6 resources to maximize your student experience at ComArtSci

Posted on: January 24, 2017

At the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your time as a student and prepare for your future as a professional and successful alum. From one-on-one advising to study abroad opportunities, career fairs and resume workshops – you don’t want to miss out.

  1. Academic Advising

Students are welcomed to schedule appointments with their advisors to discuss their major, student life and more. New available dates and times are posted online every Wednesday. Follow these instructions for how to schedule an appointment.

For students with quick questions and busy schedules, Express Advising hours are offered every Wednesday from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. These meetings are organized on a first-come, first-served basis. Simply sign up in room 189 of the ComArtSci building. Kari Schueller, the director of Academic and Student Affairs, suggests that students take advantage of the 8 a.m. start time, as afternoon hours are often much busier.

  1. Career Services


Looking for internship positions or some extra help perfecting your resume? Student peer advisors host regular drop-in hours at the front desk of the career services office in room 181.

Karin Hanson, field career consultant, emphasizes the importance of having your resume and cover letter reviewed by someone in the office. They work directly with job recruiters, so they know what advice to offer students seeking internships and entry level positions.

In addition to regularly scheduled events like networking mixers and resume workshops, the office organizes the annual MSU ComArtSci Connect Career Fair. The fair is set up to give students the chance to learn about potential employment opportunities at companies across the nation and meet professionals in their field.

ComArtSci students have made great relationships at this event. Read a few testimonials from students who have completed internships they discovered at the career fair.

  1. Study Abroad

Michigan State University is known across the country for being a leader in study abroad programs, with over 275 programs in more than 60 countries around the world.

At ComArtSci, some of the most popular trips include “Advertising and Public Relations a la Mediterranean” as well as the “Mass Media in the UK-London, Scotland and Wales.”

For questions about how to make study abroad a possibility for you, visit the Office of Study Abroad or set up an appointment with Jennifer New, assistant director of Academic & Student Affairs. Peer advisors are also available in-person during walk-in hours as well as online to discuss plans.

  1. Study Away


Want to travel to new places, but not interested in going abroad? ComArtSci’s Study Away Field Experience courses might be the best option for you.

Each semester, the course offers students the opportunity to learn about companies in Los Angeles, New York City or Chicago and it concludes with a trip to the city that was focused on.

Advertising senior Emmy Virkus recently traveled with the program to Chicago and wrote about her experience.

  1. Student Organizations

With creativity around every corner, students at ComArtSci have established many student groups in order to utilize the skills they’re learning in their classes.

Whether you’re a professional behind the camera or a young writer looking for ways to get published, there’s a list of different organizations that you can choose from. A few of our students who lead these groups can also tell you why you should join theirs.

  1. Creative Spaces

The college has been buzzing this year about the recently opened Spartan Newsroom and Immersive Media Studio, fit with a digital animation center and a news desk. The space was briefly open for the first time on election day, Nov. 8, 2016. Students and faculty from the
School of Journalism showcased their skills, providing live coverage and updated information during an event called MI First Election. After officially opening in January, students are now taking classes in the space and using the equipment to produce innovative content.

Students also make popular use of the Digital Media Arts and Technology Lab, fondly nicknamed “DMAT,” located on the first floor of the ComArtSci building. The college offers high-tech equipment, like soundproof spaces, microphones and softwares for work with audio, video and more. Several student-produced shows are filmed and edited here!

The College of Communication Arts and Sciences also headquarters WKAR Public Media, the local TV and radio broadcasting entity. The studios are spread throughout the building, so students are often invited and given the chance to work, gain hands-on experience, contribute to radio programs and even assist as interns on various production crews.

By Savannah Swix

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ComArtSci student organizations help members strengthen their unique talents

Posted on: December 6, 2016

At the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, students’ skills and talents for the creative industry are honed through their education and faculty mentors. Additionally, the work they do outside the classroom on their own time proves dedication to the acceleration of their craft.

ComArtSci students lead several organizations on campus that allow them the opportunity to use the techniques they are building in school to create tangible products and experiences to showcase in their futures.  Each group has its own set of values, its own mission and goals that bring a variety of students together, making  strangers into friends and beginners into young professionals.

