In celebration of Kent State University’s Sophomore Appreciation week, the CCI Commons invited College of Communication and Information sophomore students to lunch with Dean Amy Reynolds, Assistant Dean Matt Rollyson and USG Student Senator Reggie Jones. The lunch offered an opportunity to talk, between bites of pizza, about the demands of being a second year student and how to maintain focus moving into the final two years of their undergraduate education.
Sophomores not only discussed concerns ranging from affording tuition payments to balancing an increased workload with Reynolds, Rollyson and Jones but also expressed appreciation for CCI faculty who they regarded as very responsive and helpful both in and out of class.
Reynolds mentioned she was very pleased to hear CCI faculty are listening and engaging with their students, and Jones offered students advice on how to earn a few extra bucks on campus.
Moving forward, Reynolds, Rollyson and Jones said they hope to continue discussion as a means to find new and alternative ways to find solutions to students’ challenges such as potentially creating a centralized hub for on-campus jobs and leadership roles within the college and the field.
by Morgan Barba
If you’ve studied abroad in Florence, Italy, with CCI, you probably…
…could speak un può italiano to the American students you met at clubs.
…did this every minute of every sweaty day when you arrived in August.
…understood that “O” is much, much more than just a letter.
…wanted a ride on a vespa SO BAD.
…went to Italian “movie nights” just to hang out with Tina.
…finally mastered walking on cobblestone with *minimal* tripping.
…got way more homework than you thought you would.
…never took a shower with a temperature above semi-sorta-warm.
…had war flashbacks anytime you see someone selling selfie stick or bouquet of roses.
…never had enough wifi to talk on the phone with your family.
…had been kindly “invited” somewhere by Fabio Corsini.
…obnoxiously yelled andiamo every time you wanted to leave a place.
…had eaten gusta pizza at least twice in one week.
…got way too excited when Netflix came to Italy last October.
…felt like this when you hear people say they are “ready” to go home.
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by Amanda Azzarelli
Alumna Marissa Decker made the most of her travel abroad opportunities, and it paid off.
Decker spent the fall semester of her junior year in Florence, Italy, in 2011. She also enrolled in the Global Advertising and Public Relations course in Spring 2011, and traveled with the class to London, England, for two weeks.
After returning home from her trip to London, Decker landed an internship with dgCommunications Group, an ad agency in southern Florida. The owner of this agency used to live in London and is originally from South America.
“I believe being well rounded globally helped me land the job,” Decker said. “I felt extremely confident in myself while explaining my work with Global Ad/PR, and taking a job in southern Florida felt like a breeze compared to a semester in Europe.”
As an intern, some of Decker’s responsibilities included creative work, like designing logos and product proofs. She also did client work, including organizing photo shoots and contacting vendors.
After graduating in December 2013, Decker was offered a freelance job with dgCommunications Group. She now designs the weekly grocery savers for a client in the Cayman Islands.
“Being open to a challenge is something I learned immensely while traveling,” Decker said. “I viewed the experience in Florence as a challenge to myself to meet new people, experience different cultures, and find my niche in life. Being able to adapt to each challenge, project and client has made my efficiency in and love for this job grow.”
Decker said the language barrier was not the biggest challenge in her study abroad experiences, having taken four years of Italian throughout high school and an additional course the semester before she left.
“The entire semester was filled with planning different trips,” Decker said. “What was most challenging for me was letting go of that anxiety if something went awry. After a semester of learning to let go of the reigns and enjoy the experience, I felt much more at ease with traveling and becoming that independent, optimistic person I hoped to become.”
Decker said these experiences contributed to her organizational skills. She created her own photography business while continuing her freelance work with dgCommunications Group. She said she must to be organized in her projects and plans to keep everything running smoothly.
“Another lesson I learned, and still continue to use to this day, was how much I value the relationships I made,” Decker said. “Being able to communicate effectively really helped me to feel more comfortable in my own skin.”
Decker encourages all students to consider studying abroad. She said immersing yourself in a new culture and being a part of a life completely different from your own helps you learn a lot about yourself.
“It is an experience that grows with you, even after you return home,” Decker said.
Lily Martis, editor of KentWired and senior journalism major, worked as an editorial intern at Viacom for VH1 this past summer. The internship had her living and working for 11 weeks at Viacom’s offices in New York City.
“In my first week, I had two stories published on VH1.com. I was able to sit in on the brand’s weekly meetings, where we discussed website traffic and what types of stories worked and what ones flopped,” said Martis. “I fell in love immediately.”
After interviewing with Viacom’s College Relations department, she was referred to VH1. After interviewing with Jordan Runtagh, the music editor for VH1, she was offered an internship position within an hour after the interview.
“When I interviewed with Jordan Runtagh, the music editor for VH1, he told me that as an editorial intern, the sky was the limit,” said Martis. “He wasn’t wrong.”
Martis researched, pitched, wrote and built posts about celebrities, music and entertainment for the VH1.com website. Martis also transcribed interviews and assisted the other writers with their research for posts.
“I attended VH1’s weekly meetings where we discussed website traffic and what types of stories worked and what ones flopped as well as the editorial team’s meetings, where we pitched story ideas,” said Martis.
Martis said she enjoyed living in New York for the summer and the exciting lifestyle that came with it.
“My favorite part about living in New York for the summer was that you never lived the same day twice,” said Martis. “Each day was filled with new, exciting and different experiences that you can’t get anywhere else.”
Martis said the internship allowed her to combine two of her passions, journalism and music, and learn along the way. Martis said previous experiences in JMC helped her prepare for the role as well.
“Being in JMC has helped me grow as a writer and a reporter,” said Martis. “Being in student media helped tremendously as my experience as both a reporter and editor helped me to write engaging content for a mass audience and manage a website.”
Martis is currently working as a freelance writer for VH1, and said her time this past summer has helped her prepare for her current work and her career after graduation.
“My experiences working as a journalist and living in New York City this summer was more than I could have ever hoped for,” said Martis. “I learned a lot about myself both as a person and as a journalist, and I am excited to see what the future holds.”