Persistence Pays Off for ComArtSci Senior

Posted on: February 10, 2016

Michelai Graham -  City Pulse

Michelai Graham, a Journalism and Media and Information double major, isn’t afraid to travel far and wide for the things she’s passionate about. Originally from Sacramento, California, Graham chose to come to Michigan State to study journalism after falling in love with the field in high school.

After joining MSU Telecasters and working as an Assistant Director, Graham knew she also loved Media and Information and decided to participate in the “Beyond Bollywood: A Taste of Indian Media” study abroad program this past summer. She’s worked with IMPACT 89 FM and ComArtSci’s own DMAT lab.

She says her dream job is to some day be an investigative documentary filmmaker. But until that day, she’s gaining experience wherever she can.

Most recently, she worked as an intern for Lansing’s alternative weekly newspaper, City Pulse. As an intern, Graham wrote stories for the arts and culture section. She covered everything from summer arts festivals to infant French immersion classes.

“Everyone in the office was so nice about helping me get to where I needed to be,” Graham said, adding that she was able to improve her writing substantially by the end of the summer.

Michelai Graham India“I am a horrible headline writer, it’s usually the last thing I try to do,” she said. “But at the end of my internship, (my editor) was actually using my headlines.”

Graham first found City Pulse after attending ComArtSci Connect. She talked with a lot of larger media companies at the career event, and, while she recognized that they were great companies, she found herself drawn to the idea of a smaller organization.

“I noticed these were all good media companies, but I knew what type of goals I had and what I wanted to do,” she said.

So, Graham got in touch with the Arts and Culture Editor.

“I was consistent with reaching out. I just told them I was going to be in the area and kept reaching out to them, and they called me in for an interview and hired me the same day,” Graham said. “It was just a matter of being persistent.”

Graham received the Adrienne M. Johns Communication Arts and Sciences Internship Award in connection with her internship at City Pulse. She said ComArtSci Career Services has been instrumental in helping her find professional opportunities.

“Utilize Career Services. Julie (Hagopian) is awesome. They’ll teach you how to create a resume from scratch,” Graham said. “And definitely read the emails. Really just take advantage of all the resources. I think ComArtSci has opened the door for opportunities I never thought I would ever have.”

By Kelsey Block, Journalism and Arts and Humanities double major

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