• yellow_Road_Header2
  • 415_header
  • dive in graphic - iceberg with face overlay

The Gap: Developing Taste into Skill

by | Posted April 28th, 2014

Ira Glass’ advice on creative work has been gaining momentum for months, but even if you’ve read or heard the advice before, these two gorgeous typographical videos are worth a look.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

One of the most resonant things that Glass addresses is “The Gap”. Creators usually get into their craft with a sense of taste, and a desire to be great. But beginners often forget that taste does not translate to skill right off the bat. There’s going to be a period of time, quite possibly a very long period of time, where the work does not live up to the level that your taste would dictate. It’s going to fall short.

Luckily, there’s a solution.

Unluckily, it’s a solution we’ve all heard before. It’s a solution that we avoid, because it sounds like too much work.

The solution, of course, IS work. Work hard, work often, and work until the gap looks a little less intimidating. And in the meantime, remember the gap, and don’t let it scare you into giving up.

Accepted an Internship: Here are the Do’s & Don’ts

by | Posted April 25th, 2014

You open your email and the first thing you see is, “congrats on landing the internship.” You jump for joy and began to prepare for an amazing summer with your dream company.

Many questions and awkward moments will come up, how you find answers and deal with these moments are critical. Hercampus.com suggests “8 things to do after accepting an Internship.” Start of by reaching out to the company online networks, such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn if you haven’t done so. Also, reach out to current or former interns; they will be able to answer any questions about the position. Most importantly don’t procrastinate about making plans or responding.

Follow these tips and you’ll start your new internship with confidence!

Sarah Bowser

by | Posted April 24th, 2014

sarah bowserName: Sarah Bowser

Graduating Year: 2011

Majors/Track/Minor/Specialization: Professional Writing, Digital and Technical Track

Current Job Title: Account Lead / Business Process Delivery Consultant

Employer: Acquity Group part of Accenture Interactive

Location: Chicago, IL


Didn’t Get The Internship: Here Are More Options

by | Posted April 24th, 2014

College Students on Campus


The hassles of applying for summer internships are finally over, but the anticipation is still there. As the semester rolls to an end you still haven’t heard from any of the internships you applied to, and you begin to worry. Then you ask yourself, if I don’t get this internship, what can I do over the summer? Hercampus.com offers a multiple of plan B’s just in case none of your internships get back to you.

One thing you can do is stick around and make more connections. Your professors are still around and the school is still open, so why not offer to assist one of your professors for the summer. This will help you build a relationship and teach you more about their area of interest/study.

Working on campus is another great option. Taking summer classes isn’t a bad idea either; it can help you get a few credits ahead. And if you’re tired of being on campus, get away. There are plenty of study abroad programs that offer funding.

Also remember, it is your summer vacation. It’s okay to relax. Hang out and travel with your friends, and pick up new hobbies along the way that will later develop into skills. Choose your activities wisely and don’t waste the opportunity of time before you just because you didn’t land an internship. Get out and enjoy the weather!

Preparing Early For Final Exams

by | Posted April 22nd, 2014

Within the next few weeks final exams will arrive at your door. You may be thinking it’s a little too early to talk about final exams. Trust, it’s never too early to start preparing. We tend to forget that preparation means planning ahead, and instead we procrastinate. Social Media 101 offers 10 study tips for final exams. Read through these tips and plan the next few weeks accordingly, and avoid stress. It’s important to keep your energy levels high and your stress low. In order to achieve this use your available study time more efficiently by organizing a calendar. Go grab your calendar, start planning, start studying, and be ready to welcome your final exam when it knocks.

When You’ve Run Out of Ideas

by | Posted April 21st, 2014

We all know that feeling of writer’s block. It sets in right around the 14th page of a required 15-page paper. Just when you’ve gotten to a great point in your short story or when that cursor is blinking on a completely blank screen. Writer’s block always sets in at the most inopportune time and can sometimes linger to the point where you’re not even sure you’ll have any more ideas. I have written for many different outlets ranging from business social media to creative writing, and sometimes I just feel like I won’t ever think of that next great tweet or short story.

