Dear Future Student of JRN 450,
If you’re currently enrolled in the class or considering doing so, you’re likely on the final stretch of your college career. This may be the last class you take required for your major, or maybe you’ve decided to tact on a few extra classes for the hell of it. So, this is what you can expect or hope for in the one and only Creating/Marketing Media class at Michigan State University.
From the very first class, you’re going to realize there’s a slight twist to the class you thought you were taking. I thought I was going to be making website campaigns or maybe doing virtual marketing for a mock business. In a sense you are doing that, but that “mock business” is your own. This class is about entrepreneurship. It’s about performing completely out of your comfort zone. It’s about challenging yourself to think outside the box.
We interact with entrepreneurs and start-up companies and ideas every single day. From Uber and Facebook to our favorite restaurant down the street, all successes started with a great idea. Before the great idea, a problem was present.
From the first class, we were challenged to think of our problem in our own lives and develop a solution. For me, I started thinking of all the things that appear in my life day-to-day. Cooking is a hobby of mine and I thought of ways to make the process easier for me. Nine times out of 10, you’ll find me surfing Pinterest for recipes in the last few minutes of my classes. I love trying new stores but find experimenting with new recipes risky when my budget is low. That’s how I lead to the idea of Cart2Table, an app that notifies a user of deals in local grocers, and provides recipe suggestions based off of such.
What this class taught me, more than anything, is the importance of trusting others and appreciating their perspectives. I personally despise group projects and usually prefer to do the whole thing myself. Of course we got around the system a bit in the ability to choose the teammates we got to work with, but our best ideas came when we all collaborated together.
I knew if we had a deadline coming up, I wouldn’t have to panic because one member if already picking up the slack or bringing the rest together to finish the task at hand. The beauty of startups is accepting new ideas and we embraced that in regards to each others’ personal ideas. This was a large reason for our success this semester; teamwork and acceptance is key to entrepreneurship.
Another critical realization I had this semester came from an awesome field trip to Detroit, my favorite experience of the year. We met with local businesses and entrepreneurs who are contributing to the revitalization of a city that is very important to me. The commonality between all the businesses we met with was their desire to do something for the greater good. That made me reflect on my own career choices and found myself wondering if there would be more to my career than corporate paychecks.
Right after that field trip, I texted my brother and said, “We have to come up with an idea for a start-up.” Of course the problem recognition would come first, but I got so much out of listening to people discuss their passions and hearing their individual journeys to make it a reality. I would love to not only run my own business someday, but create something to help others’ lives. I have no idea what that may be, but I’ll more actively be thinking of possibilities since taking this class.
Another [slightly minor] self-realization came from pitching. I don’t mind public speaking but I’ve noticed I beat around the bush too much and have difficulty articulating what I want to say in few words. Makes sense: Everyone has always said I talk too much and am a terrible storyteller. I will work on that!
Lastly, the part of this class that you will appreciate the most is the professor. Amy is a one-of-a-kind professor, making you truly feel as if you’ve had her as a friend for years. She wants each to succeed so badly and equips you in all ways that will allow you to do so. Never will a drop a enthusiasm fade from her voice and she creates an environment that wants you to do well for not only your grade, but for her.
This class is unlike other classes in the journalism school, let alone MSU. You’ll be busy, you’ll be frustrated at times, but you’ll appreciate the experience you had.
Think freely, with no boundaries.
JRN 450 Alum