Emily Dallaire is a senior at Michigan State majoring in Professional Writing and Experience Architecture. Emily is currently the User Experience Research Intern at TechSmith, a software development company based in Okemos, Michigan. According to Emily, "[TechSmith's] goals are not only to make friendly, intuitive, and simple software [for] everyone, but also to have a strong investment in the successes of our customers and constantly work to improve their experience."
As an intern, Emily works on various projects, both independent and collaborative, to research how users interact with TechSmith products. She works with the User Experience Researcher to discover how the company's products and web solutions are being utilized by the customer's and then reports back to TechSmith's UX designers. Her main goal is make sure the user's experience with the software is intuitive and accessible. On a daily basis, Emily finds herself either at meetings, working on independent research or design projects, or giving feedback on product documentation and internal communications.
Emily has had the chance to work on several special projects including one in which she collected data on the use of one of TechSmith's products and looked for trends and potential pain points. She then took the data and created a presentation for people to use in their product design and development work. "All of my projects so far have given me so much room to learn about different types of UX research methods, usability, and improving user's confidence within products and websites, as well as being able to communicate the findings effectively," says Emily. Having a strong teamwork environment, along with lots of feedback and innovation, made TechSmith the perfect place for Emily to learn and grow.
Researched and written by Anna Ellison
Jade Wiselogle is a senior at Michigan State majoring in Professional Writing and specializing in Public Relations. Jade recently interned for Seventeen Magazine at their headquarters on the 17th floor of Hearst tower in New York City. Seventeen is a magazine dedicated to empowering high school and young college aged girls through many different stages of life. Covering a variety of topics, Seventeen's mission is to help young women look and feel their best. "Working at Seventeen definitely opened my eyes to the world of editing and publishing, particularly within the fashion industry," says Jade. "It definitely solidified my career goals and how I felt about pursuing a career in fashion."
As an intern, Jade was fully submerged in NYC's publishing and fashion industries. She worked as a fashion intern in the fashion closet at Seventeen, alongside 14 other interns. Due to the hectic and high-pressure work environment, Jade had to work under the tight deadlines. She oversaw all of the check-ins and check-outs of the hundreds of clothing articles and accessories on loan and also got the opportunity to assist with photoshoots. She was responsible for tracking the clothing used in the shoot, ensuring that proper credit was given to the PR firms and showrooms that sent Seventeen the clothing, and helped with packing. According to Jade, no two days in the magazine industry are the same. Some days she found herself keeping the fashion closet organized, and some could be found "running throughout the streets of Manhattan carrying garment bags full of expensive clothing."
Working at Seventeen was truly an eye-opening experience for Jade. "It's one thing to learn about it in the classroom, but it's a completely different world once you actually have to apply all those classroom skills in a professional, high-energy setting. I am really thankful I got the opportunity to work for such a high-profile magazine," says Jade. This internship experience is something many young girls yearn for, but is something that one of our fellow Spartans got to call her own.
Researched and written by Anna Ellison
Kayla Putz is a Professional Writing senior minoring in Public Relations. Kayla interned for Piper & Gold, a Public Relations firm in Old Town Lansing. The firm focuses on social media and press work for their clients and intend on building strong, lasting relationships. “Piper & Gold is a unique agency in the fact that they don’t work for their clients, they work with them,” says Kayla. Being such a small firm with only three full-time employees and two student interns, P&G puts one hundred percent of themselves into the work they do with their two dozen clients, Kayla reports. Piper & Gold works mainly with nonprofit organizations, and although they are local, they represent Michigan as a whole.
As an intern, Kayla worked 15 hours a week, with 3 days in the office. “The culture at Piper & Gold is a little different from your standard agency. The upbeat, fun, and creative environment definitely allowed me to excel and create my best work.” She maintained social media for clients, primarily Facebook and Twitter. Kayla also attended many client meetings, usually observing and taking notes. Taking on a variety of tasks, Kayla created talking points and infographics, planned a holiday party, wrote traditional press releases, and even wrote columns for the Lansing State Journal. Now, Kayla continues her work at the firm but under the title of Assistant Strategist. Working part-time, Kayla still manages social media for clients, while taking on more columns and feature stories. She also attends more strategy meetings with clients where she discusses media. Overall, Piper & Gold’s unique work style and environment proved to be extremely beneficial to Kayla and her journey into the professional world.
Researched and written by Anna Ellis