In Experiential Learning, Journalism

PR Student: Shelley Safaee
This article was produced in cooperation with the COMMS 425 lab.

Madison Haycock took her news media capstone to the skies, helping create awareness about the benefits of flying standby.

Global Capstone Adventures

During the 2017 fall semester, Haycock headed to Europe, to live, travel and blog for her senior capstone.  “This is an experience you don’t just get in your life,” Haycock explained. “It’s kind of a one-time chance.”

Traveling for her capstone blog, Haycock and her husband kayak in the Mediterranean Sea. Writing stories on good places to travel is one of many elements Haycock is including in her capstone. Photo courtesy of Madison Haycock.

Throughout the semester, she flew to and visited airports around the globe. She will blog about her standby strategies and review the best and worst airports to get stuck in, as well as write for social media, which she has studied throughout the news media program.

Behind the Scenes of Globetrotting

Haycock faced difficulties throughout her adventures, including spending nights without a hotel, roaming the city streets.

“The experience is challenging because with standby flying, there are two sides to that coin, so it doesn’t always go the way you plan,” Haycock said.

She explained that she felt extremely prepared for those challenges because of skills she learned at BYU. “The elective classes in the news media program have been some of the most rewarding,” Haycock asserted.

Haycock said the news media program taught her how to work from a distance with minimal supervision. The broadcast labs also taught her how to manage strict timing, which has been vital throughout her travels.

Global Learning

Haycock worked closely with her news media mentor and capstone instructor, Robert Walz, to complete her on-campus capstone class from Spain during her travels. According to Walz, they decided to pursue the class as a “distance learning experiment.”

Taking advantage of standby benefits, Haycock makes a spontaneous, last-minute trip to Do: Cookie Dough Confections in New York City. In her blog, Haycock will share experiences like this to make others aware of unique ways to use standby flying. Photo courtesy of Madison Haycock.

“Professor Walz was so kind and willing to let me take the class remotely,” Haycock explained. “Students don’t normally get that chance.”

Haycock video conferences in for class with her fellow students. “It’s cool because I get to see what they are learning and hear about the experiences they are having,” Haycock said. She also video conferences with Professor Walz for her capstone updates and receives digital lectures to review with the class.

“We are in a progressive school, that allows us to change as our society changes,” Haycock said. “We don’t need to be defined by four walls and a classroom anymore.”

Synopsizing a Sojourn Experience

Haycock’s blog still is not live, but by the end of the semester she is determined to have her capstone project filled with beneficial travel information. She is currently living and traveling around Spain, but will be traveling to London, Paris and the Canary Islands.

Haycock encourages fellow students to take advantage of unique opportunities in the BYU School of Communications. “Have fun. This program gives you so much freedom to be creative.”

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