All posts by Katie Kochanny

ComArtSci Senior Lands Internship at Lansing-Based Public Relations Firm

Posted on: July 25, 2017

Throughout the school year, one topic seems to be on everyone’s mind: internships. Professors, alumni and other students frequently mention how important it is to have a few internships under your belt before graduating. ComArtSci senior Ally Hamzey has found an internship that’s giving her the experience she needs before heading out into the real world.

This summer, Hamzey is working as a public relations intern for Lansing-based PR firm Truscott Rossman. And if it weren’t for ComArtSci Connect, she may never have found the internship in the first place.

I found out about my internship through the ComArtSci career fair this spring,” said Hamzey. “When I saw a table for Truscott Rossman, I ended up showing them my portfolio and leaving a resume there. Later on, an account executive reached out to me and said that they wanted to schedule an interview.”

For those who have both a major and a minor, it can be difficult to try and tie the two together. Hamzey notes that this internship has helped her figure out which direction she wants to head in post-commencement.

This internship has been a really efficient way to get a feel for what kind of sector of media I want to work in after graduation,” said Hamzey. “Since I'm majoring in journalism and minoring in public relations, it kind of felt like a toss up when I thought about working for either a news or PR organization. Working for a firm where I can see what it's like to balance working for a variety of clients with different goals and messages really illuminated what PR is for me.”


As with most ComArtSci students who find prestigious internships, Hamzey also points out specific classes that have given her the skills she needed to be successful at Truscott Rossman.

“ADV 325 really helped set the groundwork for me on how to write specific news releases or media advisories,” said Hamzey. “JRN 300 also gave me the practice I needed to tighten up my AP Style skills, making me feel much more confident walking into this internship.”

We all know the importance of our classes, but what about the importance of our professors themselves? It can be hard to develop a personal relationship with a professor when you’re taking larger classes, but they can be helpful in guiding you in the right direction when it comes to your chosen field.

“Establishing relationships with professors can have the most long lasting impacts on your career,” said Hamzey. “Professors that I have been able to create close relationships with at ComArtSci have given me different perspectives and outlooks that have helped me improve my skills across the board. I strongly recommend that you take the time to talk to your professors and get to know who they are.”

And how should you go about doing this? By asking them as many questions as possible. ComArtSci professors have the experience that most students are working towards, so they’ll have the answers when it comes to your specific questions.

“Ask your professors questions you might not have wanted to ask out loud in class and ask about how they got to where they are now,” said Hamzey. “Ask, ask, ask!”

As a rising senior, Hamzey is full of advice when it comes to finding an internship like hers. Her main points? Apply to as many internships as you can and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get an offer.

“It's easy to feel disheartened if you've applied to 10 internships and only have heard back from a few, but use that as motivation to keep applying and keep improving yourself,” said Hamzey. “Create a cover letter that doesn't have typos or silly errors and really allure employers to understand why you're interested and why you're the most qualified for the position.”

As far as internal resources go, Hamzey understands just what ComArtSci can do when it comes to building a successful future. She advises her classmates to learn more about what the college has to offer, as it may help them in finding their dream internship.

“Take advantage of the vast array of resources available to you at ComArtSci,” said Hamzey. “If I hadn't approached one particular table at our career fair, I wouldn't have the internship that I do now. Read the flyers posted on the walls through the college because you might just find an event or workshop that could be incredibly beneficial to your future career.”

By Katie Kochanny

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Beyond MSU, Custance Finds Passion at The Athletic Detroit

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We often have an ideal image of what our future career will consist of. Craig Custance ‘99, ComArtSci Journalism grad, knew one thing was for sure: his would center around sports. So, as many Spartans do, Custance put his nose to the grindstone and set his sights high. Not long after graduating, he began work for the outlet that most young sports journalists can only dream about: ESPN. custance portrait

Though his days were filled with star players and the latest sports news, Custance knew something was missing. He knew he was meant to start something new and bring a new perspective to the sports community. But would it be worth the risk of leaving a steady job at an amazing company?