Whether it be producing videos, writing press releases, comprising future projects or meeting with top executives in the industry, ComArtSci student organizations have a network for everybody.

MSU Telecasters

MSU Telecasters is the second largest organization at Michigan State University and known for the seven different television shows it produces that range from comedy, drama and are created using a wide array of production styles.

13641295_1245445772155344_21121443097867109_oAnna Young, senior media and information major and executive producer for the club, reflects on the relationships that she has formed as a member.

“My favorite thing about Telecasters is the people,” said Young. “Everyone has so much fun together, both while we're shooting and while we're not. It really has been the best part of my college experience just because of the people I've met.”

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)

For senior Advertising + Public Relations student Danielle Homic, being the president of PRSSA has broadened her professional network and provided her with various  hands-on learning experiences.

PRSSA has two missions: to serve members by enhancing their knowledge of public relations by providing aimg_1981ccess to professional development opportunities, and to serve the public relations profession by helping develop high quality, well-prepared students.

“I would absolutely recommend prospective students join PRSSA,” said Homic. “We have so many opportunities for members from planning events and case study competitions to joining our student-run firm, Hubbell Connections, as well as writing press releases and blog posts. There are 300 chapters nationwide, all of which have their own strengths and weaknesses.”

Michigan State University Advertising Association (MSUAA)

Communications Director for MSUAA and junior advertising major Sidney Matthews said she loves that a  wide variety of advertising students come together with a similar purpose as members of the organization.r_ga-visit-2

MSUAA is a club that hones in on the advertising industry, giving students countless opportunities to network with top professionals and share personal experiences.

“Hearing from the different executives that come to our meetings and how they got their start inspires me and makes me feel more confident in the future,” said Matthews. “I was hesitant at first and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to our guest speakers and going on the agency tours. Not only have I met a bunch of great people, but I have learned so much.”

To learn more about the various student organizations at ComArtSci and how to find the ones that best fit you, click here.

By Emmy Virkus

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Beyond Bollywood Music Video Goes Global

Posted on: September 30, 2016

For the third summer in a row, ComArtSci students traveled to India, home of the internationally-known Bollywood industry, to participate in a production-based study abroad program.

The students spent about a month in India traveling to cities around the country including Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, and more learning about Indian media and creating films.

For two weeks of their trip the students, led by Amol Pavangadkar, a senior teaching specialist in the Department of Media and Information, stayed in Hyderabad touring Ramoji Film City, the world’s largest film studio. Senior media and information student Claudia Price compared it to the United States’ Universal Studios.

While in India, the students produced a short film that they wrote, performed, and filmed with the help of a crew from Ramoji Film City. The film features a music video in the same style as many Bollywood films. The students learned the choreography and lyrics to a song in the local language called “Lungi Dance” from the popular film “Chennai Express.”

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By Savannah Swix

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Students return from first-ever Sports JRN Study Abroad program

Posted on: July 13, 2016

sports jrn study abroadAfter a month of exploring the cities of Paris and Rome, 22 students completed the first Sports Journalism Study Abroad program on June 27.

Making Connections

Following their arrival in Paris on May 30, the group wasted no time maximizing the experience.

During the program, the students participated in several unique opportunities including a trip to the French Open, a tour of Eurosport – one of the largest sports networks in the world – and a visit to the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee where they were presented with Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympics. The students also did some sightseeing of classic destinations, like the Eiffel Tower. In addition, they were given a special tour of the Pope’s private gardens in Rome and a trip to Normandy, a region of France, to visit a famous equestrian facility.sportsjrn

The group met with Olympic athletes and reporters from all over the world including Suzette Hackney, a Journalism alumna who now works for the Indy Star as the Editorial Page Editor; Chuck Culpepper, writer for the Washington Post; Jim Bittermann, head of the European Bureau of CNN; and retired sportswriter John Henderson who shared his experience meeting the students on his blog.

Joanne Gerstner, Sports Journalist in Residence at the School of Journalism, and Journalism professor and specialist Lori Anne Dickerson used their connections in the field to make these encounters possible for the students.

“I think the reaction was ‘Wow, journalism is journalism.’ It doesn’t matter where you are, being good at what you do – your reporting, your writing, your sourcing – that’s what wins the game,” said Gerstner.

