Written by Alec Parr, who graduated from Michigan State University this spring with a B.A. in Public and Professional Writing
I began working at the Content Studio in February of 2020, just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed daily life. That didn’t stop me from learning so much.
After 18 months working for the Content Studio, I see that although the circumstances brought on by the pandemic were less than ideal, I still obtained a variety of valuable skills and met some fantastic people in the year and a half I spent there.
After switching my major from English Education to Public and Professional Writing during my sophomore year in 2019, I was in need of real writing experience outside of my classes. I told my friend (and fellow intern) Annie Dubois about this since she was also in the WRAC (Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures) program.
This was the start of my professional career. It was through her that I found out about the Content Studio and began working there in February of 2020. However, I was forced to adapt after the COVID-19 pandemic pushed everything online just a few weeks later.
As difficult as this challenge was, it did not limit the wonderful experiences I had there. From mock interviews and article writing to web design and outreach analytics, I have learned so much in such a short period.
I worked with educators on the East Coast, College of Arts & Letters faculty and staff, award-winning authors and researchers, and so much more to create meaningful content from the college, uplift my peers, and tell the stories of MSU community members.
All of this was still possible thanks to our numerous online resources like Microsoft Teams, which helped me stay connected with my team as we generated content, and Zoom, which let me meet with alumni, faculty, and students in order to craft their articles and understand their work.
While these tools were helpful, I wouldn’t have earned such valuable experience without my supervisors. Kim Popiolek, my Senior Editor, pushed me to see my writing in a different light and change it to meet the needs of whatever task was at hand. Ryan Kilcoyne, the College of Arts & Letter’s Marketing and Communications Director, opened many doors for me as I explored new challenges in multiple fields. Thanks to all of the work I put in at the Content Studio and the mentors who helped me, I moved on to work as a Student Communications Assistant for the State of Michigan’s Department of Agriculture. While my time with the College of Arts & Letter’s Content Studio was almost entirely remote, the experience I gained and the connections I made are priceless.