Spoiler alert. It absolutely was. Custance is now the editor-in-chief of The Athletic Detroit, an online publication revolving around the world of Detroit sports.

“I loved my job at ESPN and I’m grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to be an NHL Insider, with full support from start to finish,” said Custance. “But the opportunity to build a staff and launch a media company from the ground up in my hometown was more than I could pass up. It was a new kind of challenge and an opportunity to grow in ways as a journalist I wouldn’t have been able to do in my old job.”

With such success, it’s hard to picture Custance walking the halls of ComArtSci just like so many Spartans do each day. But as many alumni make aware, the resources needed to make it to the top are abundantly available. Custance notes that the experience gained during his time here made a huge difference in his career.

“I loved learning from journalists who had been out in the real world and experienced the job I was in school to learn about,” said Custance. “Hearing their stories, advice and tapping into their networks was invaluable for me at Michigan State.”

Custance also touches on the fact that the faculty here at ComArtSci is hard to beat. Many professors can help guide students in terms of what lies ahead after graduation.

L.A. Dickerson had a huge impact on my career both in terms of shaping me as a journalist and also guiding me in my career,” said Custance. “I’m indebted to her. Sue Carter, Folu Ogundimu and a number of others also stood out as leaders who made their classes fascinating.”

So how does one make it from ComArtSci to the top tier of the world of sports journalism? Not overnight. Custance understands the importance of internships, and advises students to seek them out.

“I got an internship after graduating, working in the Innovations department at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,” said Custance. “Once I was there, I volunteered to do anything they’d let me do, from helping launch the newspaper’s web coverage to driving around Georgia to cover local sports. It was an incredible experience and I was lucky enough to get a job at the paper when my internship was concluded.”

And what’s the one thing all students should know how to do by the time commencement creeps up? Network, network and then network a bit more, starting as soon as possible.

“The most important advice I can give to students looking for their next move is to network and get to know people who are working where you want to work,” added Custance. “I got my opportunity at ESPN in large part because I had a good relationship with editors who were already working there.”

Like it or not, that old saying of ‘it’s all about who you know,’ might just be true. After taking the time to figure out where you want to be, introducing yourself to those that could help you find your way inside goes a long way in getting a job.

“It’s hard to land a job without someone advocating for you on the inside,” said Custance. “I have had mentors who have helped guide me every step of the way. I’d encourage students to try and make those same connections.”

As someone that’s walked in the same shoes of many current Spartans, Custance’s best advice is to make one’s chosen career path match their passion.

“Make sure your dream job aligns with your passions, so that working towards that job isn’t a chore,” said Custance. “I run into a lot of people who love sports and want to get into journalism because they’re most excited about the games. But unless you’re also passionate about writing, reporting and developing sources, it’s going to be a challenge to put the work in necessary. The key is to identify a dream job that encompasses all the skillsets you enjoy doing so that chasing the job is every bit as satisfying as landing it.”

With alumni like Custance, it’s clear that ComArtSci can be the starting block for an accomplished journalism career. By making connections and defining your passions, you’re sure to stay at the top of your game.

By Katie Kochanny

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Media and Information Produces Short Videos to Improve Farming Practices in Eastern Africa

Posted on: July 24, 2017

Researchers from the MSU Department of Media and Information presented on the power of communication technologies to improve agricultural practices in East Africa through a workshop in Tanzania in mid-June.

Professor of Media and Information Charles Steinfield facilitated a one-day workshop on how to develop and apply learning videos created with input from local communities. The 22 attendees included representatives from government agencies, NGOs and African universities that provide agricultural extension services. Held in Dar es Salaam, the workshop was the culmination of a long-term project with MSU's Global Center for Food System Innovation that looked at the effectiveness of participatory videos in educating small farmers about advances in farming techniques, management and drought-resistant crops in rural Africa.


"MSU is a global leader in agriculture and in supporting agricultural innovation around the world," says Steinfield "This project combines intellectual resources from across MSU to develop creative solutions to agricultural problems, and continues our long tradition of capacity building to enhance food security worldwide."

