Ask the Alumnus: Mikaela Ronnkvist

Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High, Miami, FL

Mikaela Ronnkvist was an original SRL All-Star when she was a student at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High in Miami, Florida. She worked on a story called “A Force of Their Own” which was shown at the Miami Dade County Public Schools Police Department as a part of, “The New Safe series on School Safety.” It won a Student Production Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Suncoast Chapter. Mikaela recently graduated from the University of Central Florida and worked as an intern at ABC’s Shark Tank. She looks back to her SRL experience as highly valuable, helping to identify her raw passion for producing.

What experiences or lessons do you value most from your time with SRL?
The lesson that I value the most during my  time with SRL is being able to experience all facets of production. When I worked on production, I was able to be an editor, producer, story writer, camera, and interviewer all at once. I was able to see what I enjoyed the most and what I enjoyed the least, which helped me shape my future career.

What advice do you have for current SRL participants?
My advice for current SRL participants is to ask a thousand questions when working on a project, don’t be afraid to make mistakes so that you can learn from them, and make sure you share your work! I made sure that my work with SRL was on my resume and LinkedIn. It was always an interesting topic to discuss in an interview.

How has being a student journalist helped you grow as an adult? Why do youth voices matter?
Being a student journalist has helped me grow as an adult because I was forced to think outside of the box and stay objective. These are essential when submitting collegiate level work. From a young age, I was able to formulate my opinion in a mature and objective way that helped me effectively express myself. Youth voices matter because they are the only ones that can properly explain how a certain topic is affecting them. Furthermore, the youth is the future. It is very important that they are encouraged to speak their minds and know how to do so properly so they can make educated decisions when they are older.

What are your plans after graduation?  How do you think your experience with SRL helped you make decisions around what you would like to pursue as a career?
I recently graduated from the University of Central Florida in order to pursue my career in radio and TV Production. I was offered a job with the ABC show, “Shark Tank.” I moved here in May and I’m currently applying to other jobs since the season is about to wrap. I want to continue working in production as a documentary filmmaker or producer. SRL helped me make a decision regarding my career because I was able to wear all the hats in our production. I was able to experience different tasks and find out what I did and did not like. I realized that I liked editing, but that I loved interviewing and organizing, which is why I am interested in pursuing producing in the future. SRL is great for anyone who knows they want to be in production, but doesn’t know the specifics. Furthermore, if you don’t want to be in production, it’s a great way to learn team building skills, which is important in any field.

What are some out-of-the-box ideas to get more young people to vote?
Some out-of-the-box ideas to get more young people to vote is to use platforms that this demographic is using. This would include; social media, Reddit, Twitter, Uber, and other highly used apps. However, the best way to get involved with this demographic is to show them how