A music conservatory graduate, Brazilian-born Lorena Ruiz toured and recorded for five years with her rock band, Lucia Lie. But life on the road began to lose its appeal. “I felt a longing for real academic thinking,” she explains, “and the challenges to common perceptions that come with that.” Ruiz enrolled in the Milano School’s International Affairs program, with a concentration in Media and Culture.
“In one of my first courses,” Ruiz says, “we compared the way large international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank deliver crisis aid to the methods of smaller organizations.” The class was tasked with conducting research and analysis and coming up with novel solutions to problems. “Classes were small and stimulating, and everyone participated. I learned as much from my amazing peers as I did from my professors,” she says. “I found the intellectual challenge I had craved for so long.”In 2010, Ruiz landed an internship at the cable news station MSNBC, a position she found through an information network at The New School. Today she’s an associate producer at MSNBC, handling graphics and video and writing short news segments for anchor Melissa Harris-Perry. “The documentary and technical courses I took in the Media Studies program gave me the confidence to jump right in.”