Steinfield's work investigating how evolving new media applications might help rural farmers in developing regions began in 2013, and was spurred by the opening of the GCFSI within MSU's International Studies Program. He says the center was instrumental in moving the project forward based on its strong focus on creating, testing and enabling multidisciplinary solutions that address pressures on the world's food supply.

Steinfield saw an opportunity to educate small farmers through the application of video and other digital media. After securing funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development through the GCFSI, Steinfield assembled a cross-departmental team to launch a project that involved local communities in creating educational videos about the viability of new, climate resilient maize varieties.

The team collected narrative elements by visiting small farmers throughout western and south central Kenya. Steinfield and colleagues listened to farmer's stories, assessed their reasons for not using drought resistant varieties and created a low-cost video based on those perspectives. Agricultural extension workers from Farm Input Promotions-Africa helped the team identify filming locations and recruit local farmers as actors, while expertise on maize varieties was provided by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Nairobi. A translator worked alongside the team so that the video could be created in Kamba—the local language of the target region.


"Having local actors speak in their local language made the video extremely compelling," says Steinfield. "We also structured the video around the story of a local family and filmed lots of demonstrations."

Once the video was completed, Tian Cai, a Media and Information doctoral candidate, led a detailed study for her dissertation under Steinfield's guidance aimed at testing the video's effectiveness. The study used a field experiment involving 27 villages, with 16 villages receiving a video screening followed by a moderated discussion. The other 11 villages served as a control group and were not shown the video. In eight of the "treatment" villages, Cai and the team furthered investigated whether adding mobile phone reminder messages would help the farmers remember the video content throughout the growing season.

"The team followed up with the same farmers to see what they remembered from the video, and if it had any influence on their decisions regarding what maize variety they planted or intended to plant," says Steinfield. "A key finding from Cai's thesis is that the combined video plus phone reminder approach clearly had the strongest impact on farmers' learning and intention to use drought-tolerant maize."

Steinfield says attendees at the recent workshop were persuaded by the findings, and were eager to apply participatory video in their approach to improving farming practices.

"It is important to first spend the time needed to understand the local context and involve the local community in order to create solutions that use technologies in ways that are more appropriate to peoples' lives," says Steinfield. "This project was very much aligned with the philosophy of the Media and Information Department at MSU."

Other members of the project team from Media and Information were Associate Professor Jennifer Olson, and Kirk Mason, an undergraduate who filmed the 30-minute video. Tara Mock, a Ph.D. candidate from the African American and African  Studies program, also contributed to the project.

View the video here.

By Ann Kammerer

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Taste of Europe: Sparty On

Posted on: July 19, 2017

What an amazing experience it has been. These past three weeks will be ones that I will never forget. Each city possessed unique and unforgettable qualities that differentiated them from the next.

When we first arrived in Barcelona, I was amazed how hot the city was. I couldn't believe that people could live there for a whole summer! Our apartments we stayed at for the week had a perfect set up. Each one had up to 5 bedrooms with over 10 beds that comfortably slept the whole group. Our days were spent attending class in the mornings then touring the city in the afternoons. Although there are many beautiful sights to see in Barcelona, such as the Sagrada Família and Park Güell, my favorite was about a half hour outside the city in Montserrat. This is where I stepped a little outside of my comfort zone and hiked about 4,000 feet above sea level. This mountain is also known as the peak in Spain. I highly recommend doing this while traveling to Barcelona, it's beautiful, exhilarating and adventurous. The first week of classes in Barcelona were interesting because everything was all still very new. The classes allowed for us students to connect more as a group and get to know each other. The group activities we participated in allowed us to share ideas with one another which allowed us to see the full potential of our peers. I really enjoyed collaborating with others because not only do you get to know them, but you get to experience their insight on certain topics.