Lifelong Experiences

Recent graduate Hanna Sprague finished her final credits during the trip. She said that it opened her eyes to unknown career opportunities and triggered her “travel bug.”

The things we learned though meeting with the professionals on our trips were things that no textbook could ever dream of teaching. We were hands-on, live and interacting with some of the most respected journalists, PR professionals and athletes in the world,” said Sprague. “We represented so much more than ourselves. We represented the J-School, we represented Michigan State and we represented the future of sports journalism.”study abroad

Senior Christopher Boggus savored the small things during the trip like cooking an authentic Italian meal with some of the other students and climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower. He called himself lucky to have been a part of the study abroad.

The time I spent over here making new friends and learning from the different journalists and athletes has helped me grow not only as a journalist, but also as a person and a student of life,” said Boggus. “Not to mention just living within the bounds of these cultural differences gives you a certain perspective that I believe is going to be very important for me becoming a more wise and intelligent contributor to this world.”

The Journey Continues

A second Sports Journalism study abroad is reportedly guaranteed, according to Gerstner who said that students have already contacted her to express their interest in the next trip. She explained that, at this time, they are planning to host the trip every other year in order to keep it “special” and coordinate more unique experiences and connections abroad.

“The good news is we pretty much put out the Sparty flag, as we called it, anywhere and everywhere you could go, so we spread the name of MSU Sports Journalism far and wide and every single group and person that came in contact with our students were just like ‘These students are amazing. They’re great. It’s so good to see the future of journalism is in their hands.’ They made some good impressions, so I was a very happy professor,” said Gerstner.

Read the group’s daily blog, see pictures and more on their website.



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Sports Journalism program making a name for itself

Posted on: May 4, 2016

IMG_4134The world is accustomed to Michigan State sports teams making waves.

Another facet of Michigan State sports is making a name for itself, as the School of Journalism is building one of the strongest Sports Journalism programs in the country.

This school year has shown the strength of the program: students getting jobs and internships at ESPN and other major outlets, more than 200 students and alumni involved in the Spartan Sports Journalism Classic, a fully booked inaugural Sports Journalism Study Abroad for summer 2016, and students creating professional content for WKAR platforms.

“All the wonderful things that are happening right now within MSU Sports Journalism is a testament to our fantastic students and faculty,” said Continuing Specialist L.A. Dickerson, who has been building the Sports Journalism program for more than a decade. “We have such strong and talented students who are so eager to take every opportunity, and that’s why they are all doing so well in the field.”

The Sports Journalism curriculum is a specialization offered for Journalism majors. Students within the School of Journalism elect to take Sports Journalism classes, ranging from sports writing to advanced content creation.

The strength of MSU’s Sports Journalism family was on display this past fall, when the Spartan Sports Journalism Classic took center stage. Former NBA and MSU basketball star Steve Smith, now a TBS and NBAtv broadcaster, again hosted the event. More than 50 MSU alumni who are sports journalists and media professionals came from around the country to network and share knowledge with students.

“It was my first Spartan Sports Journalism Classic, and I was completely blown away by the enthusiasm, love and total support from everybody for what we are doing,” said Joanne C. Gerstner, School of Journalism Sports Journalist in Residence. “So many of our students walked away with internship and job leads, critical career advice and a strong sense of what their futures could be like in sports journalism. Not too many schools of journalism can draw upon such as strong roster of caring alumni like that. We truly have something special here.”

The Sports Journalism program is constantly striving to bring new experiences to students. This year, students had the opportunity to exclusively tour ESPN’s College GameDay football set and network with ESPN’s broadcast professionals. They went to Joe Louis Arena to build relationships with the Detroit Red Wings and hockey media. Sports Journalism students also had the experience of doing live broadcasts on The Weather Channel and ABCnews.com before MSU football games – opportunities solely reserved for them.

One of the more innovative new features is the addition of a Sports Journalism Study Abroad. The class, which runs from May 30-June 27, 2016, will take 24 students to Paris and Rome to study sporting cultures, sports journalism and storied Olympic histories of both cities. Led by Dickerson and Gerstner, the Study Abroad was filled to capacity within weeks of opening for registration in the fall.

