Bridget Bartos · Kaitlyn Kelley · Michael Epps · Ruta Ulcinaite

A Semester of work on one project

Photo by Tracy Thomas on Unsplash

Throughout the semester, we have been working on one big project: Creating MIJRN Connect. MIJRN Connect is a digital media startup idea that our group came up with that would create a new and easy way to gain professional guidance and personal tips about interviews and job openings.

We started the process with just one prompt, what’s a better way for students to get jobs?

From there, we were assigned groups. After we all came together, we began working on a series of small, light-hearted assignments that taught us everything we now know about starting up a new company.

We began by brainstorming. Who is our audience? What do we need as journalists? This thought process lead to the creation of MIJRNConnect.

We started off with a super basic pitch, showing how the website would work. At first, we were aiming for a really social media heavy business, but after a meeting with Amy, we realized this may not be the best option.

I didn’t realize that the content you post on social becomes owned on social. Obviously, we want our content to be owned by us so we can make money off it. From this, we decided on having a main MIJRN website and then have a heavy social presence.

Right away we wanted to work most on instagram. Our group uses it the most heavily in our everyday life, so it seemed the most logical. We also really liked the idea of using IGTV, which is pretty new but really easy to use and gets a lot of traffic.

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

We also knew we wanted a website. One main hub for all of our information. We wanted to be able to host and create events for people to network. We knew what we needed, we just had to make it.

This is where our survey came in. We sent it out to JRN students all over Michigan and asked them their opinions. How prepared do you feel for graduation? How about interviews? What would you need to get a job? Have you had an internship?

Most people don’t feel prepared. They don’t have connections to employers and mentors who can tell them what to say in an interview or what to wear, or even how to act.

This became our focus. We wanted to create a way for students to figure out what they need to do in the future.

After weeks of working on improving our idea and shaping it into a practical and effective company, it was time for our group to pitch MIJRNConnect to our JRN 450 class. We made a powerpoint filled with visuals from our logo and prototype website. We also presented a “sizzle reel,” or a video promoting our company.

And now we know that we have the ability to create a company to make money off of it. This was a huge improvement for us all, as we knew nothing about making a company.

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