Double Majoring Puts Henry Schott’s Career Plans in Focus

Schott working with Animus Studios

Henry Schott knows what it’s like to be busy. The senior serves as president of the Criminal Justice Association, vice president of JWU men’s crew, and, just to keep things interesting, is pursuing a double major in Criminal Justice and Media & Communication Studies.

“I didn't think I was going to [double major],” he says. “I started in Criminal Justice and thought I'd get out of here in three years. But halfway through my sophomore year I wanted to add something else and finish out my four-year plan.”

Schott’s calm nature is in direct contrast with his busy schedule and the hectic surroundings of the interview; he remains focused on the topic at hand. It’s a trait that serves him well as he continues to take on roles with increasing responsibility.

Double majors aren’t rare at Johnson & Wales; motivated students will often pair majors in a similar discipline to receive an even more well-rounded skillset upon graduation. But to choose majors in different disciplines that are seemingly unrelated is more unusual.

“They’re the complete opposite in some ways, but there are definitely connections,” Schott says. “Most agencies now need someone that's a media coordinator to kind of bridge the gap between the media and the agency. Because now we live in a time where news is instant.”

Schott filming with Animus Studios

To gain more experience in the field, Schott landed an internship with Animus Studios, a local video marketing agency. A representative of Animus attended the grand opening of JWU’s Center for Media Production and Schott saw his opportunity. “I met with Justin, one of the producers at Animus, and talked with him in person,” Schott says. “And he told me he told me to just come in one day.” They set up a meeting time, and with that, the internship began.

“Animus tailored the internship to what my preferences were,” Schott says. “I'm mostly focused on production, so I’m behind the cameras getting everything set up.” Schott gives high praise to Animus for being able to be so involved and learning the things that make production move so smoothly. “I’m learning the hands-on things and techniques that can help you in the long run, so you don't have to edit anything afterwards,” he says. “From changing lighting just a bit so a line on the screen disappears, or how to properly get the person in focus just enough that it looks perfect.”

When assistant professor Evan Villari learned of internship opportunities at Animus, he knew Schott would be the perfect fit. “Henry is the epitome of the Wildcat spirit — an ambitious self-starter with the tenacity to get things done,” Villari says. “He constantly looks for opportunities to contribute to the greater campus community through his efforts. As a double major, his incessant ambition continues to set a high standard for young people here at JWU.”

Schott filming with Animus

Despite Schott’s easygoing nature, he notes that completing two majors in four years isn’t a cakewalk. “I'm an early riser, and I just keep going through the day,” he says. “I don't really get home and relax until about 11. So, it's a busy schedule, but I like the structure of it.”

While his internship focuses on media & communications, Schott still has a strong passion for criminal justice. It’s what brought him to JWU in the first place. “I went to tour other schools for criminal justice, but it just didn't feel right,” he recalls. “Other schools seemed too broken up in their departments. Here, you have great professors who actually have experience in the business and worked in the field.”

Schott bringing the shot into focus

Despite the busy schedule and workload, Schott recommends double majoring to other students, even if their interests seem conflicting at first. “You just have to put your all into it and not back down from it,” he says. “It definitely takes its toll. It’s almost like using two different sides of your brain, because you have to switch from one topic of information to another, but in the end, the skills you learn from one correlate to the other.”

So how will Schott translate these unique skills into a career? He’s keeping his options open, in his typical fashion of quiet confidence. “I'm actually looking at the military first to kind of gain some more experience after school,” he says. “I could go into federal law enforcement, and just keep the media kind of creative, and if it takes me somewhere then it takes me somewhere.”