The students are scheduled to interact with sports media from L’Equipe, ESPN, SkySports, as well as learn from Olympic historians, soccer experts, the 2024 Rome and Paris Olympic bid teams, and others involved in the European sports scene. The French Open tennis championship, as well as the 2016 Euro soccer tournament, also will be underway while the students are in Paris.

“We’re helping form the future of sports journalism, and we’re really excited about our students’ potential to make a real impact on the world of media,” Gerstner said. “The interconnectivity of their education, real-world experiences and being globally informed about sports journalism will certainly make our students some of the most well-rounded in the country. There is a real legacy of important sports journalism coming from MSU alumni, and I see our students definitely carrying that forward.”

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Learning While Enhancing Education in Tanzania

Posted on: September 3, 2015

Tony Perrelli mainMedia and Information senior Tony Perrelli had always dreamed of going to Africa and says he wants to explore the world while he’s “still young.”

The Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) study abroad, which travels to Tanzania each year, gave Perelli the opportunity to do just that while earning credit for his degree.

This service-for-learning program, led by Jennifer Olson, Associate Professor of Media and Information, and Erik Goodman, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, gives MSU students an opportunity to design and implement real-world solutions to make a positive impact in the Rift Valley region of northern Tanzania. It teaches students how to become socially active citizens and how information and communication technologies can be used to create practical solutions to enhance economic and social development in this developing part of the world.

The study abroad group worked with five different schools – three primary and two secondary – where they updated old computers and installed new laptops in every school. They also ran electricity and Wi-Fi to buildings created specifically for computer use. In order to get Internet in each school, they had to link to one central satellite, which required a lot of climbing up towers and on roofs to aim antennas toward the next closest school.

Tanzania main 1“We got to experience so much. We got to work with some of the nicest people I've ever met and it felt really good to know that we were really making a difference to not only students but to teachers as well,” Perrelli said. “Being immersed in the culture and environment really made me think differently about things and I really hope to return and do more in the future.”

Training the Teachers

The study abroad students also trained teachers on how to use the new software and operating system. Many teachers were either used to different operating systems or never used a computer before.

This experience showed Perrelli just how difficult it can be to teach people how to do basic functions on computers such as typing a word document or posting photos to the Internet.

“The teachers in Tanzania had zero experience with these programs since they never had any access to them prior. This took a lot of time but they eventually got the hang of it,” Perrelli said. “This makes me want to see if there is more of a training aspect to my major where I can use my knowledge to help teach people to become better with computers.”

Survival Swahili

The study abroad began at a small university, MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation (MS-TCDC), in Arusha, Tanzania, where students were taught the basics of the Swahili language so they could understand and communicate in the local language. Called “Survival Swahili, one of the assignments was for students to go on their own without any professors or guides to a local market and shop for food in Swahili.

"It was tough but really rewarding," Perrelli said about the assignment.

The students also went on safaris each Sunday and visited three national parks – Arusha National Park, Lake Manyara National Park and Ngorongoro National Park.

“These safaris were some of my favorite parts of the trip, and they really showed us the natural beauty of Tanzania,” Perrelli said. “We saw the coolest animals and they sometimes got closer than I ever would've imagined.”

Perrelli noted that the biggest thing he gained overseas that he could not have gotten on campus was experiencing a different culture.

“It’s rare for people to actually experience (Africa) firsthand,” Perrelli said. “If I hadn’t gone on this trip, I probably would still believe the stereotypes about Africa that you see in the West. I also wouldn’t have gained the ability to work with people that speak little to no English to set up computer systems.”

Perrelli and the other study abroad participants are planning to keep in touch with the teachers they worked with in Tanzania to see future progress and to see if there is anything they can do to continue to help.

For more information on the program, see the Information and Communication Technologies for Development web page.

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Study Abroad Immerses Student in Jordanian Culture

Posted on: August 14, 2015

Andrew Joseph mainIt’s barely past 4 a.m. and the citizens of Amman, Jordan, begin to stir and prepare for adhan, the Islamic call to prayer. This first Morning Prayer concludes as the sun’s rays just touch the horizon. The Islamic call to prayer, which will occur four more times before the day ends, is a daily centerpiece of Middle Eastern culture, a culture that Communication Arts and Sciences senior Andrew Joseph experienced first-hand this summer.

