Alumna Erika Myers ‘97 is a perfect example of how career success can be achieved even without a carefully constructed 5-year plan or checklist. Although she majored in Journalism as an undergrad, her career has taken her far beyond the media industry.
She has held a variety of positions since graduation, including as a broadcast journalist, account manager and sales representative. Today, Myers is a project manager at Stryker, a global medical technologies company headquartered in Kalamazoo. She uses her communication skills to keep Stryker’s IT and business teams working together and communicating openly.
“I didn't take a direct path in my career, but I feel like each twist and turn has made me a stronger person and a better employee,” said Myers. “Even though I never thought when I graduated 21 years ago that I would end up in a position like this working for a big corporation, I am incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity and truly enjoy what I do.”
Building a Foundation
During her time at ComArtSci, Myers worked for Impact 89FM as a sports reporter. She also had several internships, including working as a sports intern for WTKA radio in Ann Arbor and WILX TV in Lansing.
“All of these were incredibly helpful for me as I continued my studies at MSU because it truly gave me a view of what the ‘real world’ was like and what I would have to do to succeed after graduation,” said Myers. “I met so many wonderful people along the way too, many of whom I am still in touch with. Relationship building is critical to success in any profession!”
In the classroom, Myers worked hard to earn her communication stripes. The emphasis her Journalism professors placed on accuracy continues to resonate with her today.
“I am a stickler for details, grammar and spelling,” said Myers. “I truly have my professors to thank for instilling in me how important it is to be accurate and detailed. I would be kidding myself if I didn't give credit to my education at MSU for helping me be successful in my career and being able to handle the assignments I'm given at work today.”
A Spartan Family
After successfully navigating her way through several different careers, Myers has some advice for ComArtSci students.
“Although it may seem daunting at times, and classes and tests may frustrate you, know that the time you have there is so short and you'll blink and it's over and real life sets in a hurry,” said Myers. “Enjoy, take it all in, do everything you can to make the most out of every day on the most amazing campus on earth!”
Her last piece of advice? She recommends that all students join their local Alumni Association chapter after they graduate and start their careers.
“The Spartan family is unlike anything else you will ever find, both personally and professionally,” said Myers. “Keep in touch with people who you've met along the way who may have given you advice or introduced you to someone else in your field. The relationships you build starting now, while you're in college, will be extremely beneficial to you as you embark on the next stage of life. You have an unbreakable bond with fellow Spartans — use it to your advantage.”
By Rianna N. Middleton