Graduation year: 2019
Hometown: St. Charles, Ill.
Majors: Multimedia journalism and mass communications, Spanish
Activities: Greek Council, Chi Alpha Pi sorority, The Observer
Internships: WVIK, Quad Cities NPR; public relations firm in Spain; Telemundo Chicago WSNS-TV
Post-grad plans: Reporter for KWQC-TV6 News in Davenport, Iowa (I've been working there since January!)
I knew I wanted to be close to home, so I looked mostly in the Midwest. From there, it was a long journey because I was very indecisive in high school. I actually didn’t make my decision until a few days before graduation. After visiting Augustana, it felt how I had imagined college: a Quad where I could read or be with friends, a historic campus and a city nearby where I could eventually find a job.
Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?
I knew I’d grow as a Viking, but I would never have guessed I’d be where I am now. I’m a full-time reporter at KWQC, one of my dream jobs—and before I even graduated! And, I was elected to be Greek Council president for two terms. I’ve had countless experiences that let me grow, and I’m really happy with who I’ve become.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
I would not be here without the support of my family and friends. My parents have always pushed me to do my best, and I knew no matter what they'd be proud of me. Being Mexican in a primarily white school made me feel like I had to excel to prove people wrong about the stereotypes of Latinos, and for that, I'm grateful. I've grown and am now able to provide Spanish news to the Quad Cities.
My professors have been a huge asset, from my advisor Wendy Hilton-Morrow to professors in MJMC helping me apply to anything my heart desired. I've always dreamt outside the box, and they made it feel like anything was within reach.
Lastly, my sorority and friends within MJMC have been a huge support system. From the good days to the bad, I know I can count on them for whatever I need.
My peak experience would definitely be studying in Spain. My grandfather is from Spain, and I've been wanting to go since I was young so it was a dream come true! I got to visit my family and spend three months in a beautiful city, Seville. I loved the culture and people, and I'm so thankful that I am privileged enough to have studied abroad.
What surprised you?
I was relatively shy and close-minded when I came to Augustana, but during these past four years, I've learned new perspectives and met people who have helped open my eyes. The liberal arts experience truly helps to broaden your horizons and to become an open-minded person (even if I still don't remember anything about Einstein's theory of relativity after my honors class).
How did you use Augie Choice?
I used Augie Choice to help pay for my trip to Spain.
What will you miss the most?
I'll miss the people of Augustana the most. I made a lot of friendships within my sorority and classes that have made a huge impact on my experience here. The professors were also incredible. Even if I didn't have a class with them, we'd still catch up or go for coffee. They really care about you and your well-being.
Advice for the Class of 2023?
You’ll get out of Augustana what you put in—if you want to have an amazing experience, I recommend you get involved, whether it be in Greek life, music, athletics or another organization. There’s so much room to grow; you just have to put yourself out there first!
“The first thing one notices about Montserrat Ricossa is the genuine interest in her studies. Beyond just doing well on a test, she knows how to transform learning into opportunity, to take an assigned reading and discover what it means within the world around her. Every move she makes holds intent. When she landed a great internship at a Chicago TV station, it wasn't surprising. When she received a job offer well before graduation, it wasn’t surprising. Nothing about Montserrat’s success happened by chance.”