Overlooked Campus Jobs Prepare Students for the Future

AD+PR alumni weigh in on convenient opportunities in our own backyard
By: Katie Franz

As a student, the search for an opportunity that aligns with your interests, pays, qualifies for field experience and fits into your schedule can be a challenge. A good place to start is with the many on-campus organizations that hire students, including the Associated Students of Michigan State University, the Residence Halls Association, Impact 89FM, the University Activities Board and MSU’s Division of Residential and Hospitality Services.

Some recent AD+PR and strategic communications alumni recommend seeking on-campus job opportunities to gain relevant and meaningful experience. These paid positions are designed for students, which can foster unique learning environments.

“I learned a lot of responsibility and a lot of ways to communicate with people,” said Kaitlin Nye, MSU strategic communications alumna. “I learned how to converse with people in a professional setting.”

Nye served as a special events, and leadership & education director for the University Activities Board between 2009-2011, and credits these positions for pushing her to seek a master’s degree in strategic communication.

“UAB and those two jobs really kind of set my path to where I’m at now,” said Nye.

A group of students posing with large letters that say U. A. B.

AD+PR alumnus, Brandon Crawford, and UAB members at a UAB event in fall of 2018.

Nye says an advantage to working within the university is the full-time professional staff who guide and mentor student employees, helping them uncover their strengths and grow. Nye, now a full-time professional, works as a communications manager for Residence Education and Housing Services. In this position, she works with students managing MSU Live On social media accounts, the University Activities Board marketing coordinators, and directly with student communications interns.

However, Nye acknowledges the many other positions available that may interest AD+PR students.

“There are a lot of communications jobs that people don’t think exist – almost every college on campus has at least one sole professional staff communicator…and being an office of one, as professional staff, is incredibly difficult so they’re always looking for interns,” said Nye.

2020 AD+PR alumnus, Brandon Crawford, took on many positions while at MSU. Crawford worked at the front desk for the University Activities Board, and served as an events and marketing director. As a senior, Crawford worked as the public relations manager for ASMSU, as well as the MSU Union digital marketing intern. After graduating, Crawford chose to apply to MSU’s Strategic Communications master’s program because these positions gave him confidence that he was truly passionate about communications. He says these positions also helped him with the application process.

“Through all my positions, I was able ask for letters of recommendation because they had seen what I had done professionally outside of classwork,” said Crawford.

On-campus jobs can provide students with meaningful experiences and prepare them for grad school as well as future careers. Students seeking positions can reach out to the ComArtSci Career Center for advice on how to find these opportunities and prepare for interviews.