Posts in category Undergraduate News

MACS Internship Panel – Dayle Maas

internship panelA Communication Studies major can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities stemming from advertising and marketing to public relations to broadcasting and journalism. On Monday, February 15, MACS hosted an Internship Panel Event consisting of six Executive Board Members who presented on their past summer internships related to industries within the Communications field. The panel provided advice on the application and interview processes, explained day-to-day internship tasks, and shared helpful tools on landing the perfect internship.

Mallory Bodker: Jackson Spalding
Mallory, a sophomore, interned at Jackson Spalding, a marketing communications firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Her focus was on event planning for Toyota, but she also worked with Delta, Chick-fil-a, and Coca-Cola. As an event planner intern, Mallory coordinated with restaurant caterers, decor experts, audio/visual experts, and many other professionals to piece together the details of a couple events. Mallory also was able to explore other areas within Jackson Spalding such as writing press releases, gaining experience with Microsoft Excel, learning about the brainstorming process, and sitting in on a client photoshoot. Mallory’s biggest piece of advice is to use your connections. She says not to be ashamed to reach out to friends or family about internship inquiries or advice; more times than not they want to help and will have suggestions!

Andrew Fridenberg: Faith Maxwell
Andrew, a sophomore, interned at Faith Maxwell, a graphic design studio with a focus on website design and brand marketing. Andrew focused on the marketing of business and researching potential clients for Faith Maxwell. As a freshman applying for summer internships, Andrew was determined to apply to as many as possible even if companies were looking for juniors or seniors. He found his place for the summer at the small graphic design studio and now suggests to others to not dismiss companies just because they are smaller. He sees many pros to small companies, such as hands on experience, being able to see the real effects of your work, and ultimately feeling a sense of value in the company because of your efforts. Andrew also highlights the importance of a cover letter during the application process as it gives a quick insight into your enthusiasm, writing skills, and personality.

Hannah Schiff: NBCUniversal
Hannah, a senior and the president of MACS, interned at NBCUniversal the summer between her sophomore and junior years. Hannah’s application and interview process was lengthy, but she was determined to continuously follow-up and stay in contact with NBCUniversal throughout the process. Eventually, it was because of a follow-up email that led recruiters to see her determination and offer her the internship. Hannah’s daily responsibilities included attending meetings, writing recaps, doing research, and creating content for galleries. Some highlights of her summer included The Biggest Loser Press Day and pitching ideas for a show called A to Z. Through the NBCUniversal Internship Program, Hannah was exposed to informational interviews, career development workshops, and intern bonding events. She says her experience at NBCUniversal helped her learn what to do when she makes a mistake and how to ask for help; two important lessons for any internship.

Sarah Schuman: Starcom Mediavest Group
Sarah, a senior, interned at Starcom MediaVest Group, a full-service media planning and buying agency with clients such as Kraft, Kellogg, and Wrigley. Sarah first had an informational interview with a recent U-M graduate who was on the Starcom search team. From there, she utilized the U-M Career Center for cover letter and resume help. She recommends taking the time to answer application questions and writing your cover letter as it helps the company get the best sense of who you are and what team to place you on. Sarah also recommends preparing for interviews by researching the company, the different areas of the company, recent case studies, and what differentiates the company from others. Throughout Starcom’s internship program, Sarah met with supervisors to establish goals and met weekly to discuss the progress of those goals. From these evaluations, Sarah learned the importance of problem solving and asking questions.

Sarah Scott: Merit
Sarah, a senior, was an Events and Promotions Intern and Social Media Intern at Merit, a fashion brand founded by U-M alumnus David Meritt. Merit donates 20% of purchases to fund college scholarships. Through Sarah’s internship, she researched marketing techniques for events, developed ideas for events, and then presented those events at the end of her internship. She also ran Merit’s Twitter account and ran analytics to measure engagement. From her internship at Merit, Sarah learned about the value of taking initiative and the value of open communication. Like Andrew, Sarah also loved her experience at a small company, as well as being able to contribute to such a worthy cause.

Leah Shepherd: Your:People LLC
Leah, a senior, interned at the public relations firm Your:People LLC in Southfield, Michigan. Your:People focuses on public relations, business development, and speaking engagements. Through Leah’s application and interview process, she learned the importance of knowing the difference between public relations, marketing, and advertising, and she also recommends doing research prior to your interview. After the interview, she suggests following up with an email, hand written thank you note, or both! Leah’s daily tasks varied, but included creating media lists, contacting press, creating social media plans, and preparing for client interviews on radio and television; she loved that each day was different. At Your:People, Leah learned interns aren’t expected to know it all from day one and learning is a part of the process, which means asking questions is important to the process!

Panelists at the event.

Panelists at the event.

MACS’ Internship Panel was filled with great advice for all stages of the internship process. From graphic design and marketing to the entertainment industry to public relations, the variety of internships shows the vast possibilities a Communication Studies major can pursue.