Cannes, France was absolutely beautiful. Cannes is located in the southern part of France which explains its amazing beauty. During our week in Cannes, we attended the Cannes Lion Festival. Going into the week, I expected this festival to be filled with hours of talks that wouldn't really appeal to me much. It turned out to be the complete opposite. The festival consisted of talks and speeches from some of the most respected and successful individuals in the marketing and advertising industry.  There were also speeches from stars such as Nick Jonas, Karlie Kloss, Alexander Wang and many more. These stars talked about their upbringing and how they became so successful. This was very beneficial for us students because they discussed how in order to be where they are today, they had to be very determined individuals at a young age. Other talks that I attended regarded certain techniques and inventions the company was currently coming out with. For example, Chevy employees discussed their newest app to prevent teens from texting and driving. This was one of my favorite talks at the festival because Chevy gathered several brilliant teens to come up with a successful solution to their problem, and they did.

Our last week in Amsterdam was bittersweet. I didn't want the adventures to stop, but I was starting to miss home just a bit. The last week of classes in Amsterdam was my favorite. During this week, we had the chance to make two Nike commercials that would air in Amsterdam. This was my favorite challenge because I absolutely love filming and editing, especially for an advertisement. Unfortunately, my group members and myself did not win the challenge, but we had an amazing experience producing it.

These past three weeks made me learn numerous things about myself. Most importantly, it made me realize that I'm certain I want to continue my education in the advertising field. I was absolutely fascinated with every agency we visited. Every employee in each country loved what they were doing which made their environments positive and successful.  For those who are interested in attending this program next summer, I'll give you three words of advice: just do it. This has been an experience filled with amazing opportunities, friendships that will last a lifetime and a better understanding of myself. I'd advise you to approach this trip with an open mind that is ready for any type of adventure that comes your way. I'd like to thank two people that made this trip the best it could have possibly been, Juan Mundel and Viky Stabio. These two not only planned and made everything we did possible, but they also made it fun and worth our time.

Sparty Blog post
Enjoy this picture of Sparty on my window ledge overlooking the beautiful city of Amsterdam! Go Green!

By Carina Bertakis

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Little Moments, Big Memories

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This post was originally published on Sam Inman's study abroad blog.

My 5-week European adventure is finally coming to a close. I came in with no expectations. I wasn’t sure how to predict how things would go and I’m glad that I didn’t try because I now know that it’s not possible. I would have never guessed that I would make such great friends and do the things I was able to do here. Things as great as this in life cannot be predicted. Si2

I’ve come to learn that my favorite memories come from the smallest moments. The times when things were unplanned and raw.

If I could give you any advice, I would tell you to make sure you do at least 3 things:

  1. Make Friends
  2. Make time for yourself
  3. Get lost

Make Friends

In Barcelona there was a small stir fry restaurant, called Wok Street, that was our go-to spot. It was cheap, delicious and also happened to rest in the shadows of La Sagrada Familia. My favorite memory wasn’t going into Sagrada Familia, even though it is mind blowing and breathtaking at the same time every time, it was going to stir fry. At Wok Street I made some of my closest friends, brainstormed ideas for school projects and shared stories. We would sit there while the sun was going down and I would have a surreal moment when I would look up and see the sunset on the beautiful church, surrounded by great friends in Barcelona. It doesn’t get much better than that.

SI1Make Time for Yourself

Our week in Cannes was nonstop. We were balancing the festival and getting homework done everyday. I started to feel like I was missing out on experiencing Cannes. I left the festival early one day, grabbed a towel and my journal and went to the beach. The sunset in Cannes turns everything purple, the sea, the sky and the mountains. I sat on the beach and wrote in my journal for a while. I felt like the beach I was sitting on and the mountains I was looking at weren’t real; Another surreal moment. The experience felt out of body, I was completely happy for the first time in a long time. I am the kind of person who needs to be alone sometimes, if you are the same I highly recommend getting away from everything for awhile and experiencing something by yourself. You will have a different experience that you can only share with yourself, which I think is special.

