Posts in category Events

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.

Bad News Good Democracy: Stuart Soroka

sorokaStuart Soroka is Michael W. Traugott Collegiate Professor of Communication Studies and Political Science. He is also a Faculty Associate in the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on political communication, the sources and/or structure of public preferences for policy, and the relationships between public policy, public opinion, and mass media.

Communication Studies: Tell us about your research. Can you also give us an overview of your February 10th lecture – “Bad News Good Democracy”?

Stuart Soroka: I’ve just been in Chile running an experiment in which we monitor heart rate and skin conductance while participants watch television news. This is the seventh country in which we’ve run these experiments, and our aim is eighteen countries in total, over the next three years. The end goal is a cross-national study of the human tendency to react more strongly to negative news than to positive news. There already is evidence of ‘negativity biases’ in economics and psychology, but not very much work in communications and political science. And there is very little work outside the US. So we currently understand relatively little about where negativity biases in political communication come from, how they vary across individuals, or whether they vary in interesting ways across cultures.

CS: Can you tell us what you were doing prior to joining the faculty at U of M?

SS: I was awarded my PhD in political science at the University of British Columbia, spent a few years as a postdoc at Nuffield College, Oxford, and then was a professor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, for twelve years before joining the U of M faculty.

CS: What motivated you to pursue research in Communication Studies?

SS: I am interested in how people learn about politics and policy – how they develop, or change, their ideas about the political world around them. This necessarily involves a good deal of information from newspapers, from television, and increasingly from social media as well. So I started with an interest in politics, and that led me to an interest in mass media.

CS: Was there something in particular that was attractive to you about coming to the University of Michigan?

SS: The University of Michigan has been, for many years, a leading center for the study of public opinion, political behavior and political communication. The Communication Studies Department includes a number of scholars working in areas similar to mine. The same is true for the Political Science Department, and the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research. So for me, the research community at the University of Michigan is really very extensive. The opportunity to be a part of that played a large role in my decision to join U of M.

CS: How is your research relevant today? What are the implications for today’s society?

SS: There are increasing concerns about negativity in the news, and negativity in politics in particular. The common complaint is that too much negativity turns people off politics – it leads to declining political participation and engagement. I am not sure that this is the case, however. I have an interest, first, in understanding the relative impact of negative versus positive information on our attitudes about politicians, parties, and policies. But I am very interested in the possibility that a focus on negative information in news content reflects the human tendency to be more interested in that kind of information. A steady flow of negative information may be central to political accountability. It might also increase rather decrease attention to politics. Understanding whether this is the case matters for our expectations of news coverage in mass media; it also matters for our objectives in media policy, in political campaigns, and in political journalism. Should we be trying to change the balance of positive versus negative information in news content? Are we well-served by journalism that focuses so strongly on politicians’ errors rather than successes? What is the impact of negative political campaigns on participation? These are all current questions not just in academic work in political communication, but in the public sphere as well. And these are the questions on which my ongoing work is focused.

Prof. Stuart Soroka delivered the Inaugural Lecture for the Michael W. Traugott Collegiate Professor of Communication Studies and Political Science February 10th in the Rackham Amphitheater. stuart

MACS: It’s A Wrap! – Diana Chen

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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.

Education:

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.

Recruiting:

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!

Industry:

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!

MACS
• 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

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.

MACS
• 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

2015 Communication Studies Commencement

Grads and GuestsGraduates, can you believe it?  We really did graduate.  We’ve packed up our lives here at U of M, trying to make sense of this inevitable closing chapter.  We experienced a bizarre combination of nervousness, sadness, excitement…and even sweat.  I predict that many of you have already made the painstaking and exhausting move out of your Ann Arbor housing (good-bye forever, dingy college furniture!).  And most of you, I’m sure, took time to say good-bye to faculty and friends.  I even suspect that a few of you have already started your full-time jobs – an exhilarating, yet terrifying thought.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been spending these last couple weeks trying to overcome my serious post-grad nostalgia (Is there an official diagnosis for this?).  In my attempt to fondly remember the past, while excitedly anticipate the future, it is clear to me that Ann Arbor will always be special.  Whether it is a football game or maybe a job that draws us back, we will find ourselves revisiting our deeply rooted feelings of love, pride, and yearning for this phenomenal place.  Talk about an emotional roller coaster.