Alumni Spotlight – Stephanie Steinberg, U.S. News & World Report Assistant Editor

Stephanie0054Stephanie Steinberg is a 2012 alumna in Communication Studies. Currently, she is an assistant editor at U.S. News & World Report who covers health and money. Stephanie edits and writes content that helps her readers make informed decisions about their health and finances.

Communication Studies: Tell us a bit about the path you took to get where you are.

Stephanie Steinberg: Despite all news about struggling publications and declining readerships, I truly believe that if you want to be a journalist today, you will find a job. You just have to be willing to put in the time and energy and work for it. In addition to working at the Michigan Daily during the school year, I spent every summer during college interning for a media organization. My first internship after freshman year was at The Oakland Press, which helped me build up clips and learn the basics of daily reporting. The following summers I interned at USA Today, CNN and The Boston Globe. The key is to not be intimidated by top publications and to aim high, even if you don’t think you’re qualified.
The Globe internship was the summer after I graduated. (Another tip: Don’t be afraid to do an internship after college. It gives you the flexibility to just enjoy your last semester on campus and not worry about job hunting.) I then found a job at WTOP Radio, which is the main news, traffic and weather station in Washington D.C., and worked as an online editor for a few months. A job then opened at U.S. News & World Report to edit the health and money sections. I enjoyed learning about the radio industry, but my heart is in print and longform reporting, so I applied for the U.S. News job and am very grateful to the editors who hired me. Here I am three years later!

CS: You recently published your first book, “In the Name of Editorial Freedom: 125 Years at the Michigan Daily.” Can you tell us about what inspired you to write it and elaborate on the process?

SS: The book is a collection of essays by 40 journalists who all started their careers at The Michigan Daily. I edited their stories and wrote the introduction, but the credit really goes to them for writing the book!

In 2011, I was the Daily’s editor-in-chief, which meant I was in the newsroom over 80 hours a week. Over all four years the Daily became a very important piece of my life, and I felt indebted to it for kick-starting my career. I came up with the idea for the book about two years after graduation. I knew the 125th anniversary of the Daily was coming up in 2015, and I thought something should be done to commemorate the paper and 6,000 alumni. I then thought a great way to do that would be to tell the stories behind the stories printed in the Daily, and let the reporters and photographers share what really happened before their story or photo landed on campus newsstands.

So I contacted alumni now working at top publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, you name it, and I asked them to write a first person story. The book starts with the March on Selma in 1965 and goes through Vietnam War protests, presidential elections, Sept. 11 and the present day. The sports journalists also talk about covering Rose Bowls and what it was like to interview Bo one-on-one, and there’s a good Daily love story by the deputy Wall Street Journal editor Rebecca Blumenstein and author Alan Paul, who ran against each other to be summer Daily editor-in-chief. (That turned out OK because they’re now happily married with three kids.)

I have to thank the University of Michigan Press, which made this book possible. They were the first (and only) publisher I pitched the book to, and they were immediately interested. Being connected with the University, I knew they would understand the purpose and message of the book, so I didn’t want to work with any other publisher.

You can read more about the book on the University of Michigan Press website here.

CS: What UM classes or extracurricular activities did you find particularly helpful in your job field?

SS: For four years I worked, ate and even slept sometimes at The Michigan Daily. My roommates must have thought I was a ghost because I’d come home to our house on State and Catherine after sending the paper to print at 3 a.m., and then wake up when they all were at class.

While I took some stellar communications classes related to journalism – specifically Professor Anthony Colling’s ethics in journalism, supreme court news and foreign news coverage courses – I really learned everything I needed to know about how to be a journalist at the Daily. Margaret Myers, who’s now an editor at PBS NewsHour, wrote in her story for the book, “I got my diploma from the College of the Michigan Daily.” And I feel the same way. You learn how to be a journalist by being out in the field and making mistakes – and there’s no better place to make journalism mistakes than at a student newspaper with which readers and sources tend to be a little more forgiving.

CS: When did you know what field you wanted to go into? What experiences led you there?

SS: I consider myself lucky that I knew “what I wanted to be when I grew up” since third grade. In elementary school, my dad signed me up for a local TV show called “Kid Stuff.” Essentially, kids acted as cub reporters to tell local stories. Through that experience, I interviewed zookeepers at the Detroit Zoo, reported on the streets of city holiday parades and gave book reviews at Borders. One of my favorite segments was a feature package on the Franklin Cider Mill. The journalism bug bit me, and from that point on, I knew I wanted to tell stories for the rest of my life.

Fast-forward a few years: I became an editor for North Farmington High School’s newspaper The Northern Star and learned the power of the pen from my journalism advisor Nikki Schueller. When I was accepted to Michigan, I immediately emailed the Daily editor-in-chief at the time to find out how I could join the staff. I walked into the Daily during Welcome Week and never stopped walking through that door.

