When she was in high school, Margeaux Koepele started a Twitter account dedicated to her favorite band, One Direction. She had no idea how helpful one fan social media account would eventually turn out to be.
Soon after starting the account, Koepele gained enough popularity that three members of the band-- Louie Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne--followed her.
Koepele, a communication and public relations junior, originally started out studying dietetics at MSU. But she didn't feel like it was the right fit. Her parents, however, knew her talents were geared toward another field. They had the Twitter account to prove it.
"My parents would always tell me that my Twitter account was the stupidest thing I'd ever done, but that I was really good at it," Koepele laughed. "So when I was reconsidering my major, I took a few COM classes. I've since decided this is definitely where I was meant to be. And while you don't want to listen to your mom, she's usually right."
Koepele said she talks about running the account in every interview.
"It's different, and I realized whatever you can do to set yourself apart is amazing," she said.
Koepele still loves One Direction, but she no longer spends her time tweeting about pop stars. Instead, she's been an active member of PRSSA and has worked for Hubbell Connections, a student-run PR firm.
She's also had a number of work experiences. Last year, she won the Quinn Franks internship award as a result of her internship at the Common Ground Music Festival and Meridian Entertainment Group.
From January through July, Koepele worked as a marketing intern, directing social media efforts, designing promotional materials and writing press releases for the festival.
"There's all that back work that people don't think about like booking and trying to make people get excited about this opening act that maybe no one has ever heard of," she said.
Koepele's most memorable day on the job was also her most stressful. Headliner Meghan Trainor canceled her appearance the day before the concert because of a medical issue, leaving the Common Ground crew scrambling.
"To say I wasn't terrified would be a complete lie," she said. "But we learned from the best. We came up with someone to replace her and shifted the entire acts on the main stage back."
The crew managed to divert a catastrophe and the rest of the festival went off without a hitch.
"That experience set the tone for the rest of the week," Koepele said. " We thought 'like well, I got through that, I will make it through this week.' I learned so much."
Finding her direction
Koepele first found the job working with the Common Ground festival on MySpartanCareer. For some reason, the name of the company, Meridian Entertainment Group, rang a bell. It turned out that Koepele had a friend who worked for Meridian, so she reached out to her for basic information about the job.
Although that personal connection was helpful, Koepele said it was the solid foundation of skills she'd learned in class and through PRSSA that helped her get the job.
"(PRSSA and Hubbell) really changed everything for me. I realized these are students in my college on the executive board for a national organization," she said. "If you don't have experience, you should look for it in the college. That's why PRSSA, Hubble, any of these organizations exists. They're there not there only to give you something to add to your resume but to give you the peers and the professional contacts."
Koepele said her favorite thing to do when she's not in class on a Friday is to job shadow fellow communicators. She's made connections in a number of places - from the Detroit Red Wings to General Motors to Meijer and Gordon Foods.
"It's something I never would have had the guts to do or had the resources to do if I hadn't become an active member of the college," she said.
This summer, Koepele is heading off to an internship with Delta Airlines. Landing that summer internship wasn't easy, though. Koepele said she interviewed for several internships, only to get turned down.
"I was getting really discouraged and feeling really bad for myself because I didn't think it all would be worth anything to anybody," she said.
Then, she went out on a limb and applied to Delta Airlines. It was out of her comfort zone and far from home, but she thought it was worth a shot. Her hunch was right.
"I ended up getting something awesome and now I feel so good. My hard work paid off," she said. "Something good will come. It will all work itself out, which is what my dad was saying to me two weeks ago. I was like 'yeah whatever.' But everyone is good enough and you need to have passion for what you're doing. Just because they don't pick you doesn't mean you weren't an amazing candidate."