Being at a liberal arts college made it possible to double major in film and politics
“I thankfully got to tour, and I instantly felt connected. I could see just how genuine students felt about their education here.”
After growing up in Hawai’i, Juliana Hennig was interested in attending a small liberal arts school on the East Coast. Juliana had the opportunity to tour a few schools with her mother; however, she found it difficult to connect with any of them, until she toured Mount Holyoke College.
“On paper or on websites, these institutions look very similar, but when it actually comes down to walking around the campus and involving yourself with the student experience, there’s a totally different energy that you can automatically feel,” she said. “I thankfully got to tour, and I instantly felt connected. I could see just how genuine students felt about their education here.”
Hennig started at Mount Holyoke and quickly found community through Latinx student organizations, including La Unidad and celebratory events such as Noche Latina. During her first year, she lived in the Living-Learning Community Mi Gente, a residential living space for students who identify as Latinx. Growing up, Hennig didn’t have a large Latinx community to connect with, but joining Mi Gente helped her foster relationships and contribute to the thriving Mount Holyoke Latinx community.
Hennig came to Mount Holyoke with an interest in government and public policy. However, during her sophomore year, Hennig began to explore her creative side by taking courses within the film, media and theater (FMT) department.
“I really enjoyed the FMT course offerings,” Hennig said. “In my junior year, I applied a creative writing class to a screenwriting course, and that solidified the idea that I wanted to pursue FMT as well as politics.”
“The classroom environment has allowed me to explore the different roles and areas of TV and filmmaking, which has helped me solidify what I want to do in my future.”
Additionally, Hennig pursued leadership positions in areas relating to both of her majors. She has been a part of Model United Nations all four years of her collegiate experience, serving as both the vice president and president. The club was on hiatus because of COVID-19, but when the students returned to campus, Hennig and the rest of the team competed in conferences in Boston, Chicago and New York.
“Mount Holyoke’s Model UN is fully student driven, and I’m really proud of the work we did to get the club back on its feet.”
Hennig was also the co-director of the second annual Mount Holyoke College Film Festival. As the co-director, she helped plan a weekend’s worth of events celebrating student filmmakers as well as Mount Holyoke alums currently working in the film and TV industry. She is thrilled to have contributed to the Mount Holyoke FMT department before graduating.
In a TV production series course, Hennig collaborated with fellow students to develop, write and direct a television show. “You need a lot of people to put together a TV show. The classroom environment has allowed me to explore the different roles and areas of TV and filmmaking, which has helped me solidify what I want to do in my future.”
Hennig’s joy for storytelling was also a part of her past internship. In the summer after her junior year, she interned at a film and TV production company. Her duties included comprehensive script, article and book coverage, as well as project-specific research.
“It introduced me to jobs in the film industry and possibilities post grad,” she said. “I really like the position I’m in right now. And I always tell everyone, ‘I can’t believe this is what I get to do for work.’”
Hennig plans to continue working in film development and production and to potentially go to graduate school in the future. She credits her advisors within the FMT department for providing her with hands-on experience and helping her strengthen her application. “The goal is to go to grad school in about two years,” she said. “I definitely want to continue my academic journey.”