CS: What motivated you to pursue a Communication Studies degree?

SS: Like I mentioned, I knew I wanted to be a journalist. So I was a little disappointed when I found out the University didn’t have a journalism major. I decided Communication Studies would be the next closest major. It was a great decision, as I became friends with dozens of students with similar interests and my professors understood when I needed to leave class early to cover an event or interview University President Mary Sue Coleman.

CS: Describe a day-in-the-life at work.

BestCollegesDaySS: U.S. News & World Report is all digital now, so the majority of my day is spent editing stories on my computer. Stories go through two edits, and I’m usually the first editor, which means I fact check everything (references to studies, sources’ names, etc.) I also edit for grammar and style, so the AP Stylebook is my best friend. If something doesn’t make sense in a story, I’ll leave questions for the reporter to answer. The reporter then addresses all my edits, and we’ll go back and forth until the story is ready for the second editor, who looks for any glaring errors or holes before sending it to production.

I actually edit two U of M graduates – health & wellness reporter Anna Miller and real estate reporter Devon Thorsby – and we usually leave comments to each other like “Go Blue” whenever a story happens to quote a U of M professor.

I will say, I don’t have any role in producing the college rankings (that’s the education team). But I do go all out on Best Colleges day when the rankings are released, and I deck out my desk (and myself) in Michigan gear. I’m proud to say the Michigan grads won the Most School Spirit contest this year!

CS: What is one of the most valuable lessons you have learned from your job?

SS: I’m going to cheat a little in this question and steal a passage from Michael Rosenberg, the 1996 Daily editor-in-chief who now writes for Sports Illustrated. In the book, he wrote:
“I did not have to spend as much time at the Daily as I did, but I learned one of the most valuable lessons in life, and it’s not a journalism lesson: If you love what you do, it won’t feel like work, and you will never feel overworked. It helps if you love the people who do it alongside you.”
I also learned that lesson at the Daily, and it applies to any job I have or ever will have. At the end of the day, it’s the people you work with who matter. You could have a stressful, draining job, but if you work with people who care about you and want you to succeed, that stress, and the work you produce, will be well worth it.

CS: What is your favorite UM memory?

SS: That is such a hard question! I have so many. If I have to narrow it down to one, it would be the night President Barack Obama was elected in 2008. Minutes after he won, thousands of students spilled into the Diag chanting “Obama” and “It’s Great to Be a Michigan Wolverine!” and “The Victors.” Students waved American flags, rung cowbells and someone even started playing a set of bongos. The crowd then moved down State Street and paraded to the President’s house and down South U. before heading back to the Diag. I was a freshmen at the time and had never seen such pure joy and optimism expressed by so many people my age. Students were crying tears of joy as we walked down the streets. It was a historical moment, and I felt like I was part of a new era.
Four years later, I witnessed a similar spectacle outside the White House when Obama was re-elected, and I went to the scene to take pictures for WTOP Radio. Again, mostly a younger crowed gathered outside the gate. But it wasn’t the same: They weren’t wearing maize and blue and chanting “The Victors.”

CS: Since you are in the Communication Studies industry, are you able to disengage from thinking critically about the media-saturated world and if so, how?

SS: It’s impossible not to think about the media when you’re a part of it, producing stories, tweeting and trying to keep up with the 24-second Twitter news cycle each day. I try to remind myself to step back and take a look at the bigger picture though and remember that one story can have a profound impact on one person. For example, the health and money stories I work on provide advice for readers to improve their health and financial well-being. Readers often write to us, saying our reporting helped them make a decision about a certain medical treatment or figure out how to invest their money for retirement. So on the bad news days when it seems like the world is imploding with shootings, terrorism and crime, I try to think about the readers and remind myself that the kind of journalism I produce is meant to help people – and tomorrow will hopefully be a better news day.

CS: Provide some advice for students working towards internships and full-time opportunities in the communications field.

SS: Do everything you can to secure an internship each summer and build up your work experience – internships do count as work experience! Also go above and beyond what’s expected of you as an intern. If you’re asked to write two articles a week at a publication, write four. If you’re asked to submit five story ideas, submit 10. Constantly ask what more you can do to help your boss – and be genuine about it. Your eagerness and enthusiasm to perform well and learn will make you stand out from the other interns.

Also ask others in the company who you admire, or have a position you would like one day, to grab coffee or lunch. Find out how they got to where they are today, and pick their brains for job advice. Then stay in touch with occasional emails after you leave the internship. In the communications field especially – where job competition can be fierce – it helps to network. A job sometimes comes down to who you know who’s willing to pass along a positive recommendation.

Most importantly, be nice to everyone. You never know. The intern working for you today could become your colleague or even boss one day.

MACS: It’s A Wrap! – Diana Chen

macs 2

It’s a wrap! Although finals week has quickly approached and students are in full throttle survival-mode, we would like to take the time to reflect on some of the incredible events put on by the Michigan Association of Communication Studies (MACS). This semester, MACS has focused on providing students with a concrete understanding of what a degree in Communications can offer. Doing so, the student-run organization emphasized three main components: Education, Recruiting, and Industry.


