As a communication arts major concentrating in journalism at Franciscan University, Kristi
McDonald had the chance to prepare for her career with hands-on opportunities that cemented her passion for the written word.The first Franciscan student to spend a semester studying at the Washington Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., Kristi held an internship at The Washington Times. “It was the experience of a lifetime to sit in the newsroom of a real newspaper,” she says.At the national and editorial desks and later as a freelancer while still a student, Kristi covered important stories ranging from the Farm Bill to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s visit to the nation’s capital, which gave her the chance to interview some of the cardinals.
Kristi notes that her Catholic faith made her the ideal reporter for the papal visit. “I had the
vocabulary to express the faith, and they trusted me to write the story,” she explains.
On campus, Kristi worked her way up through the ranks of the student newspaper, The Troubadour. As editor-in-chief, she brought the newspaper into the digital age by creating its online counterpart, troubonline.com.
Now associate editor for Ave Maria Press, located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, Kristi seeks out authors and develops Catholic lifestyle books for mothers, couples, families, and more. Her work also involves a good bit of writing and editing for her authors.
Kristi says the concentration in journalism prepared her well for her career, as her job requires “the same set of skills in a different setting.” She’s also grateful for her internship. “If you do a good job, it sets you up for future opportunities,” she says.