Three things to take advantage of if you go abroad

  1. Being in uncomfortable settings
  2. Public Transportation
  3. Connections

If you go on agency visits or meet people in the industry, make sure you receive what they have to say. I really enjoyed seeing how different agency’s work and what they are looking for in employees.

Last but not least here are some things that you should be prepared for

  1. Things go wrong… all of the time
  2. Your bed won’t be comfy
  3. Different cultural customs
  4. You’re going to spend a lot of money

Limit your expectations when going into an adventure like this. Open yourself to experiences,  they will come and possibly change you for the better. Push yourself to overcome troubles when things get tough. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there but don’t forget to make time for yourself. Some opportunities are once in a lifetime, recognize that and take advantage.

These 5 weeks have been the best weeks of my life.

By Sam Inman

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The End of a Journey: Food Across Europe

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This post was originally published on Jack Warren's study abroad blog.

As my first trip abroad comes to an end I sit here in the Amsterdam Airport reflecting on all of my experiences. I made my decision to study Advertising abroad in Europe very late in the school year. I did not book my flight until 3 weeks before and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had seen pictures from friends and heard about trips abroad and how in order to understand the experience you have to actually go experience it. I was hesitant to actually follow through with my decision but as I sit here I am realizing that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Sparty1

When we first arrived in Barcelona I felt uncomfortable with the culture. I did not like it and I wanted to go home. I have had some ups and downs this trip but the good times have helped me appreciate everything that I was able to accomplish. In the USA, we are so privileged and coming to a culture that is so different was hard for me at first.  Yes, I knew that it was going to be different, but not that different. It was a culture shock that took me by surprise. It took me a few days to get acclimated to the time difference and the city I was in and when I eventually got comfortable I ended up liking it a lot more.

This study abroad trip has given me the opportunity to learn about different cultures and groups of people in a way that I never knew possible. I have learned so much about people, food, music, art, business, marketing and many other things. The way our program was structured allowed us to really immerse ourselves into the culture that we were in. I have learned a lot about myself and what I want to do with my life. This trip offered new and different perspectives from people that challenged mine. We have faced many barriers this trip and knowing that we can overcome them together is empowering and motivating. Before this trip, I was unaware of my desire to travel, but after being here for 3 weeks I can't wait to plan my trip.

My group and our professor, Juan Mundel, are the people who made this trip so life changing. It would not have been the same without these people. They were always there to challenge one another and try to bring out the best in one another. I am very thankful that I had this group by my side throughout this trip because I couldn't have done it without them.Food

My overall experience with food was an incredible one. I have never been able to try so many different types of food in such a short time. My goal in Amsterdam was to eat as much traditional, local Dutch food as possible. When we first arrived we stopped at a local dutch/french restaurant and tried all different types of pattes, cheese, sausage and much more. The options were endless. A standout restaurant in Amsterdam would have to be The Avacado Show. This small lunch joint incorporates Avacado in all of their food dishes. I had an Avacado bowl that was filled with all sorts of vegetables and hummus. I also had a poke bowl that was made entirely out of avocado.

As I reflect on my food experiences throughout Europe, I feel that I am much more cultured and knowledgeable about the way I view food. I have a better understanding of the traditions attached and how drastically it can differ from area to area. I am overall very pleased that I had to opportunity to tour these 3 countries.

I would like to thank my family, friends, Juan Mundel and ASE group for making this such an awesome experience.

By Jack Warren

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ComArtSci Student Holds Prestigious Internship with NBC Nightly News

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When ComArtSci senior Treasure Roberts received a text message from an old friend detailing a competitive fellowship program with NBC Nightly News, she was determined to give it a shot. Fast forward a few months and she now spends her days in New York City, working as a production intern. T7

“I would have never thought I would be sitting in this newsroom,” said Roberts. “I work in the same newsroom as Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, NBC correspondent Rehema Ellis and Nightly News director Steve Lucas.”

A typical day for Roberts consists of working alongside a handful of producers, editors, writers and all of those who play a role in the NBC Nightly News production. She’s gaining the real-world experience that many students aim to earn throughout their college career.