One important component of MACS is working to provide students with educational support and assistance throughout their professional development. This semester we kicked off our first resume-building workshop: Resume 101. This event targeted underclassmen in need of basic resume help as well as upperclassmen seeking to improve and rework their existing resumes. Students from all years and educational concentrations attended as MACS’ Education Committee delivered a detailed presentation on formatting, word choice, and other helpful tips. At the end of the workshop, students stayed behind as MACS officers sat down and helped review their resumes. Next semester MACS plans on conducting more education-centered events such as cover letter writing and LinkedIn workshops.


This past semester MACS has offered various recruiting events, including one of the top public relations firms in the world, Weber Shandwick, as well as Target, one of the nation’s top retailers. Representatives from Weber Shandwick’s Detroit office presented to students about the company, their work, the company’s senior internship position, and provided networking opportunities for students. Target also paid MACS a special visit prior to the Fall Career Fair and delivered a detailed presentation specifically for communication students about internship opportunities at Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis. Both of these events were great opportunities for students to learn more about both companies in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere where they could ask personalized questions and speak directly with recruiters. MACS is dedicated to providing additional recruitment opportunities throughout the upcoming semester!


Finally, one of the aspects MACS prides itself on is providing students with an array of industry-relevant events that can inspire students to explore the variety of possibilities communication studies can provide. This semester we invited guest-speaker Marcus Collins, the Senior Vice President of Doner, a full-service performance-driven advertising agency that has built on its strong creative legacy to create a truly modern, integrated creative network with offices in Detroit, Cleveland, London and Los Angeles to present on creative marketing. Marcus has worked with clients such as JC Penney, FIAT Chrysler, Coca-cola, and the UPS Store. He also worked on digital marketing strategy with Beyonce. Collins is an alumnus from the University of Michigan with a background in engineering and business. Collins delivered a keynote presentation on his knowledge and expertise towards strategic branding in the digital advertising industry.

These highlighted events are just several of the engaging events MACS has put on, and offers a glimpse at the exciting opportunities put on through the Communication Studies Department. Next semester we have an exciting schedule of events for students to attend so stay tuned!

Don’t forget to follow MACS and the Comm Department’s social media handles to stay up to date with MACS events and opportunities!

• Instagram and Twitter: @MACS_umich
• Facebook & LinkedIn:”MACS: Michigan Association of Communication Studies”

Comm Department
• Twitter: @UM_CommStudies
• Facebook: “University of Michigan Department of Communication Studies”
• LinkedIn: University of Michigan Communication Studies

Weber Shandwick event

Weber Shandwick event

Marcus Collins event

Marcus Collins event

Alumni Spotlight – Peter Jaysen, Veritas Entertainment: Film & TV Producer

peter jaysenPeter Jaysen is a 1989 alumnus in Communication Studies and English. Currently, he is a Film and Television Producer at Veritas Entertainment in Los Angeles. Peter has twenty-five years of experience creating and monetizing content for film, television, digital, and branded entertainment. As an Emmy nominated producer, director, and media executive, Peter has supervised projects from concept through distribution including financing, budgeting, staffing, writing, casting, production, marketing, brand integration, public relations, and sales.

In addition to developing and producing programming for traditional distribution channels, Peter also created and executed multi-platform content strategies for brands like Pepsi, Mt. Dew, and Playboy in partnership with FBC, A&E Networks, Warner Brothers, ITV Studios, 51 Minds, Amazon Studios, Legendary TV, Green Hat Productions, and Machine Zone (Game of War).

Communication Studies:Tell us a bit about the path you took to get where you are.

Peter Jaysen: I wish I could say it was clear and concise path to becoming a film and television producer…but it wasn’t. The path I took was to continually work on projects that allowed me to grow as a storyteller in a variety of genres (Live Sports, news magazines, documentary, talk, half-hour comedy, science fiction, done hour drama etc..) and media (film and television).

CS: When did you know what field you wanted to go into? What experiences led you there?

PJ: My father began taking me to see classic movies like CASABLANCA, THE QUIET MAN, HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, WEST SIDE STORY etc. when I was very young. I always knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry…it just took me a while to figure out the best role for me to excel in a very competitive industry.

CS: What UM classes or extracurricular activities did you find particularly helpful in your job field?

PJ: Public Speaking and English classes; I would read and read and read all of the classics that Hollywood continues to try to adapt/rip off for film and television.

CS: Describe a day-in-the-life at work.

PJ: The theme of each day is always about pitching, pitching and more pitching…Keeping the trains moving on the projects we have set up, in production, and/or post-production….and finishing the day by reading as much new material as possible.

CS: What is one of the most valuable lessons you have learned from your job?