We must admit, however, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect end to our undergraduate chapter at U of M.  We have the Department of Communication Studies to thank for this.  On May 1, 2015 we graduated and the normalcy we found in our undergraduate careers vanished.  The real world instantly greeted us with a few harsh realities: it is no longer socially acceptable to wear leggings every day, sleeping in until noon on any given day is no longer the norm, nor is it okay to arrive 10 minutes late assuming there’s a “Michigan time” grace period.  Harsh reality checks for sure.

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Some normalcy did remain on this special day.  As happens every year, the ceremony was held at the Michigan Theater — except the Michigan Theater felt a little different to us this time.  Professor and Chair of the Department, Susan Douglas, kicked-off the ceremony with a warm welcome.  Her opening remarks were insightful and certain, emphasizing the value of a liberal arts degree in addition to the media’s importance and power.  She affirmed that our liberal arts degree exposed us to diverse literature and perspectives, pressed us as critical and flexible thinkers, and refined our persuasive communication and research skills. These skills and more can only be taught through a liberal arts degree and will be crucially important as we tackle the continuing profound changes in communications technologies – technologies that grew and developed alongside us.  Douglas’ speech flawlessly encapsulated all of this and more, bringing together all of the things we had learned the past four years into perfect harmony.

0007Professor and Honors Advisor, Rowell Huesmann, introduced the Honors students: Jacquelyn Goldman, Marjorie McCurry, and Ellen Wagner.  He thoughtfully highlighted the rigorous requirements and expectations of the Honors Program – no easy feat.  At this time, he also presented the Mark Foote Distinguished Thesis Award.  This award was established in 2003 by the family of Mark Foote, a devoted University of Michigan alumnus and longtime leader in journalism.  The Distinguished Thesis Award is given to a Communication Studies undergraduate student for the most outstanding senior thesis in terms of scientific rigor and theoretical contribution.  Marjorie McCurry was the recipient of the award this year – you go girl!

 

Honors Thesis Students_ Jacquelyn Goldman, Marjorie McCurry, Ellen Wagner

Pictured: Honors Students, Jacquelyn Goldman, Marjorie McCurry, and Ellen Wagner 

I was fortunate enough to speak as president of the Michigan Association of Communication Studies (MACS) alongside my Co-EVP, Chris Beindorff.  While my speech relayed my deep love for all things U of M and hopes for my fellow graduates, Chris spoke of a hero that influenced his life and will continue to do so: his grandfather.  Both speeches expressed our appreciation of U of M and more specifically, our journeys through communications.  Together, we encouraged students to create a meaningful life, find inspiration, be excited for the next chapter, and yet never forget your memorable times at U of M: a perfect combination of looking back and looking forward.

Student speakers_ Alissa Ranger & Chris Beindorff

Pictured: Student Speakers, Alissa Ranger & Chris Beindorff

Jon Hein served as the keynote speaker at this year’s ceremony.  Jon graduated with a B.A. in Communications and History from U of M in 1989.  He first came on the scene when he coined the term “jump the shark” and created the website, jumptheshark.com, in 1997.  Jon hosts “Fast Food Mania” on the Discovery Channel Destination America and the collectibles show “For What It’s Worth” on VH1 classic.  He is also a producer on “The Howard Stern Show” at Sirius XM Radio where he has hosted a variety of programs including “The Wrap Up Show” for the past decade.  In other words, he’s a pretty big deal.

Jon Hein 1

Pictured: Keynote Speaker, Jon Hein

Although his invaluable experience through the field of communications took him all across the country, Jon asserted that Ann Arbor will forever be “home.”  He expressed his deep love for U of M, making it clear that he truly does bleed maize and blue.  With charisma, passion, and enthusiasm, he shared his successes, failures, and lessons learned.  Jon explained that he found his success through one simple equation: talent + persistence = luck.  He firmly believes that as U of M students we’ve already shown our passion to succeed, which has carried us through the past four years.  As students at this competitive university, we are already immensely talented.  Now, our task is to work hard, pay our dues, and not be easily discouraged.  This is where persistence comes in.

