Savannah Swix

JRN 450: A Window into the Future of Media and Entrepreneurship

As we reach the end of the semester, I will admit that this class was not what I expected it to be. I had no idea what to expect going into a class called “Creating/Marketing Media.”

I’m a journalism student, so to see a marketing-type class offered by my department as a part of our curriculum was kind of unusual, but it also really intrigued me. I had always been interested to learn more about the marketing field, so I took a chance, and I am so glad I did.

In the class, we learned about everything from innovation in the media industry to entrepreneurship and small business development, leadership, collaboration, team management and so much more.

I find it difficult to describe in detail everything that we covered in this course because there were so many valuable lessons and experiences to remember moving forward. However, I will say this, I enjoyed learning about the startup process through coming up with our own ideas for a company and building that idea with our teams.

While we were learning about the steps necessary to produce a successful startup or business, we simultaneously applied what we were learning to our own ideas. We completed assignments like finding our target audience, deciding how we would gain revenue and researching who our competitors were. That application of our knowledge really encouraged a better understanding of the topics because in order to complete our assignments, we had to know what to look for and what questions needed to be answered.

I also really enjoyed working with my team. During my four years as a student in the School of Journalism at Michigan State University, in smaller classes, I have worked on group projects with a lot of the same classmates. This semester, I had the opportunity to work with a few students that I haven’t before. I learned a lot about building a business idea from start to finish with them and we had a good time getting to know each other in the process. I’m sure our team group chat will continue after the class comes to an end.

In addition to meeting new classmates, over the course of the semester, our class was lucky to meet a lot of people who are succeeding in the world of entrepreneurship and innovation today. I especially enjoyed our trip to Detroit at the end of March. We met with professionals from all walks of life who are pursuing their passions by turning them into businesses and careers. I will be interning in Detroit this summer with The Outloud Group, one of the companies we visited with during the trip, so it was amazing  to see all of the growth and excitement happening in the city right now.

This course and the people we met and heard from taught me to pay closer attention to trends, specifically digital. As a result, I have discovered my interest in learning about evolving industries and innovation as a whole. I recently subscribed to Nieman Lab’s daily email newsletter, so I look forward to reading and learning more about how the journalism industry is changing in our current digital environment. I would love to potentially do more of my own independent research on the digital world in terms of journalism, marketing and advertising because I find it to be very fascinating.

Prior to taking this course, my knowledge of entrepreneurship and what it takes to be an entrepreneur was minimal. Even though I still have to stop and think about how to spell the word entrepreneur when I write it down, I have learned so much about the time, creativity and patience it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. I believe that I could see myself venturing into the profession some day down the line, but I would need to have an idea that I really connect with and feel like others could do the same. Until then, I will carry what I have learned in JRN 450 with me!

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