PJ: I think the most valuable lesson I learned is to make sure you are passionate about whatever you pursue in your career. If you like what you are doing day to day, it will help you be more successful with everything! Also, pursuing a career in film and/or television is like running a marathon race…it takes persistence, endurance, and patience.

CS: What is your favorite UM memory?

PJ: My favorite UM memory is really all four years in Ann Arbor…I loved every moment…but if I had to pick one memory it would be standing the 50 yard line in the Big House after the entire stadium rushed the field after John Kolesar caught the game winning touchdown to beat Ohio State!

CS: Provide some advice for students working towards internships and full-time opportunities in the communications field.

PJ: My advice for any internship and job is to LISTEN AND LEARN…and only offer your opinion when asked for it! Go Blue!

Peter will be speaking at the Entertainment Media Career Forum Friday 11/13 10am-3pm.

Communication Studies Fall Convocation Confirmed Comm Is The Place To Be – Morgan Cullen

With midterms picking up and fall recruiting in full swing, many students are trying to decide on which major or career path is right for them. Attendees of the Communication Studies Fall 2015 Convocation would enthusiastically report the answer is Comm.

The Communication Studies department welcomed newly declared majors with Pizza House, new Communication Studies T-Shirts, and the opportunity to network with department leaders, GSIs, professors, and fellow students. It was refreshing to hear from department leaders and distinguished faculty that Comm is a coveted major that often ensures recent graduates a competitive advantage in the job market.

Chair Coleman and Roni Stein, an executive member of MACS, participating in the "Go Blue" chant

Chair Coleman and Roni Stein, an executive member of MACS participating in the “Go Blue” chant

The event opened with a rowdy, interactive “Go Blue” chant from new Communication Studies Department Chair, Robin Coleman. Her encouraging speech reminded all the newly declared Comm students of the “world-class education” we are receiving “right here, right now.” Coleman described Comm students at the University of Michigan as critical thinkers and advocates for change who are continuously “busting stereotypes wide open.” She went on to discuss many successful Comm Studies alumni, like Jane Viventi of Riot Games, and encouraged us to continue to be leaders and elicit change.

Next, Associate Chair Professor Harrison approached the podium. Professor Harrison highlighted three critical skills for the workplace that the Communication Studies major helps develop:

1. Literacy: not just reading, but also the ability to read deeper into messages

2. Numeracy: understanding how to unpack arguments in media messages

3. Ecolacy: the ability to see the whole picture as well as how all the components work together to compose that picture

Harrison went on to outline communication studies career paths and their corresponding classes within the department; these suggestions are listed on a handout students can pick up from Comm department at any time. She ended by explaining the heavy reliance on media citizens have today. This reliance, according to Professor Harrison, makes Comm students a hot commodity in the job market.

Last to speak was Hannah Schiff—the President of the Michigan Association of Communication Studies (MACS). Hannah highlighted how helpful MACS has been to her professional development and encouraged all Comm students to get involved. From recruiting events to professional development events like Resume workshops, cover letter reviews, and LinkedIn seminars, there is a MACS event for everyone. Whether you are a Comm student or any rising professional MACS has something to offer. Schiff called the students to follow MACS and the Comm Department on social media for updates.

• Instagram and Twitter: @MACS_umich
• Facebook & LinkedIn:”MACS: Michigan Association of Communication Studies”
Comm Department
• Twitter: @UM_CommStudies
• Facebook: “University of Michigan Department of Communication Studies”
• LinkedIn: University of Michigan Communication Studies

After the speeches concluded, Comm Department Faculty distributed the new Communication Studies T-Shirts and the pizza party ensued! An array of Pizza House pizzas, desserts, and drinks were gobbled up as students mingled with professors, GSIs, and department leaders. From expressing gratitude for excellent Comm studies curriculum to chatting about favorite hobbies, the room was abuzz.

Declared majors and faculty attended the event

Declared majors and faculty attended the event

Faculty handing out t-shirts to students

Faculty handing out t-shirts to students

Join MACS, the Michigan Association of Communication Studies! – Jordan Gavens

macs 2As the semester is quickly underway, students may be trying to figure out what clubs to join on campus. Usually a few thoughts commonly come to mind: “What clubs match my interests?” “Where can I go to seek professional and career driven advice?” “How can I meet other students similar to myself?” Well, by attending the Michigan Association of Communication Studies Mass Meeting on Monday, September 21 (6:30pm in NQ Space 2435), students will quickly find that this organization provides many of the qualities they seek in a club on campus.

The Michigan Association of Communication Studies, commonly referred to as MACS, is a student-run organization supported by the Communication Studies department that helps students explore career opportunities in communications related fields. By hosting numerous recruiting and networking events with leaders in the retail, marketing, advertising, public relations, and journalism industries, MACS has shown students how their academic experiences can translate into the real world. Additionally, MACS helps students explore the Communication Studies degree by providing advising resources, allowing students to gain assistance and advice on a diverse array of topics including Communications courses, professors, and requirements.