“Throughout the day I lend a hand by logging interviews, doing research and fact-checking stories,” said Roberts. “I see stories come together before they air on the network every night at 6:30 p.m.”

Roberts notes how fortunate she is to be working alongside such high-profile names. She acknowledges the fact that her internship isn’t simply about making copies and getting people coffee, but working with experienced professionals who can give her insight into her field.

“Not everyone gets the chance to show the people they see on national news everyday their newsreel like I have, let alone talk to them,” said Roberts. “I have been able to talk to them about how they became successful and received their wonderful advice.”

Roberts credits ComArtSci as being particularly helpful on her path to success. From specific classes, to advisors, Roberts knew she had the tools she needed to be successful in this internship.

“The class that best prepared me for this internship is JRN 403, TV News with Bob Gould,” said Roberts. “This class is the reason I know how to use Avid software, which is the main software NBC uses.”T6

“My advisor, Corey Moore, always encouraged me to get internship experience under my belt,” said Roberts. “He helped me choose the best classes to take that have contributed to my experience today. Everything that I have done up until this point, whether that be my leadership and participation in organizations, excellent coursework and internship experience, is one large factor in how I gained this opportunity.”

Roberts feels that every ComArtSci student has the chance to experience an internship as great as her own. She knows that if you take risks, you just might get a reward.

“Apply for everything, even the ones you think you may not have a chance at,” said Roberts. “You never know who is willing to take a chance on you. Instead of asking ‘Why me?’ ask ‘Why not me?’ Also, never turn down an opportunity to get experience, even if it isn't paid. Those smaller internships will add up and help qualify you for a top-tier internship in the future.”

By Katie Kochanny

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Learning and Loving in Amsterdam

Posted on: July 17, 2017

This trip is a study abroad through MSU called Advertising and Society in Europe. The trip is three weeks long and covers a class called Advertising and Society. This class is all about different controversial subjects in advertising and how they affect society as well as how society affects advertising. The first week of the trip is in Barcelona, the second week is in Cannes and the third is in Amsterdam.

In Barcelona, we visited a lot of the city's most popular attractions including the Sagrada Familia and the Gaudi museum. While in Cannes, we spent five days attending the Cannes Lions festival, a festival of creativity for professionals in advertising and media fields. In Amsterdam, we did a boat tour of the city, the Heineken experience and other attractions of the city.

The class work and subject material were very interesting - we took turns presenting the chapter material to the class in groups, which helped us better understand and make connections with what we were learning. We also had to analyze ads we saw in two of the host countries, which helped us connect our class material with the society we were in.

My favorite thing we did for class were the 24 hour challenges. We had three of these challenges, which were essentially advertising briefs that treated us like real advertising professionals who had to create a campaign for a specific purpose. We had to go out in the city and film a commercial or create posters or any other medium we could come up with and present it to the class. These were challenging but fun to create and see what everyone else came up with.

The trip was overall an awesome time. I loved learning more about advertising in an international setting and seeing everything these cities had to offer with other students who think like me. I would totally recommend studying abroad to anyone who is interested. I learned a lot from class and just from being in another continent for a while, and it was a unique experience that will set me apart for the rest of my career at MSU and afterward.

Daily Recap

Monday, June 26

After breakfast at the hotel, we took the metro to class at UVA. During this class, we presented our 24 hour challenges from Cannes, and my team won! The prize was dinner with our group leaders, Juan and Viky, on Wednesday night. After class, my friend Claire and I found a lunch place with awesome sandwiches and freshly made juice. We ate fast because we had to get to a boat tour on the canals!


The boat tour was such a cool way to see all the best parts of the city and learn a little more about its history. I was fascinated by the way the houses along the canals are built - they're on wooden beams, and some look warped from the foundation they're built on. Everything in Amsterdam is built upwards, so the buildings are all super narrow and tall. We also saw lots of houseboats, which are extremely expensive, but if I could, I wouldn't mind living in one of these when I retire someday.


