Media Sandbox Michigan State University

Senior learns about culture and creativity through on-campus internship

January 23rd, 2017

As the editor of her high school yearbook during her senior year, advertising senior Sarah Goodyear knew she wanted to continue her passion for visual art.

“I really enjoy designing, but designing for a purpose,” Goodyear said. “I think it’s awesome to be able to give a company or organization a voice. Each place I’ve worked for has had their own style. That’s really exciting to me.”

Goodyear is currently using her minor in graphic design as an intern in the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) at Michigan State University. She has been creating graphics for OISS since May 2016. She designs flyers, event posters and social media graphics for any event or internal messaging that needs a visual component.

“When I am first given the content for the graphic I am supposed to create, I look over the content and decide what is the most important piece of information to highlight,” Goodyear said. “I decide how to lay out the information on the page, starting with the text. Sometimes I even draw it out. I love it, because I pretty much have complete creative freedom, as long as I make sure I am sticking with the brand standards for MSU and OISS.”

Her favorite part of this internship is working with the people in the office.

“It’s been so much fun learning about different cultures,” Goodyear said. “I never would have seen myself working with so many different people with different backgrounds, so it’s definitely been one of my favorite places to work.”

Goodyear said she collaborates with other staff members and students on a daily basis and that she is fortunate to work on campus.

“Working for an MSU department is awesome,” Goodyear said. “I feel like a part of the university as a whole.”

Goodyear said that her coworkers and different experiences she has encountered in the office helped prepare her for a trip to Shanghai, China in November. She was part of a group of students from the Department of Advertising + PR that competed in the annual One Show Greater China Festival.

“My supervisor, Skyin, is from China, so she was giving me a lot of helpful information,” Goodyear said. “So many other people in the office already having that international experience made it a lot easier of a transition once I got over there.”

She also participated in the Minds (Wide) Open competition at MSU in September and her team received second place for their creative campaign ideas.

Minds (Wide) Open has a concept similar to the competition in China, but on a smaller scale. Goodyear was on a team with one other American and five Chinese students and, together, they created a fully-integrated ad campaign for their client.

There were 80 students from various parts of the world that came to MSU for Minds (Wide) Open. After Goodyear’s experience at the One Show Greater China Festival in Shanghai, she better understood the barriers that one has to overcome when developing and designing a campaign in a foreign country.

“It was a great experience, but pretty challenging,” Goodyear said. “The whole competition was in Chinese, so there was a language barrier. The students were great and we had translators, which was helpful, but it made it harder to work on the brief. Both competitions were incredible experiences.”

The client in China was Snickers and they had to develop a campaign around the popular Chinese app, QQ. Goodyear said it was most difficult to come up with ideas for QQ, since their team had just been introduced to the app.

Goodyear also designs for The Red Cedar Log, MSU’s yearbook. The photographers and writers send her photos and content and then she designs the pages.

“It’s really fun reading all of the stories in the yearbook,” Goodyear said. “There are some really awesome student groups that I have never heard of before.”

After graduation in May 2017, Goodyear would like to end up at an agency where she can use creative freedom and express her ideas.

“I am super thankful for MSU and my classes here,” Goodyear said. “If I went to a different school, I don’t think I would have had the same opportunities.”

By Meg Dedyne

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Michigan State UniversityCollege of Communication Arts and Sciences

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