MACS has established itself as one of the leading clubs on campus for recruiting and networking events. Over the past few years, hundreds of Michigan students have attended MACS events hosted by some of the country’s most successful and profitable businesses and agencies. Past companies include Domino’s Pizza, Walgreens, Steve Madden, Trunk Club, David Yurman, Eisbrenner PR, Starcom, and W Magazine to name a few.

Not a Communications major? No worries – MACS events are open to everyone! At the Mass Meeting, MACS executive board members will speak on the requirements to be considered an official member, talk about some of the exciting upcoming events, and expand on the resources they can offer to their members. The anticipation is building on campus for students waiting to hear what recruiters will be hosting an event with MACS this year. To let you in on the secret, students can expect a visit from Target’s recruiting coordinator to hear about what it is like to work at one of the world’s leading retailers and the internship and job opportunities available at their headquarters. Additionally, Weber Shandwick, a leading global PR agency will be coming by campus anxiously waiting to meet MACS members as well.

So what can a student gain by coming to the Mass Meeting on Monday? Students can meet other students who are interested in the communication field, learn about upcoming recruiting and networking events, and get to know MACS executive board which is made up of a dozen Communication Studies majors who can provide advice on the major, internship experiences, and can answer any general questions students may have about how MACS can help prepare them for the future. So make sure to swing by North Quad Space 2435 on Monday, September 21 at 6:30 to eat some pizza, learn about the organization, and get involved on campus! Can’t wait to see you there!

Mass meeting: Monday, September 21 at 6:30 in North Quad Space 2435

Mass meeting: Monday, September 21 at 6:30 in North Quad Space 2435

Summer Internship Series: Abhilasha Shah

Networking Really is Key

Abhilasha pic 2People always say that in this world, the people you meet are crucial to making your career path. They say that these people could lead you to opportunities, open doors that you could not open so easily on your own. Because of the people that they know and the friends that they have, in essence, your dream could be a simple phone call or email away.

While this is all very true, I feel there is more to gain from networking. During my internship this summer at Mediavest in New York City, I witnessed many interns putting themselves out there and making sure they are known to those in leadership positions, while not reaching out as much to colleagues lower on the command chain. These interns strive to make any sort of conversation, find any tiny connection in order to relate more to the individual and be remembered. All of these efforts are for the mere chance to connect on LinkedIn.

What is often ignored is the insight ANY person in a given company can provide. Whether they have a bigger title or smaller role, everyone has a history of how they ended up there. This summer, I was lucky enough to meet many individuals who had such unique career histories. Even though I may not have been interested in their current roles in their given companies, I was curious about how they ended up where they are.

So, I reached out to them. When talking to these individuals about their career paths (and actually being interested in them rather than their business cards), I felt more connected to them. Furthermore, I learned more about myself, and what I could do with my future based on their choices and experiences. Let me give you some examples (I’m refraining from using real names for the sake of confidentiality, and making up nicknames for the sake of your entertainment).


Scenario #1: Waitress with a Marketing Brain

Waitress works for a different company (not as a waitress, however), but visited Mediavest to talk to the interns. A U of M graduate, she started off her career as a waitress, but used that experience to her advantage. She learned sales techniques, how to market different products to the right audiences, and gained knowledge on customer service and how to interact with consumers. She described herself as an “entertainment enthusiast,” someone who basically watches any show or movie out there. She had numerous jobs in media before her current one, largely because she claimed she gets bored easily and constantly wants to try new things.

What interested me: I could relate to her in that I also love television and movies, I’m from U of M as well, and I get bored very easily in that I refuse to live the same day twice.

What I learned: You don’t have to have knowledge about a particular area to pursue it as your career. In media, you can always hit the ground running and learn on the job, as long as you’re willing to hustle and be confident doing so. I used to always shy away from letting people know how much television I watch, but I learned that I should embrace the title, “entertainment enthusiast.” I really like the sound of that, don’t you? :)


Scenario #2: Music Whisperer

Whisperer graduated college wanting to enter the entertainment industry; more specifically, the music industry. However, at the time, he found that the industry was in a hiring slump. He had interned at Focus Features and Marvel Comics, but his experiences led him to choose the route of an agency. He felt it was a better fit for him because agencies give a broad perspective on the industry, where you have to understand the drive of clients’ business and goals. Even though none of his internship experiences gave him exposure to the agency side of the media industry, he learned that people will always teach you what you need to know as long as you’re willing. To him, the culture of a company is crucial because if you don’t like the people that you work with, even if it’s your dream job, you’ll be miserable.

What interested me: His entertainment-related internships, his knowledge about the opportunities in the industry, and the fact that he, also, becomes bored easily and has a zest for life. At this point, I started to notice a pattern with people working in the media industry.

