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Meet Beth Carlson: Our May Leading Woman

Name: Beth Carlson


Major: Broadcast Journalism, minors in Spanish and Political Science


Hometown: Naperville, Illinois


What are your career/life goals? 

My goal is to work for a local television station as either a reporter or producer. Working in local news allows you to develop trusting relationships with sources and understand the community around you in a unique way. My goal is to one day work as a leader in the newsroom, where I can help others tell the stories of those around them with accountability and connection in mind. 

What is your favorite part about your major and why did you choose it? 

Storytelling always held a special place in my heart, especially because of the women in my life like my mom and my grandma. I chose to come to Mizzou because I loved storytelling, and I knew I could do that at KOMU, the NBC affiliate station owned by the J-School. My favorite part of my major has been working at KOMU, because it gives me a chance to turn my post-grad dreams into a reality during college. I have been able to pitch, shoot, write, edit and front my own stories and have had a chance to learn the ropes of leading the newscast as the show’s producer as well. The feeling I get knowing I have created something I can be proud of is something that keeps me going in my major. 

What organizations or hobbies are you passionate about?

Without the organizations I am a part of at Mizzou, I don’t think I would have the same passion for my career. Outside KOMU, I am a part of Rockin Against Multiple Sclerosis, a Senior Journalism Ambassador, a Camp Kesem counselor, and in ODK, one of six secret societies at Mizzou. Being in organizations where my sole focus is not journalism allows me to escape from the feelings of burnout. I have met so many amazing friends through RAMS and Kesem that know me as so much more than my major!

Within my schoolwork, one of my favorite things I’ve been a part of is being a producer of an Honors College Documentary for the past year and a half. Alongside my mentor Dr. Horner and four other students, we have interviewed journalists from across the country and traveled to New York, D.C., Boston, L.A., and Austin to film. It was a Theta who first recommended me for the project, and it has transformed into one of the most impactful parts of my Mizzou experience. It astounds me how much this sisterhood has given back to me in ways I didn’t even realize at the time. 

Where will you be interning this summer and what's special about this internship?

I am working for WISN-TV, the ABC affiliate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as their News Intern. The best part of my internship is that everyday looks different! One day, I could be working with a photographer to get interviews and b-roll for a story, and the next it could be writing for producers to help stack a show. What made this internship a no-brainer for me was knowing that I would be learning-by-doing as soon as I started. This internship has been in the works since last fall, when I got a chance to visit the station and sit in on a pitch meeting. It’s always been a goal of mine to live in a new city while I’m young, and I’m so excited to get to know MKE! I have family in Milwaukee, on top of the fact that there’s so much going on from Summerfest to the Republican National Convention. One thing is for certain though – they’ll never get me to become a Packers fan.

What is ODK? What does this honor mean to you? 

Getting tapped into ODK was something I had dreamed about since my freshman year. Watching so many Thetas get tapped into ODK my first two years at Mizzou made getting tapped so much more special to me, knowing that I could represent the sorority that has given me so much. It was so full circle looking out into the crowd on tap day and seeing the women I look up to, my best friends, cheering me on. The organizations that define me at Mizzou are all things that I truly feel devoted to and passionate about, and to me ODK an honor because it reflects my love for the things I am a part of at Mizzou. 

In my eyes, I wouldn’t have gotten into ODK, which taps its members based on leadership, without the leading women that have influenced me in Theta. I would not have sought leadership in organizations like RAMS or Kesem without seeing the good that older members had done in it before I joined. My favorite memory of getting tapped was finding out that two of my Theta sisters, Ashley and Joey, had been tapped with me. Sharing in the celebration with them and keeping the secret of getting tapped is one of my favorite memories from this year.The organizations that define me at Mizzou are all things that I truly feel devoted to and passionate about, and to me ODK an honor because it reflects my love for the things I am a part of at Mizzou. 

How have your experiences in Theta changed you?

I would not be the person I am without the people Theta has brought me. When I got to college, I was so sure of exactly what I had to do to be successful. Theta challenged my view of success, because of the women around me who all achieved amazing things in college. No longer did I feel I needed to stick to a box and only join things that would relate back to my major, but rather Theta taught me that the best parts of college can be in participating in the things I love. My best friends in Theta are so much more than my friends. They are my role models, advice givers, and share the same drive for this sorority that I do.

One of the experiences I will never forget was this past fall, as a Homecoming Liaison with Sta, Isabella, and Rory. Homecoming taught me so much, but especially how to take pride in my leadership. The long hours we spent together working on Float and C-Decks, or getting ready for Fling, were both some of the most challenging moments I have faced in Theta but also the most fun. Working on Homecoming is something I would have never predicted as a freshman during recruitment, but it shaped me so much in my leadership and in the lessons I learned about caring for others and working as a team. 

What does Theta mean to you?

Theta has always been the center of my college experience, because it supports me in ways I couldn’t have realized before coming to Mizzou. My pledge family has been so instrumental in my time at Theta since I met them during my freshman year recruitment. They helped me realize that there were girls looking out for me from the start and who were always rooting for me. Everything I have learned from my pledge family through the years, I get to pass on as our lineage continues. It is so amazing to get to watch the people you love grow and change in college.

I am so grateful to be surrounded by women who are accomplished, passionate leaders and simultaneously my best friends. The idea of sisterhood means we get to be each other's cheerleaders day in and day out, and my best friends have been so instrumental in the person I’ve become. Thetas constantly show me that I am truly wanted and valued by everyone here, and just how lucky I was that I opened up that bid card and ran home to 603. 

Do you have any advice for underclassmen?

If I could tell my freshman year self anything, it would be that Theta will show you that you are good enough to be here, that you are passionate enough to find your place on campus, and that you are loved enough to know the most loyal and incredible friends.

My biggest piece of advice would be to give yourself grace when you enter college. There are so many things that I did not realize at first, but change takes time and so do the lessons college teaches you. Don’t limit yourself to what you think is expected of you! 

Do you have a specific favorite Theta memory?

There are so many throughout the years, especially living in the 4-man sophomore year and now living with 5 of my best Theta friends in a house. Thetas have been a part of all of my favorite college memories, from working on Homecoming this year, to my first Theta Bash freshman year, to playing late night games with MC 21 in house last year.

If I had to choose one, It would be RAMS Rock It every year. I started dancing in Rock It my freshman year, and for two years got to dance alongside my big, Ireland. I will always treasure getting to celebrate winning Rock It with her my sophomore year! It became so full circle this year when I joined the RAMS Steering Committee with so many amazing Thetas. Getting to watch Theta win Rock It again when RAMS had become such a big part of my life was so incredible, and something I’ll never forget. 


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