After the tour, Claire and I found coffee and macarons and did homework in the hotel room until our group dinner. The dinner was at Kantjil & de Tigre, which is an Indonesian restaurant. Amsterdam has all kinds of restaurants, which is great for me because I love trying new foods! Indonesian might be a new favorite. I was exhausted, so after a couple hours watching my classmates perform at a karaoke bar down the street, I was ready for bed.

Tuesday, June 27

Class was cancelled so we got to sleep in a little bit, but we also had a 24 hour challenge due tonight. So after breakfast at the hotel, we sat in my room and brainstormed ideas for our advertisements. The challenge was to create two video ads for Nike that promotes its sustainable innovation initiative specifically to the city of Amsterdam. We brainstormed until around 12:40 then walked to our group lunch at a cafe called Luden which was close to our hotel.

Then we got on the metro to get to our agency tour at 3 (although we were very late due to metro issues). The tour was of an agency that is a partnership between DDB and Tribal agencies. The president of DDB gave us a presentation about what their company is about, along with several case studies of the campaigns they've worked on for companies like Heineken and KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines). After the tour we got back to work on our 24 hour challenge. My group and I worked until late, taking only  a short break for dinner at a burger place nearby, and dessert too of course. But we finished it!


Wednesday, June 28

We had our last class of the trip today. We presented our 24 hour challenges and voted (my team didn't win this time) and then started the lecture on children's relationships with advertising as well as tobacco and alcohol in advertising. I loved having class at UVA because all of our chairs were facing the middle, so it really felt like a discussion. Also our trip leader/professor Juan really cared about our insight so it was always a well balanced discussion.

After class we had lunch at Luden again, then had another agency tour. This tour was at Wieden + Kennedy, which is a global, independent, full-service ad agency. I think every single person left wanting a job there. It was such a cool environment and they've done some awesome work. This trip has made me think a lot about what kind of job I want in my future and where I would want to live as well, and it's expanded my understanding of the field of advertising across international borders. After the agency visit, I shopped for a while before heading to the dinner for winners of the 24 hour challenge at a delicious Argentinian steakhouse.

Day 3 -2

Thursday, June 29

Since there was no class, we had lots of time to kill this morning. Some friends and I got up somewhat early and had breakfast at the hotel before heading out for some shopping. We went to an outdoor market with vendors selling all kinds of things. My personal favorites were the jewelry and antiques. I bought some antique postcards that were only four for one euro, and some even have writing still on them.

After spending a lot of time and money there, we had lunch at an avocado restaurant where I had toast with an avocado rose on top and some chips and guacamole. The food was beautiful and delicious! Then we started walking to the Heineken brewery for the tour, the "Heineken Experience." I don't really drink and I'm not particularly interested in how Heineken is made, so this wasn't my favorite, but it was still interesting to tour the brewery and have a proper tasting of the beer. My friend Claire and I headed back early and found somewhere to eat dinner. I had a piece of apple pie for desert because I thought it would be classic Dutch apple pie, and it was almost as good as I hoped. I did a little more shopping (there's ALWAYS more shopping to do here) and then went to bed early.


Friday, June 30

I had to leave a day early for work, so this was my last full day in Europe. After breakfast at the hotel, a group of us wanted to go back to the outdoor market and check out some vintage stores near it. I found a denim jacket for my boyfriend at a store called Episode, then some more gifts for friends and family at the market. At a vintage store called Time Machine, I found some hidden gems too. I let myself buy these things because I figured I'd never find items exactly like this anywhere else. On the way back to the hotel, a torrential downpour started and I got soaked. I changed clothes then went out with a couple friends to the flower market to take photos for our blogs. I wish we were staying long enough to buy some flowers here!