What I learned: Taking risks and jumping out of your comfort zone can benefit you. Don’t narrow your dream job too much because you may not be aware of another opportunity you’d love more. Therefore, continuously learn, read, study, and adapt.


Scenario #3: Homegirl from Ho(M)e

Homegirl is also a U of M alumna and has worked at the same media agency for a very long time. Before that, she worked at Disney ABC Television Group. However, even though she worked in two different industries (entertainment and media), her career path focused on one common area: recruiting. She discussed good networking techniques: how to make an impression, how they can help you, but also, how you can help them.

What interested me: She was a U of M alumna as well, she worked at Disney ABC Television Group (#goals) where recruiting is all about the connections you have, and her immense networking knowledge.

What I did: I walked up to her and did exactly what she had talked about in terms of good networking. I brought up U of M (which was a hit, as you can imagine), and outright told her that I was interested in the entertainment industry. She replied with a smile, “Well, now you know me. Send over your résumé when you’re looking and I’ll help you out!”

While I know that the last example wasn’t a great one because I was more interested in the connections she had, I did learn a lot from her, however. She helped me see that people know the difference between when you’re sweet-talking them for their connections and when you’re genuinely interested in learning. Keep in mind, however, they have busy lives too. While networking, we have to figure out how we can help THEM, why helping us will benefit THEM, and why they should even take the time.

I learned so much this summer – not just from what my managers and team had taught me on the job, but also, from talking to them about their past and their future goals. The more I talk to people and hear their stories, the more I learn about myself – and that’s why this internship has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I had the unique opportunity to work with individuals while also learning about their diverse backgrounds. While it’s a different kind of learning than sitting in a classroom, it’s definitely an exciting one.

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Guest Alumni Blogger: Radhika Menon (’13), Digital Media Planner at Media Storm

RadhikaRadhika Menon is a 2013 alumna in Communication Studies and Psychology. Currently, she is a Digital Media Planner at Media Storm in New York City, working on the Starz Network account. She works to promote new Starz programming across digital media partners such as The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN and others.


Communication Studies: Tell us a bit about the path you took to get where you are.


Radhika Menon: I became enamored with finding a career in the entertainment media field in college when I interned at The Mark Gordon Company, a TV/film development house in Los Angeles. Afterwards, I sought out more local opportunities on film sets, at social media companies, and at film production companies, and shortly after graduation I decided to move to New York City. I interned at a music public relations firm before moving into a digital role at L’Oreal. About 2 months ago, I used that digital training to transition into my current Digital Media Planning role at Media Storm.


CS: When did you know what field you wanted to go into? What experiences led you there?


RM: I started college thinking that I wanted to go into medicine. After a very rude awakening during general chemistry, I realized that I should play to my strengths — and science was not one of them. I took one Communication Studies class and knew that this was the right field for me. From there, the internships that I did really helped to solidify that decision.


CS: What UM classes or extracurricular activities did you find particularly helpful in your job field?


RM: I still find that many of the Communication Studies classes have not only made me a smarter viewer and more abstract thinker when it comes to media, but also influence my approach when tackling promotion to different demographics. I also worked at the Michigan Daily in the Arts section, covering TV, which gave me my first true foray into the media industry.


CS: Describe a day-in-the-life at work.


RM: The best part about this field is that no two days are the same. Since I’m working on a robust account like Starz, I’m usually working on various parts of the planning process for many different campaigns. A typical day can include anything from exciting brainstorming sessions and meetings with the client to more detail-oriented tasks like filling out creative documents and completing reporting. The job provides a good balance of abstract thinking and implementation, which I really like.


CS: What is one of the best aspects of your work?


RM: The amount of people you get to meet in this job is incredible. We regularly have meetings with a lot of our vendors, and even getting to e-meet people who work at your favorite publications can be really cool. And, as with all jobs, seeing the end product of all of your hard work is always rewarding, whether it’s a custom editorial piece or video, or just seeing the placements on a site.


CS: What is one of the most valuable lessons you have learned from this job?


RM: Being flexible and having the ability to pivot. Sometimes these media plans change at the last second and it’s important to be able to go with the flow and make changes quickly. Also, always be polite and cordial – the world is small and you never know when you’ll cross paths with someone again.


CS: Provide some advice for students working towards internships and full-time opportunities in the communications field.


RM: I have a couple. First, don’t be deterred when you don’t land something in the field you want right away. It took me a lot of time and a lot of jobs before I found something in entertainment, and each position was helpful in getting me here. Second, keep your LinkedIn updated. The rumors are true — recruiters really do use the social tool to find prospective employees, so having the most up-to-date profile will only benefit you. (I actually got my current job through LinkedIn, so I’m not just saying it!) And lastly, utilize the Michigan alumni network to your fullest. I have landed some of my internships through alums, and every job I’ve had has had some kind of a Michigan connection. Go blue!


Radhika will be returning to Ann Arbor in November as a panelist for our Entertainment Media Career Forum! Students are encouraged to attend to learn more about her journey.

