does help a lot. But I also, I figured too, being an RA is cool because then it's nice to have people, especially new freshmen, feel welcome and comfortable in a school like this because it is a big school. And most kids, and especially most kids I've met, are from Missouri, so they kind of know each other from their high schools. And me being from the Chicago suburbs, I definitely did meet a lot of other kids from the suburbs, but not really from mine.
There's not that many Huntley kids there, so I definitely didn't feel as, I guess, in my element when I first came to Missouri, so I wanted to make sure that other kids who are in my position don't feel out of theirs.
MC: So do you have any plans for the summer? Are you interning anywhere? Are you working somewhere?
MI: For my internship this summer, I'm going to be at Kansas City PBS, KCPT. So that should be fun. I'll be living there and doing some reporting for them, mostly working on enterprise stories. So making videos and articles about community issue stories.
MC: Lastly, have you gotten a chance to get into any organizations or clubs while you've been down there?
MI: Yeah, so I was really involved with The Maneater freshman year. All of freshman year I wrote for their news section and also for the magazine. But then at the same time, I also did MUTV as a staff reporter, so I'd make videos and stuff for them. And then sophomore year, I became a digital director for the news department at MUTV. So as a digital director, pretty much I was in charge of the website and posting stuff online and social media and stuff for the news. And then this past year I was the social media director of all of MUTV, so pretty much overseeing all the social media channels from each department and making sure that we come up with ways to increase engagement and things like that.