Alumna Elizabeth Johnson Trades Cap for a Crown

Advertising and PR alumna Elizabeth Johnson has traded her cap for a crown since graduating in May 2015. Not only is she working as a digital consultant for Mercedes-Benz at Shift Digital, but she is also the reigning Miss Michigan USA.

“Representing my state is such an honor,” said Johnson. “I am truly so blessed to be in this position. I hope to use my title to make a difference here in Michigan.”

As a digital consultant, Johnson designs creative assets in Adobe and updates national offers while consulting over 50 dealerships in the U.S. and Canada. She’s also in charge of coding and optimizing all of their websites for both desktop and mobile and communicating analytics to each dealer.

A Strong Competitor

Johnson was competing long before she left Michigan State. She was a dancer for both the MSU Dance Team and the MSU Elite Club Dance Team, in addition to being a member of the MSU Advertising Association.

“Getting involved is so important for making connections and making the most out of your time at MSU, especially in ComArtSci,” said Johnson. “You never know who you will run into later in life.”


As a ComArtSci student, Johnson had many professors who helped her with different aspects of her journey. She said that they were all approachable and willing to help, especially when she had an upcoming pageant. Johnson particularly enjoyed Karin Hanson’s class that she took the semester before graduation, in which a number of alumni were invited to speak about their experiences.

“It was inspiring and encouraging to hear about their career path and where their education from MSU has brought them,” said Johnson.

Standing Out

Johnson’s personal platform as Miss Michigan USA is to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle. As someone who is used to building others up, she has plenty of advice for ComArtSci students who are just making their way into the professional world.

“Do things outside your comfort zone, because that is how you grow and network,” said Johnson. “Have a goal, and every day, do something to work toward that goal.”

Johnson also said that making a good first impression is extremely important. Persistence is key, she said, but you can’t stress too much when looking for your first job out of college.

“Just be persistent, confident and use your interview as an opportunity to stand out,” said Johnson. “This has helped me both in pageants and in my career.”

Johnson will be competing for the title of Miss USA later this year. 

By Kaitlin Dudlets