Summer Internship Series: Hannah Schiff

Hannah Schiff photoFor the past four weeks I have been interning at Clique. Clique is the content and technology company behind the fashion brand Who What Wear, which is the leading platform for shoppable fashion and style content. Clique also owns the beauty site Byrdie and the lifestyle site MyDomaine. As an avid reader of Who What Wear for many years, excitement was an understatement when I received news that I had earned this internship.

I am an Affiliate Partnerships Intern, working on all of Clique’s platforms. For those of you who don’t know what affiliate partnerships are (I didn’t when I started), they are the business relationships that Clique has with the various brands and companies that are featured on the three websites. These partnerships are a source of revenue for Clique, as the company makes a commission from products featured on the site that are then purchased by consumers. The Affiliate Partnerships department also focuses on SHOP, Clique’s e-commerce site, where all the products featured are shoppable. Boutiques such as “Stylish & Comfortable Shoes to Wear to the Airport” or “The Most Powerful Waterproof Mascaras” that are developed by Clique editors are featured on the site. Everything in the boutiques can be purchased online.

Over the past few weeks, I have been working on numerous different projects, all of which have been interesting and exciting. I normally start my day by going through all three sites (Who What Wear, Byrdie, and MyDomaine) and doing edit inclusions. Edit inclusions is the process of reviewing all articles on the sites, and noting if and when an affiliate partner product is featured. All of this information is crucial to ensuring that a promotion with each specific brand runs effectively. In addition, I have been working with different affiliate networks by researching trends in sales for different companies.

On the more creative side of my job, I help develop numerous “boutiques” for SHOP during each week. I am able to handpick products that I think would fit within the parameters of each specific boutique and that are aligned with Clique standards. My favorite part of the internship so far is writing social media posts that direct readers to different SHOP boutiques. I have been scheduling social posts since the first week, but more recently I have been given the opportunity to write the content that I schedule. As a Communication Studies major and Writing minor, I love writing and it has been so fun to write for Clique. Social posts, however, are a lot harder to create than I thought. When crafting posts, I have to use a specific style that not only engages the reader, but also makes them want to click on the link.

So far I have really enjoyed my internship at Clique. Given that I hope to one-day work for a fashion magazine, working at Clique this summer has been an amazing opportunity!


Summer Internship Series: Sarah Scott

This summer, I have the pleasure of serving as a marketing intern with Merit, a cause-based fashion brand located here in Ann Arbor that shapes the fate of students in need by helping send them to college. Merit does this by donating 20% of ALL revenue to fund college scholarships. It’s an amazing cause that I’m truly passionate about.


I actually discovered this internship opportunity in the Communication Studies weekly emails that Cheryl Erdmann, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for the Department, sends out. Prior to receiving the email, I had already been following Merit closely as its cause is one that I highly regard. Dave Merritt, founder of Merit Goodness, has hosted multiple events on campus so I have also had the opportunity to hear him speak on various occasions.


In order to land the position, I went through what I felt was a standard application process. I followed-up with the weekly email and sent my resume and cover letter to Merit. I was fortunate enough to be one of the students selected for an interview. From there, the rest is history.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing brand.


This summer has certainly been a whirlwind.  Not only is it the summer before my senior year officially starts, but I also celebrated my 21st birthday in June at a Merit event.  On my birthday I had the unique opportunity to attend Virgin Atlantic’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Pitch” event at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit representing Merit! I will always remember this special night.


“Ain’t Too Proud to Pitch” was an event to celebrate the launch of the new Virgin Atlantic flight service between Detroit and London. The event provided networking opportunities, insight and discussion for an audience of 300 guests, made up of media, Detroit influencers and business owners. Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, was the host accompanied by a panel consisting of Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, Bridget Russo, chief marketing officer for Shinola, and Adirel Thompson, founder of Digital Laundre. At the event, Dave Meritt, founder of Merit had the chance to pitch the Merit story to Richard and the rest of the panel.


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(Merit Marketing Interns at Virgin Atlantic’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Pitch.” I’m wearing red.)

Prior to the event, interns were instructed to create a social media content calendar to be utilized to generate awareness about Merit and its involvement in Virgin Atlantic’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Pitch” event. As part of this calendar, we collaboratively developed posts across all social media platforms announcing Merit’s involvement in “Ain’t Too Proud to Pitch” generating approximately 204 likes more than the average in just two days! It was very rewarding to know that we were successful in engaging with the public on social media through our posts.


Needless to say, this “Ain’t Too Proud to Pitch” event was an incredible experience and a fabulous way to spend my birthday! I could go on and on about how wonderful Merit is but it is better you see for yourself. If you’re in Ann Arbor, be sure to stop by the store at 1113 S. University Ave and support; if not, make sure you visit to check out our products and learn more about the cause.


I’m thrilled to continue learning and putting my skills to use through this internship. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store!