Senior Spotlight: Maggie Courtney

Maggie Courtney Senior Spotlight graphic

Growing up in a family of Tigers, Maggie Courtney spent plenty of time on the University of Missouri campus, attending football games and Homecoming festivities. She also got a closer look at campus through the Missouri Scholars Academy, where she spent three weeks as part of a unique learning community during the summer after her sophomore year of high school.

While Courtney had those close ties MU, she wasn’t sure if Mizzou was going to be the right fit when the time came for her to choose where to continue her education. The Stamps Scholarship interview weekend quickly changed that perception.

“Although I didn’t receive the scholarship, that weekend showed me that I could get everything I was looking for in a college at MU, especially through the Honors College,” said Courtney, who is from Springfield, Missouri. “Mizzou checked all the academic boxes I had, plus I learned about all the incredible opportunities offered through the university. That weekend sealed the deal – I knew I wanted to be a Tiger.”

Maggie Courtney smiles while posing for a picture and holding an ODK medal.
Maggie Courtney was tapped into Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK). Photo courtesy of Maggie Courtney.

Courtney quickly found a home in the Honors College, and the college offered her the opportunity to gain real-world experience right away. She arrived at Mizzou knowing she was going to pursue a journalism degree, specifically related to strategic communication. Courtney joined the Honors Communication Internship team as a freshman and played a vital role in in telling the Honors story throughout her time at MU.

“From Day 1, I was able create content that was being published, which was incredibly special,” Courtney said. “I was developing and practicing my skills in real time, through social media, video and the written word. The experience opened the door for multiple other opportunities, too. Everyone in Honors has been so supportive and cheered me on throughout this communication journey.”

The internship allowed Courtney to learn more about all the offerings within the Honors College and connected her with professors and peers. Her work as an Honors Ambassador also gave her the opportunity to stay in touch with the various programs and events offered by the college.

“I gained so much insight into the world of Mizzou Honors,” Courtney said. “I had an inside look at the cool things happening here, plus I had the chance to showcase the great work our students are doing.”

Courtney’s work only strengthened her interest in strategic communication. And while her Honors internship offered her excellent storytelling opportunities, being part of the MU School of Journalism has opened doors across the globe. Courtney said two experiences stand out – one in New York and one in London. Through the MU School of Journalism’s New York Program, Courtney was able to be part of a team that developed and pitched a marketing campaign to VML, a major New York City ad agency. The study abroad experience in London allowed Courtney to participate in important communication-related work.

Students pose for a picture in front of an electronic screen that says Mizzou.
Through the MU School of Journalism’s New York Program, Courtney was able to be part of a team that developed and pitched a marketing campaign to VML, a major New York City ad agency. Photo courtesy of Maggie Courtney.

“I’ve had so many incredible experiences in the J-School, but those two definitely stand out,” Courtney said. “I just love the focus on hands-on learning within the degree program.

“Study abroad was particularly special. It allowed me to grow so much as a person. There’s really nothing like it, honestly. When I speak with students as an Honors Ambassador, I definitely encourage them to give study abroad a try if they can. You learn a lot about yourself when you’re immersed in another culture.”

Along with her journalism degree, Courtney will also graduate with a degree in sociology.

“I knew strategic communication was going to be something I was interested in,” Courtney said. “I took a sociology class my freshman year and really liked what was being taught. As I continued in those classes, my advisor eventually suggested I go ahead and add it as a major, which I was happy to do.”

Although Courtney’s academics kept her plenty busy, she was also able to still work with the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board, where she helped with several important events, such as Senior Sendoff and the Mizzou ’39 celebration. Courtney was also very active in her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and was part of the Mizzou Choir for two years.

As she heads toward graduation, Courtney said each of her experiences at Mizzou helped her grow in different ways. She’s thankful for the mentors she found, especially in the Honors College.

“My time as Mizzou was so fun and rewarding,” Courtney said. “I built so many great relationships, particularly through the Honors College. Honors is where I made the best connections with professors and peers. My professors really invested in me, and they were all so passionate about what they’re teaching. It was a great learning environment to be part of.”