While participating in the “Arabic in Jordan” study abroad, sponsored by Michigan State University's College of Arts and Letters, Joseph confirmed his belief that such an experience does not "magically" improve oneself and skillset, instead it provides the tools and means to reach one’s full potential.

"This trip reinforced that idea and made me realize how important the experience was as a whole to my growth and education," said Joseph, who further expressed that the study abroad met his expectations in regards to learning about Jordan's culture, dialect, people and viewpoints and he “wouldn't trade this experience for anything.”

Arabic in Jordan is an intensive nine-week study abroad program that focuses on the Arabic language and culture. Students in the program receive around 200 hours of exposure to the Arabic language and Levant dialect at the Jordan Language Academy (JLA) in Amman.

A double major in Media and Information and Arabic, Joseph is working to be fluent in Arabic so he can perform "hands-on research with media and Internet use in the Middle East, as well as help conduct business in Arabic when necessary."

"For both my personal and professional goals, it's important to be able to speak in another person's language when I am trying to learn from them, do business with them, or just simply communicate," said Joseph, who recognizes that using someone’s preferred language is more genuine and leads to stronger relationships.

It was the building of relationships that Joseph could not emphasize enough, as he made a handful of Jordanian friends during the study abroad and “learned infinitely more with them than in a classroom."

"Hanging out and interacting with them forced me to think on my feet and under pressure, but allowed me to do so with people I could laugh with when mistakes were made," he said.

During his nine-week study abroad, Joseph stayed with a Jordanian Christian family.

Arabic in Jordan Study Abroad"They were extremely welcoming and even insisted that I call them Mama and Baba," Joseph said.

The host family's older children, who live in the same apartment complex, visited often. A common practice in Jordanian culture, families and extended families often will rent or buy apartment complexes or numerous floors.

"It took me a while to get used to all the noise from having them all over,” Joseph said, “but I now believe I can study with any volume of noise."

Noise, weather, customs or even world perspectives, Joseph had no problem adjusting to it all, and when it came to food, he was particularly receptive. His favorite dish came while camping in Wadi Rum when the Bedouins prepared a traditional meal for his class, which consisted of meat, potatoes and various vegetables all baked and steamed in an underground oven using coals as the heat source.

"Later that same night, we laid out under a clear sky and I can honestly say I have never seen so many stars fill the sky," Joseph said about the class excursion and noted the pleasure of sleeping in tents and waking up to pure desert silence.

Beyond Wadi Rum, the study abroad exposed students to the rich history of Petra, Aqaba and Madaba while leaving them time to learn on their own. Joseph’s most memorable moment came when he and another classmate were invited to visit a newly acquainted friend's home located north of Amman in the city of Jerash.

"The night was truly the most memorable and fun that I had while in Jordan," said Joseph as he recalled the stories, jokes and food shared that night. "I learned so much and had such a great time that I can only hope to pay back the kindness and hospitality they showed me in the future."

Following his time in Jordan, Joseph continued his travels and is presently on a 41-day trip through Europe. He will return to MSU in the fall to start his senior year when he will participate in the Presidential Fellows Program.

"I think the Presidential Fellows Program is a great opportunity for both current and future leaders of various fields to present and learn about their individual interests tied to the presidency and Congress," Joseph said. "It is a hotbed for new and innovative ideas because it allows myself and the other participants to perform mentored research."

The Presidential Fellows Program offers up to 75 top undergraduate and graduate students from leading colleges and universities across the country a year-long opportunity to study the U.S. presidency, the public policymaking process and presidential relations with Congress, allies, the media and the American public.

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Making Her Own Adventures Through Study Abroad

Posted on: August 7, 2015

Kelsey Block

Journalism senior Kelsey Block wanted to make adventures for herself, so she decided to go on study abroad.

“The opportunity for study abroad was one of the reasons I chose to come to Michigan State,” said Block who is currently in Europe as part of the Photo Communication study abroad program.

While photography has been a hobby of Block’s for a long time, she said she is not particularly skilled with it, which is why she chose to participate in the Photo Communication program.