He recognized that it may not always be possible to land your “dream job” right away, but he urged students that with talent and persistence, you can be lucky enough to turn your passions into reality.  As Jon asserted, “This is the time in your life when you can make bold choices and go for it.” He reiterated that we need to take advantage of our time right now because it’ll never be here for us again.  “You’ll never have the freedom you have right now.  Make the most of it. Now is the time to go for it. Nothing is tying you down or holding you back,” he continued.

In our journey to “just go for it,” he recognized a few lessons he learned along the way:

  • “Always try to surround yourself with people who are smarter, funnier, and just as passionate as you are.  It raises your game.”
  • “Maintain your creative outlet.  Never let it go.”
  • “You need to be self-aware.  Don’t let your limitations hold you back.  Build upon your strengths.”
  • “Reach out to fellow Michigan graduates.”

I don’t know about you, fellow graduates, but these words will resonate with me forever.

And just like that, we graduated from the Department of Communication Studies.  As I look back at old photos, I am reminded that Jon Hein was right.  We really have had the time of our lives these past four years.  We learned, we failed, we succeeded, and we grew.  We truly lived.  But we can’t dwell in the past.  We are more alive now than ever and there is still so much to experience.  In the words of Jon Hein, “It’s okay to look back as you’re looking forward.”  You bet, Jon Hein.  I plan to do just that.

Alumni Connection 2015 Recap

Alumni Connection 3_20_2015 010This year’s annual Alumni Connection event took place last Friday, March 20th, in the Michigan League. Per usual, the event opened with remarks made by Professor and Chair of the Department, Susan J. Douglas, with panelist presentations following. Six Communication Studies alumni were featured on the panel this year. Graduating classes ranging from 2005-2013, and represented companies from Tumblr to Nielsen.

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Alumni Connection Panelist: Liz Vaccariello

photo 2Liz is a 1989 alumnus in Communication Studies. Currently, she stands as the editor-in-chief and chief content officer of Reader’s Digest in New York, NY. Here, she is responsible for driving editorial direction and product strategy across the brand’s media platforms. They include: Reader’s Digest, the second largest paid subscription magazine in the United States with a readership of more than 26 million; ReadersDigest.com, with an audience of over 4 million unique monthly visitors; editions for the iPad, Nook and Amazon Kindle, on which Reader’s Digest is one of the best selling magazines; and books, of which 15.8 million are sold each year. READ MORE »

Alumni Connection Panelist: Victoria Tsay

victoria tsay

Victoria is a 2013 alumnus in Communication Studies and Statistics. Currently, she stands as an Emerging Leaders Associate at Nielsen in Chicago, IL. Prior to Nielsen, she interned at IBM and Mochi Magazine. As a part of Nielsen’s rotational leadership program, Victoria works on 6-month projects in the television and online measurement space, and most recently finished a client service rotation with Facebook. READ MORE »

Alumni Connection Panelist: Sherry Almasi

Headshot-2Sherry is a 2010 alumna in Communication Studies and Political Science. Currently, she stands as a Human Resources and Recruiting Partner at Tumblr in New York, NY. After graduation, Sherry had a few entry level jobs, one of which included working for Google. During her tenure at Google, she made her desire to get into recruiting known, and through networking, landed a Recruiting Associate position at Tumblr. Two years later, still working for Tumblr, Sherry supports about 20 managers and 65 employees from an employee relations perspective and performs all the non-tech recruiting for the company. She also recently started a Master’s program at Columbia in Social Organization Psychology.   READ MORE »

Alumni Connection Panelist: Jenn Korail

J. Korail headshot

Jenn is a 2005 alumna in Communication Studies. Currently, she stands as an Account Director at Airfoil Group in Southfield, MI. She began her tenure at Airfoil directly out of college as an intern in the company’s research department. Now a nine-year Airfoil veteran, Jenn leads and executes communications and marketing initiatives across the company’s diverse client portfolio and supports the professional development of many of Airfoil’s staff. Her specialties include national media relationship building, messaging, executive coaching and crisis communications.  A few examples of her current clients include tier one automotive supplier Faurecia, Altair Engineering, and Creditera.

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