Tessa O’Farrell toured Detroit advertising agencies alongside other MSU students in 1-credit course trip
By: Evelyn Sowerby
Every fall semester, AD+PR students at Michigan State University are given the opportunity to travel to Detroit alongside other students and faculty members, visiting different advertising agencies to get a glimpse of what it is like to be a professional in the Motor City.
For advertising management senior, Tessa O’Farrell, the Detroit Industry Immersion Trip was an important step in getting her internship. O’Farrell says that when she heard about the trip through an email from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, she knew it would be an amazing opportunity to scope out internship opportunities. In preparation, O’Farrell printed personalized business cards with a QR code that was linked directly to her resume. She says she made connections with the leaders following each meeting and sent a thank-you email to company representatives at the end of each day of the trip.
The Detroit Industry Immersion Trip takes place over three days, allowing students to visit agencies of all sizes city-wide. On O’Farrell’s trip, students went on building tours, gained insight on current company projects, and made connections about how their MSU coursework prepared them for jobs in the city. O’Farrell is originally from Northville, Michigan, a city roughly 30 minutes from downtown Detroit.
“The trip also gave me a good idea of what a day in life would be if I were to live in the suburbs and commute to work,” said O’Farrell.
Following the trip, O’Farrell said she received an email from Ilitch Charities, one of the companies she encountered about an open assistant position. She landed the position and said she has since loved her time working for Ilitch Charities.
“Every morning walking into work I had a view of the ballpark, and I was reminded how lucky I am to work for this organization,” said O’Farrell.
She was able to work alongside two other college students and receive amazing guidance and mentorship from her other co-workers. Her role as an assistant focused heavily on event planning, specifically two charity events put on by the organization.
“I had never felt more proud knowing that I helped contribute to making them happen,” said O’Farrell about the work she put toward the events.
O’Farrell encourages all other MSU students to investigate trips like the Detroit Industry Immersion. She says the internship gave her valuable experience that she can now apply in her career.
“I learned my value as an employee, and it gave me the confidence to reach for even greater heights,” said O’Farrell.
For more information on Industry Immersion Trips, visit https://comartsci.msu.edu/student-experience/field-experience.