This past year, MSU Street Teams and the ADV 825 (Advertising and Public Relations Strategy) class partnered with the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Kids, Inc. of Barry, Eaton and Ingham Counties (CASA) to create an outreach plan for 2023/2024. ComArtSci's Street Teams provides real-world learning experiences with non-profit organizations that are looking to give back to their local communities. This past fall Street Teams and ADV 825 decided to partner with CASA. CASA is a non-profit organization that teaches, guides and contributes court-appointed special advocates for children who are in the foster care system.
Through the work of Assistant Professor Maria Molina's Advertising and Public Relations Strategies class, students were able to assist by creating a successful strategy to help promote CASA's Outreach Plan.
In this class, students focus on establishing effective strategy, research, media planning, integrated advertising, public relations tactics, media relations and campaign evaluation. With this experience, it was important for students in ADV 825 to learn about the environment of professional agencies and work as a team to meet specific goals and objectives.
"In my class, we focus on the emphasis of strategy," said Assistant Professor Maria Molina. "When you think about Advertising agencies, some people are tasked with the strategy while others are tasked with the creative side. Through this collaboration, we aimed to create a similar environment for the students. It is not only about what students learn in the classroom but also the other opportunities that may arise from the experience."
Beyond the educational experience, students in ADV 825 and Street Teams were able to showcase their individuality, originality and strategic skills to support a cause outside of the community here at Michigan State.
As a student-run organization, Street Teams works alongside various non-profit organizations similar to CASA to provide media assistance for upcoming projects. Street Teams offers students a unique experience with advertising, public relations, communications, marketing and more.
"I've directed Street Teams for the past six years, said Street Teams Director Jeana-Dee Allen. "It has been an adventure of starting small, moving fast and letting students take the program where it needs to go. This was our first collaboration with a grad class. Maria Molina and I were excited and curious about how this would come together. We did not know what the result would look like, but we knew that this opportunity would be a positive experience for both undergraduate and graduate students to work together to support a non-profit partner."
In addition to creating full support for CASA's Outreach campaign, this partnership blossomed into an internship opportunity for Eman Alqurashi who became an intern for CASA after being a student in ADV 825.
For many undergraduate students, taking the first steps towards an internship or becoming a part of an on-campus organization may be challenging. However, Allen and Molina believe that establishing what you want is the best way to start your journey towards success.
"If you are unsure where to start, the direction first has to come from you and what you want to do. Once you find what you are passionate about, there will be people who will recognize your passion," Allen said.
"One of the reasons we started this collaboration is to make it easier for students to see different opportunities outside of the classroom," said Molina. "It provides visibility for organizations like Street Teams which provides the opportunity for students to engage with professional development and build a strong portfolio. As educators, it is satisfaction for us to see our students get internships from the opportunities that we offer."
By: Miles Sloan