Monday, February 11, 2013

MC Perspective: The best attend Syracuse University

Mass Communication Specialists are the storytellers of the Navy.  The men and women behind the cameras of our small community put in hard work every day of the week.  They are driven and talented.  The best of the best have the opportunity to attend Syracuse University, where they spend a year learning advanced photo/video technique. 

MC1 Mark Logico's skills in photography are formidable, and he has taken time from his busy SU workload to write in about what life is like in New York.

Much love to MC1 (who is very low key) for bearing the pain of going public with his story to contribute.


Why did you want to attend Syracuse University?

I wanted to attend SU because I never had any formal training in photojournalism. I never went through DINFOS (MC 'A' school). I came into the Navy as a Seabee EA (Engineering Aide). I then put together a portfolio to be a DM (Draftsman), which later became an MC. So SU is, in my mind, my formal Mass Communication training, even though I had tons of on the job training and experience from NPASE (Naval Public Affairs Support Element) West and Navy Region Hawaii. 

What was the application process like?


It was tough for me. It took my third try to get in. The portfolio process was certainly hard, but a big part of it was timing and circumstances. 

"I needed to show that I knew my camera."

It was the big thing when I brought up my portfolio for review. I had to show variety in my photos. I had to show that I know when to use motion blur, how to use lighting, how to shoot an effective silhouette… etc.


The timing had to be right to get in, which was difficult for me.  The three attempts to this program were spaced between two commands and about four years. In my first attempt, I made it as far as the substitute, just in case the first picked were disqualified for one reason or another. On my second attempt, I had to go through PTS like most of my fellow Sailors. At this point I was already preparing myself to get out of the Navy because PTS was pushing a lot of people out the door. I really thought I was going too until the very last minute. 

The third attempt almost never happened because a whole year was spent wondering if the program would even get off the ground at all. The government budget cuts cut the DoD program entirely. Fortunately the people in the Navy office decided to do their own thing and funded the program on their own. 

This is why this year, the Navy is the only military service 
attending Syracuse University.

I AM YOUR EYES:  This is also an example of why the United States Navy is the most badass branch in the military.

What are you studying?

In general, the photojournalists are taking courses in graphic design, broadcast and print writing, advanced photojournalism, and communication law. I’m sure the curriculum will change with the changing times. In our case, we learned a little bit of graphic design with application to iPads. We also learned about using social media in news reporting, which is the current trend in the news media business.

How has it compared to what you expected?

Most of what the Syracuse graduates told me were true enough. 

"The program is overwhelming, especially in the first two months when all the assignments seem impossible to accomplish."

Photo copyright by Mark Logico.  This is your competition, good luck.
If anything, we learned a lot in time management. It is already tough on my own with a wife and dog. I can’t imagine what it must feel like with my other classmates who have kids. I expected it to be tough, and that is exactly what I got.

Overall, it met my expectations.  

What are your future plans?

After Syracuse I will be going to Defense Media Activity in Fort Meade, Maryland. The scuttlebutt says the Navy will be standing up All Hands magazine again in one form or another. Maybe we will get a chance to do it when we get there.

Anything you'd like to add?

For anyone who is thinking of applying for the program, the application process is actually pretty easy (despite my testimony to the contrary) as long as you know you want it. If you want it, that enthusiasm will show through, and the people who’ll decided yea or nay on your application will know it. 

Final note from MC1 Logico:

I have never considered myself the best much lest an elite MC. It makes me uncomfortable to think that way. I've always felt there's always someone better than me, and I'm still playing catch up.

I AM YOUR EYES:  What have we learned?  Never give up, shoot high, and stay humble my friends.

Julie is awesome! 

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