“I wanted to improve my knowledge of the technical elements of photography, and what better way to do that than a study abroad in Europe,” she said. “I’m learning to think like a photographer and capture interesting things from unique perspectives.”

Block said she enjoys seeing the work of professional photographers and experiencing the culture of each place they visit.

Kelsey Block in Prague“The work of others provides a lot of inspiration for my own photos,” she said. “I can ask, ‘how did you do that?’ And then go try it out for myself.”

Block also noted that the program is especially helpful because the students are at all different skill levels, and they are learning from each other.

“You can learn so much more quickly and efficiently when you’re surrounded by a big group of other students than you can playing around on your own in your free time,” Block said. “I’m definitely learning my way around a camera.”

In addition to the photography skills, students are learning about the history of each place they visit.

“For example, the Czech Republic has undergone a lot of political changes in the last 50 years in switching from socialism to capitalism,” Block said. “It was fascinating to learn from the older photographers about how their country has changed in their lifetimes and the implications that has today.”

Study abroad students also gain both cultural and practical knowledge.

“We are learning everything from restaurant etiquette to how to take the train in France to communicating despite language barriers,” Block said. “It’s great practice for a reporter; you’re thrown into a completely foreign environment, you don’t even know the language, but you have to figure things out quickly or you’re going to miss something.”

The Photo Communication study abroad program, which runs July 6-Aug. 9, is led by School of Journalism faculty members Howard Bossen, Professor of Photography and Visual Communication, and Darcy Greene, Associate Professor.

by Rachel Tang, Public Relations Assistant/ Journalism Senior


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Made in Italy Study Abroad Hits on University Priorities

Posted on: August 5, 2015

Made in Italy 3

By Jennifer Rumler, Managing Director, Sales Leadership Minor

If one looks at the initiatives and priorities of Michigan State University – among them becoming a “world grant” institution; transforming lives through education, service and outreach; exposing first-generation college students to study abroad; and connecting with alumni and friends around the world in meaningful ways – the Made in Italy study abroad program was, again, a tremendous success.

“I will never forget what I felt during my six-week stay in Rome – the genuine connections with each of my professors, the smiling faces I encountered while volunteering, and the bonds I built with my fellow Spartans, all left an impression on me that I am still unpacking,” said Leticia Gittens, senior Communication major and Sales Leadership minor. “I know that the experience was critical in helping me develop into the woman I will become.”

Made in Italy 5Hands-on activities of the program put theory into practice when the students volunteered at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center (JNRC), working with artisans, organizing soccer games, teaching English as a Second Language, serving meals, working in the distribution center, and participating in art therapy for guests at the center, all while testing their interpersonal and intercultural communication skills.

“At the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center, I was able to experience life and beauty in a way that looked beyond differences and even language barriers,” Gittens said. “After a little hesitation, I was able to open my mind and especially my heart to love and learn from some the most underprivileged yet ingenious individuals the world has to offer. This program was a perfect combination of learning, giving and growing.”

In addition to student involvement, alumni and friends of the university through the Rome pilot of “Spartans Without Borders,” directed by Dale Elshoff, brought the skills of a K-12 art teacher, an MSU Extension and 4-H outreach and training specialist, an MSU Alumni Association representative, and an engineering professional to the JNRC for two weeks. Participants lent their professional skills to the center and to the refugees with projects ranging from developing an electronic inventory program with scan cards, developing volunteer training materials, creating a photo exhibit, and organizing the distribution center, all while enjoying the Eternal City.

Established in 2010, the Made in Italy Study Abroad program is far from just a six-week experience from mid-May until the end of June. Students are encouraged to apply in the fall, close to MSU’s Study Abroad Fair, which this year takes place, Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Breslin Center.

Made in Italy 6The program then begins in late spring. Because it fills up quickly, program leaders Jennifer Rumler, Managing Director of the Sales Leadership Minor, and Karin Hanson, Director of Employer Relations and Professional Transitions for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, hold bi-monthly pre-departure meetings beginning in February.

The goal of the meetings is to allow students to get to know each other, to demonstrate that the learning and teaching style will be far different from the typical MSU lecture hall, and to set firm expectations. Students learn about the professors they will encounter, the excursions they will undertake, and the hands-on experiential learning that is built into every class.

