Do you work in documentary filmmaking or know someone who does? Current senior Taylor O’Berry dreams of traveling the world and showcasing people and cultures through documentary films after graduation this May. She would love your advice about the best companies to work for, where to begin in the film industry and any other insights that you may want to offer her.

O’Berry is a communication studies major with a concentration in digital media and a minor in photography. Her dream is to work in for a company like VICE, where she can take on the role of story-teller and filmmaker, showcasing different cultures, issues, and aspects of human life around the world. O’Berry confirmed, “I love being behind the camera, and capturing special moments that we wouldn’t otherwise see.”

For O’Berry, the Admitted Students Day, a day where students that have already been accepting can come explore campus on a deeper level, was the major selling point in her decision to attend Longwood; “admitted students day was really cool because I got to sit in the [communications] studio with other prospective students and Professor Halliday, and he took the time to explain the department and the COMMunity, and it was in that moment that I knew that Longwood was the place for me,” O’Berry admitted.

Despite being extremely fascinated and wanting to enter the documentary filmmaking industry, O’Berry can’t recall the exact moment she fell in love with sharing other’s stories. She remarked, “I really enjoy watching documentaries and seeing the process of learning through film… I love to travel and would love even more to capture different people and different places.” Central to her beliefs is the idea that storytelling is vital to a functioning society, as O’Berry continued, “I think stories should connect us and diversify us and we need that connection as humans.” 

“I think stories should connect us and diversify us and we need that connection as humans.” 

Taylor O’Berry ‘20 Tweet This

In addition to her academic work, O’Berry is also heavily involved in a plethora of extracurricular activities. She is the current photo editor of the Rotunda, Longwood’s student newspaper, and previously served as a staff writer and as the assistant photo editor. She is also a DJ with WLMU 91.3fm, the campus radio station, treasurer or Lambda Pi Eta, a desk aide for the Office of Residential and Commuter Life, and is an initiate of Alpha Gamma Delta. Most recently, she also completed an internship with Brighteyes Alpaca Retreat where she managed social media and communications.

If O’Berry could thank one person from her undergraduate experience, she would thank Halle Parker ‘18, who served as the former editor-in-chief of the Rotunda, because “every time I talk to her, even now, she is encouraging and she has always pushed me to do my best and I appreciate that.” Parker was editor-in-chief when O’Berry was a sophomore, and “she was the person I most looked up to… if I modeled myself after anyone, it would be Halle,” Taylor confirmed. And O’Berry’s favorite class you ask? That would be COMM434: Comm Lab with Professor Halliday, because “I love being able to work with other people and with community members and partners, to produce content for clients across different industries” O’Berry urged. She continued, “it is the hand-on experience we need before we go out into the real world.”

The drive behind O’Berry’s can-do attitude and lively spirit is her desire to push herself further and further; O’Berry loves to explore the boundaries to which she can push herself and grow. “I tend to take on a lot of projects at once, and it is so satisfying to push yourself to a point where you didn’t think you could go, and then look back when it is done and find pride in the accomplishment,” O’Berry said with a huge smile. She continued, “To me, success is about being happy with where you are… it doesn’t take money or things, but it’s about being happy and having an impact at the same time… I want happiness and to have an impact.”

Consider connecting with O’Berry on LinkedIn and share your advice and any job opportunities that could be available to her after graduation.


About the Author

Dustyn Hall ‘18

Dustyn Hall '18 is the Director of Young Alumni & Student Giving in the Office of Institutional Advancement and has served in that role since July 2019. Before his current service at Longwood began, Dustyn worked for Phi Mu Delta National Fraternity & Educational Foundation as the Director of Advancement, where he oversaw the development, communications, and alumni engagement sectors of their operations.

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