PR internship and MSU Communication Major Helps Student Explore Diverse Interests

Jackie McLane was first drawn to studying communication because of its fast-paced nature.

"I know that my career is always going to be evolving and that really appealed to me," McLane said.

So far, the 21-year-old senior has been able to explore a number of industries through the lens of communications and public relations. She’s worked at The State News, Ripple Public Relations and VIM Magazine: MSU’s fashion publication.

Every day has been different, and McLane loves it.

Currently, she’s working as an assistant strategist at Piper & Gold Public Relations in Lansing. She started off as an intern last January, and has gradually gained more responsibility.

"They’ve really helped me to grow professionally and personally into the person I want to be," she said.

McLane especially likes the feeling of working with a small, close-knit team.

"There are seven of us, so we’re really like a family," she said. "And I have that PR agency experience. That’s helped shape where I want to be."

At Piper & Gold, McLane helps out with everything from social media management to event planning to working with her own clients.

"I have so many interests it’s hard for me to nail down just one thing I want to do," she said.

Being able to explore a variety of disciplines has also been one of her favorite things about the College of ComArtSci.

"I really like how open it is," she said. "Even though I’m a COM major, I can still be taking other classes and learning a variety of skills."

Just last semester McLane learned about writing for television and film by taking CAS 396.

"That’s always been something that I really wanted to do, and even though I’m not in Media and Information Department like other students, it was really nice to have that opportunity" she said. "I don’t feel limited as to what I can learn."

McLane also offered up some advice to her fellow ComArtSci students who are seeking to build their resumes.

"If you have an interest, follow that, see that through and see how you can combine that interest with work experience," she said.

McLane said she wants students to realize that experience doesn’t always have to be a job, and that it can come through Media Sandbox courses or getting involved with student organizations.

"Find things you can do that are experience but aren’t jobs. You can volunteer, or help out with student organizations that can easily translate into any work environment," she said. "When you follow your interests and it’s something you want to do, people notice that. It’ll stick out to people that you’re passionate about something."