Students earn nine credits in six weeks taking these three classes:

  • “Made in Italy, the Marketing of an Ideal,” taught by Fabiana Romano, Editor of OM Magazine and field expert in marketing, sales, advertising, event planning, public relations and media management
  • “Italian Communicators: Popes, Politicians, and Popular Culture,” taught by the Director of English Language Programming for Vatican Radio and 38- year-veteran journalist, Seàn-Patrick Lovett
  • “Intercultural Communication and Sales,” taught by Rumler and Hanson

During this summer’s marketing course, students learned about the Made in Italy branding phenomenon and the historical, social, political factors that went into the explosion of luxury brands in Italy in the 30s, 40s and 50s, mostly aimed at the American market. In addition, they created marketing and communication plans to launch an original Italian product in the United States during the 1980s, based on their research of conditions in both markets at the time. Guest lecturers were Laura Buonocore, Corporate Events Manager for Salvatore Ferragamo, and Umberto Mucci, Founder and President of We the Italians, and Italian Representative for the Italian American Museum in New York City.

The Italian Communicators course included lectures and discussions as well as experiential excursions to locations in the Eternal City that brought the discussions to life. Excursions to St. Peter’s Basilica, Basilica San Clemente, Vittorio Emanuele II monument, Castel Sant’Angelo, Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, and the Vatican Radio and Television Stations rounded out the experience.

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Jennifer Rumler and Seàn-Patrick Lovett

“One of the greatest connections I made during the program was with professor Seàn-Patrick Lovett. His natural tendency to draw you in with his wisdom was pleasantly overwhelming…he truly cared for each and every last one of us, and made sure that we made this experience one that would never be forgotten,” said Gittens, who was voted most-effective communicator by her peers as they defended their resumes in the Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II) recording studio inside Vatican Radio.

The Intercultural Communication and Sales course began with two weeks of intensive professional development with Hanson, who helped students explore their tolerance for change and uncertainty as they experienced a new culture and language, as well as new living and learning environments.

In addition, Hanson facilitated and interpreted an assessment to determine personality styles and how those styles translate into strengths and weaknesses in the workplace and in professional and personal relationships. She also helped students identify themselves as “T-shaped Professionals,” as they learned to expand the depth and breadth of their professional skills.

The course transitioned to intercultural communication with Rumler, where students explored culture, prejudice, privilege and race in the United States as a means of understanding those issues in the global workplace. Being engaged residents of the Eternal City rather than merely tourists, Made in Italy students became involved in current social issues in Rome, in this case, the current refugee crisis. Students began to understand first-hand the role of community engagement and corporate social responsibility, topics emphasized in the Sales Leadership Minor.

For more information about the Made in Italy program, please contact Jennifer Rumler at rumlerj@msu.edu.

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Study Abroad Travels to Four Countries in Five Weeks

Posted on: July 24, 2015

Mass Media Study Abroad main

Students who participated in the Mass Media study abroad program traveled to four countries in five weeks and had more opportunities to speak with top executives and industry professionals then they ever imagined.

The Mass Media program pulls students from all majors within the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. During the trip, the students heard from speakers and toured several different businesses.

For many of the students, having the opportunity to hear from Josh Berger, President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Entertainment in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain, was one of the highlights of the trip.

"When Josh entered the room, I was absolutely star struck," said Advertising junior Ali Kazanowski. "He brought a certain aura into the room with him, one that I want to work towards having someday.”

Along with the opportunity to speak with Berger, students also visited Google Headquarters in London and heard from Communications alumna Jennifer Thompson, who now works in brand propositions for Google's North and Central Europe division.

"Her main advice for the media world was to always say yes to any and every opportunity that presents itself," said Advertising junior Katie Hollemans. "Never did she think she would be working for Google, or in London for that matter."

The 21 participants also toured several BBC locations and visited advertising agencies and museums.

The Mass Media study abroad is led by Professor of Journalism Sue Carter and Specialist Troy Hale, who has a joint appointment in the School of Journalism and the Department of Media and Information. The program is the longest running study abroad program offered by the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

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