LA to MSU: Undergrad Makes the Most of AD+PR Far from Home

By Madison Kort

For Los Angeles-native Kelly Delgado, Lake Lansing and the Red Cedar River being the closest bodies of water was quite an adjustment.

A woman sits on the edge of a structure at the beach

Advertising management major, Kelly Delgado, poses on the beach in her hometown of the South Bay-area in Los Angeles.

The Pacific Ocean was her next-door neighbor back home, but she now finds herself in Michigan, surrounded by freshwater and a fresh new academic environment.

Out-of-state students make up 15% of MSU’s student population, which equates to nearly 7,450 people. With remote and close-to-home education more popular and accessible than ever, why do thousands of students make the choice each year to move to East Lansing and enroll at MSU?

Delgado is a junior advertising management major who made the 2,000-mile move from the South Bay-area of Los Angeles.

“I applied to the business school and did not make it in; that happened twice,” said Delgado. “Because of that, I was talking to my advisor and she told me that advertising management was a very popular alternative. I actually found it really interesting.”

Moving thousands of miles from home to an unfamiliar school fresh out of high school requires leaving behind friends, family and the security of knowing where you fit in. Having her first two years of college in the height of the pandemic didn’t help with that adjustment either.

“I will say ‘it’s tough;’ I have met really cool people within the college, but it’s been over a slower period of time,” said Delgado. “I don’t know, maybe I’m still getting accustomed to Michigan life.”

From day one, students in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences are taught the importance of networking, be it for field experience opportunities, future career prospects or simply building a presence on LinkedIn. Without an established network of accessible contacts, studying out-of-state poses the unique challenge of starting from scratch.

Despite the challenges she has faced as a student living far from home, Delgado says she remains optimistic and grateful for her experience with AD+PR at MSU.

“I’m definitely going to take my experience back home,” she said. “I want to work with marketing and fashion, specifically swimwear, and what better place to do that than LA. The knowledge I’ve learned here is super useful. A lot of advertising and marketing aspects are universal, so now I just have to bring what I know back home.”

There are countless opportunities within ComArtSci and AD+PR for networking and building connections regardless of whether you’re an out-of-state or international student or even from a mile down Grand River Avenue. Get involved, talk to someone you haven’t met before and join a club together. Consider joining a student group for AD+PR and ComArtSci students.

Interested in taking a break from Michigan weather? Check out these Education Abroad resources so you too can think about AD+PR studies in the sand.