Alumni Spotlight: Harvey Creasey (’14)
How do MLWGS students choose where to apply to college and ultimately where to attend? How do they handle the transition from high school to college? Our youngest alumni have the freshest perspectives on college applications, admissions, and the college experience. We talked to Harvey Creasey (’14), who is a senior at Virginia Tech.
Instilling a dedication to service in students was one of the primary goals of the founders of the Governor’s School, and we’re proud to see our alumni are carrying those values with them into the world. Harvey Creasey (’14) made the news last year because of his decision to donate bone marrow to a stranger in need. Harvey is currently a journalism student at Virginia Tech preparing to graduate a semester early thanks to the college credits he acquired in high school.
When Harvey looks back on his time in high school from his perspective as a student at a large state school, he does so with a new appreciation for Governor’s School’s small size. “Everyone knows that the Governor’s School is a very special place, but I think having everybody feel like they’re on the same ride is so helpful. Maggie Walker does such a good job of making sure everybody feels like they’re going over the same hurdles, which makes it a lot easier. Even beyond a social layer, you just know everybody is struggling like you are and celebrating like you are.”
When it came time to apply to college, Harvey remembered watching his older sister, Caroline Creasey (’12), take meticulous care in considering her choices before deciding to attend William & Mary. Though he thought of himself as someone who could be happy almost anywhere, he was still disappointed not to get into UVA or William & Mary. Looking back though, he says of the college application process, “Nobody really can tell you how seriously you should take it,” he says. “If somebody says you need to visit more schools or do this or that, you don’t necessarily.” He wishes now he had better understood at the time what he has found to be true: “You need to listen to yourself. You can go somewhere and make the most of it.”
Harvey has loved his time at Virginia Tech, thanks in part to his upbeat disposition. “If on the first day of college, you’re ready to be loving it and appreciating it, you’ll be happy,” he says. “Your spirit can start with your first day of being a student. You can go zero to sixty on school spirit on the first day.”
Because Virginia Tech accepted so many of his AP and dual enrollment credits, Harvey was able to skip several of intro-level classes, which freed up room in his schedule. “At a big school, there are so many niche classes that people take when they’re seniors, but if you have the room, you can take them as a freshmen or sophomore,” he says. “I love my journalism classes a lot, but it was cool that I could take Indoor Plants or the History of Bluegrass Music, too.” He adds, “I would suggest to high-schoolers that APs aren’t just about finishing early. Those credits can free up a lot of time to do other things once you’re in college.”
Majoring in journalism at Tech has opened up incredible opportunities for Harvey. He landed an internship with NBC during the summer of 2016 that sent him to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “I almost didn’t apply because I thought it was such a long-shot,” he says. “But I found the application online, applied, and did a couple of interviews, and less than a year later I was there in Brazil with NBC.” He spent the summer of 2017 completing a news internship for MSNBC. “NBC is really big on retention,” Harvey explains. “They love when people come back. I had to interview and go through the whole process like I did the first time, but they hired me again.” He worked primarily with the MSNBC booking department, which involved finding guests, prepping them for their appearances, and even sometimes conducting pre-interviews. “This was especially interesting this summer,” he says. “Politics aside, there was a year’s worth of news in the last three months.”
What were the best parts of that internship? “Just being in 30 Rock was so cool,” he says. “Plus, if there was ever a lull in the day, they totally welcomed people going to shadow a producer or seeing what’s going on outside the department.” He also got to interact with MSNBC guests, like Senator Al Franken. “He’s got such a good sense of humor, and we got to talk about his time on SNL,” Harvey says. “It was fun to see people like him come in and be a little less scripted.”
Harvey will be finishing at Virginia Tech this upcoming December, a semester earlier than most of his peers. His early graduation means he’ll be free to go to the Winter Olympics in South Korea for six weeks with The Today Show. After that, I don’t know,” he says. “I think it’s so important to take things one step at a time and always have something to look forward to.”
The 2017-18 Annual Fund supports all of the Foundation’s programming for and about alumni.