Then we had lunch in a cafe where I had some traditional mini dutch pancakes with butter and powdered sugar and it was one of the best things I've tried on this trip. At some point, Claire and I got separated from the bigger group who were going on a friendship boat tour. We almost got lost in the city looking for it, but then randomly ran into them at the last minute just in time to get on the boat. This tour was incredible - it was an open-top boat with a bar onboard, and we brought some macarons as well. We even witnessed a couple proposing on a bridge with a legendary history of romance (a lot of us were teary-eyed). We finished the night with dinner at a Mexican restaurant and karaoke at a bar by our hotel. I packed and got to bed for a full day of traveling home on Saturday.


By Madeline Davis

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ComArtSci Alumnus and Famous YouTube Star To Be MSU’s 2017 Homecoming Grand Marshal

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TylerOakley(Wide)Mark your calendars for October 15 - 21, 2017! ComArtSci alumnus Tyler Oakley is heading back to MSU to be the grand marshal for the homecoming parade.

Oakley graduated from ComArtSci in 2011 with a degree in communication. He’s been named one of top entertainment influencers and also secured a spot in their 2017 30 under 30.

“Ten years ago, I made my first video in my dorm room at Michigan State, and I'm honored to be returning as MSU Homecoming grand marshal an entire decade later," said Oakley.

With over 8 million subscribers on YouTube, Oakley has climbed to the top of the social media world since he graduated from MSU. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him back to where he first started his channel! Watch his announcement below:

For more information about MSU’s homecoming week, visit

By Katie Kochanny

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Ciao For Now

Posted on: July 11, 2017

I'm going to attempt to keep the sap to a minimum in this post - however, this may prove to be tricky since in a maximum of 24 hours I'll be in Michigan once again. Back to breathable weather, reliable cell service, and friends & family - yes. But also 4,590 miles away from producing more water (in the form of sweat) than the Trevi Fountain ~while enjoying limone and fragole gelato of course. Twelve hours from the steps en route to AUR where you can see a beautiful panoramic of the city while grappling for breath. One ocean/pond/whatever you call it away from the workers at frequented cafes who have showed simple generosity through free cornettos or an extra warm smile when it's your 3rd morning visit in a row. All the minor occurrences of day to day life in Italy will stick with me the most.

From the "little moments", I have absorbed the greatest amount of knowledge - and joy, really. I've learned to always look out the window when on trains so to not miss the short glimpse of people at stations being unapologetically human or the scenic shot of Mediterranean waters hitting the coast. The Italian style of simply enjoying food will also stay with me. Nights spent leisurely eating dinner for hours with good company have been a highlight. Before, I had always viewed heavy importance placed on food as slightly indulgent - and especially American practice. Now I see how social it can be.

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After being immersed in a different way of life for a few weeks and thriving off the "little moments", I can envision myself living abroad for a longer amount of time - either as a student or for work. Before the trip, I didn't have a lot of faith in myself that I could perfect my Spanish enough to live in a Spanish-speaking country. I can finally understand that it doesn't matter if you are the absolute best at the language - putting effort forth and showing you are trying is perfectly alright. Now I see how much I would have appreciated knowing Italian and having the chance to practice and improve in the language everyday. It's one thing to learn a language in a classroom. It's something completely different to interact with native speakers daily. My Spanish minor has taken on a new importance in my life after my month in a non-English speaking place. It's also motivated me to learn another language in addition to improving my Spanish. Possibly Italian!

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My time here has also showed me my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to living and coexisting with people different from me. Even other students on the trip - all hailing from the same culture of America - have a myriad of views, personalities, expectations and attitudes. I've learned to work on my patience. Over the course of the trip, I have improved in trying to understand and sympathize rather than criticize. Attempting to understand (or sometimes accepting you don't have to understand) others reactions are different from yours has helped to enhance my time in Rome. Even if you are experiencing the same incident, chances are you will have a different take on it than the person next to you. Everyone you meet has value and is valid - no matter their actions or attitudes.

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Whether it was small takeaways - like appreciating a good cappuccino - or large epiphanies - like accepting dissimilar qualities in others - this study abroad has had great impact on me. I hope to go back home a little better off than before.

By Maura Bayagich

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