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John Brooks

John Brooks

What is your hometown?
Carthage, IL

What are your interests/hobbies?
My interests include consuming/studying/talking about media (television, film, video games, music, etc.), exchanging/debating ideas with others, and conducting health communication research.

What are your favorite Chicago activities?
I enjoy exploring the city on foot, riding the CTA, trying out new restaurants and bars, belting it out at a karaoke joint, and hibernating during the winter.

Did you work full time through the program?
Yes – I worked full-time throughout the program and was able to maintain a semblance of a social life (and so can you!)

Was time commitment reasonable?
I found that I spent roughly 5-10 hours per week keeping up with my classwork outside of major assignments.  The larger projects required significantly more time, but you can spread that work out across multiple weeks if you plan well.

Were you able to balance work and school?
I was able to balance work and school primarily because my employer was supportive of my continuing education (even though it didn’t benefit them directly). Make sure to work with your employer to accommodate this change to your schedule.

Professionally, what are you doing now?
I’m still in the same position I had during the program, but I’ve continued working in the Health Communication Interaction Design Lab post-graduation and am applying to PhD programs in Health Communication.

Tell us about a “Northwestern moment.” More specifically, was there a moment either in class or otherwise associated with the program where something really clicked for you?
I think my “Northwestern moment” for me was early in fall quarter when I realized how at home I felt in the classroom and studying health communication. This program helped give me a direction in my career that I had been missing before.

How has the program changed the way you view healthcare?
It’s certainly made me aware of the position of privilege I have when speaking with health professionals and when seeking out care – gaps and flaws in our current system that I may never have encountered are now more apparent to me.

Did you discover anything new or unexpected at Northwestern?
I’m not sure if I “discovered” this or not, but my experience at NU definitely reignited my interest in academia and research – I attribute a lot of this to the excellent program faculty, but the content is also supremely engaging on its own.