What’s a writer to do? I’ve hit this wall plenty of times and sometimes it has led me to give up on a project completely. I don’t want that to happen to you, so over the years I’ve developed some ways to keep myself from getting completely off track, and I thought I would share them.


Source: The Collaborative Writer

Brainstorm. Write down anything and everything that comes to mind, you never know when a great idea will hit. Sometimes I will have the craziest dream that I know could be turned into a great short story, or I’m driving the hour-long ride home and I’ll think of an idea for something to blog about. I always have to have a pen and paper nearby so that I can write down anything and everything that comes to mind. Especially with dreams, they’re always vibrantly painted on the back of my eyelids when I wake up, but as the day goes on the details become fuzzier and fuzzier. So, I find it’s best to write everything down in as much detail as I can right when I wake up. (more…)

Dive In: A Culture Shock Resource

by | Posted April 17th, 2014

Culture is an iceberg. Most of what we immediately think of is just what’s above the waterline – food, music, holidays. But so much of the cultural norms are hidden below the surface, and it can be overwhelming to try and navigate all the hidden expectations when you’re thrown into foreign waters. To ease the experience, CAITLAH (Center for Applied Inclusive Teaching and Learning in the Arts and Humanities) created Dive In with the help of WRAC faculty member Cheryl Caesar.

Dive In is a forum where students can talk about their experiences with culture shock in the MSU community. This website gives students an outlet to discuss the differences in culture and to express their struggles in acclimating to MSU’s culture.

dive in website screenshot

Over the years, Caesar has asked her first-year writing students to expand their audience beyond their classmates, to write beyond their culture bubble. For First-Year Writing classes at MSU, this is a ubiquitous goal. However, Caesar wanted more for her students. “ I got tired of asking them to imagine they were writing for a particular audience — why not do it for real?”

In 2012, Caesar submitted an idea to the FYW Program for a new pilot curriculum based on culture shock. Part of the curriculum included a written personal narrative about students’ experience with culture shock. The necessity for the Dive In website came later, “I began receiving so much wonderful, thoughtful and creative material that I could not just keep it to our classroom,” Caesar explained. She began dreaming up a website that encompassed campus and beyond, stock full of information on various cultures as well as local and campus resources.

The project quickly gained traction and soon other MSU staff and students jumped on board. “A senior in Teacher Education, Caren Kadri, is interested in taking it on as a research project. Also, two groups of students from Kate Fedewa’s WRA 150 are doing research in order to contribute profiles and FAQ. One group, headed by Alex Heavin, will be presenting this research at UURAF (University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum) in April,” said Caesar.

The heart of the website though, is student stories. One such story comes from Q:
“Living in a different culture is like a double edged sword. Not only people can learn another culture, but they also can feel culture shock as I had. I still have a language problem, but I am better in English now than I was before. And I have learned about American behavior such as eye contact and have become used to it; so I can respond to people while they are talking, even sometimes other people avoid my eye contact while I’m talking. Moreover, I have found many entertainments with friends in the US besides my playing style in Korea, so I can spend and hang out with others more time. Fears can make your situation worse. Do you want to make new friends? Have a little courage.”

Currently, Dive In has been a great tool for students in FYW; however, Caesar would like the site to be more widely known and used by students, campus organizations, and professors. “I would like to see it known to all new students [. . .] And I would like students to take it over as their own forum, with a chat room and whatever else they might envision,” she said. Caesar is hoping to extend the reach of the project by one day getting the website to become part of orientation or become a freshman seminar.

You can get involved by writing about your own experiences, offering comments or suggestions, or sharing resources on culture shock (such as events, articles, and FAQs). Caesar can be contacted at caesarc@msu.edu.