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Malcolm Farrell ('16)

While at the Valenti School of Communication, Malcolm Farrell majored in broadcast journalism and was a part of the Student Video Network. After graduating in December 2016, he returned to speak at the Valenti Impact Awards about his experience at our school. 

We recently caught up with Malcolm in our media production studio. On camera, he introduced himself in a quick, crash-course fashion (seriously, does anyone like IHOB?), and the rest of our conversation is captured in the transcribed, question-and-answer format, below.

You can follow Malcolm on Facebook or on Twitter at @MalcolmFarrell.

Q&A

In 2016, you graduated from the Valenti School of Communication. What were some of the factors that helped you decide to attend the University of Houston in the first place?

A factor for me was the campus tour. I liked the layout of the University of Houston, in general, but I also heard it had a great communication school. The Valenti School got a lot of good remarks, and people would say to me, “Oh, you’re about to go to UH?” with big smiles. Those were defining moments in my decision.

It sounds like you knew you wanted to pursue a career in communication from the start. What inspired you to choose broadcast journalism as your major and career?

What inspired me?

Ever since I was younger, I always liked television and being on screen. I was just trying to figure out how to get to that position - whether it’s hosting, movies, or anything like that. That’s what really inspired me: seeing myself being a host or broadcast journalist since I was young.

Did you have a favorite class or any other great memories from being at the Valenti School?

A production class, for sure. I like understanding what happens behind-the-scenes. A lot of people just want to be in front of the camera, but my production classes showed me the aspects of the studio like an operator - like understanding the control board, bringing in commercials and lower-thirds.

Another one of my fondest memories was actually from after I graduated. I was picked to moderate an event for the Valenti School called Big Talk on Race, Gender and Hollywood. It was great because I never would have thought they would pick me to do that. It was nice having women’s perspectives on these topics and to show people how unfair and hard it can be for a woman in this industry. On the flip side, the panel showed that it is possible, and I hope it gave hope to other women to do what they want.

Since graduating, how are you using what you learned as a broadcast journalism major in your life?

What I learned, that I use now, is how to put a package together and understand how you can use different camera angles for anything that you’re covering. I have done different interviews in Houston, for example I covered a crawfish festival and a barber shop showcase. Using the foundational lessons that I learned in school helped me really set my packages and videos apart from others. I got an edge at the Valenti School, which gave me that upper hand.

Finally, what advice would you share with Valenti students or aspiring journalists?

I would say definitely use your resources. I grew a lot here. A lot of the foundational things that I learned started here, like getting comfortable on camera. I’m thankful that University of Houston had a studio where I could get comfortable, even with things like a teleprompter. When you get out in the real world and apply for these jobs, it’s the little things like this that they want you to know. To show that you’re comfortable in front of the camera. Prospective students and current students should definitely be prepared to get a lot of experience.