Since the first time I set foot on the University of Michigan campus on a brisk December day, I was forever changed. I stood in the Diag with my tour and watched students bustle to the Hatcher Graduate Library and the UgLi to study for finals. It is hard to describe the feeling without sounding too clichéd, but Ann Arbor felt like home. I left campus that day with one certainty: that I wanted to be a part of the University of Michigan community.
However, the road to Michigan was not easy. I was initially deferred. Rejection hurts; I had fears that I didn’t belong anymore and doubts that I’d be able to succeed academically at Michigan. But it is what you do in these moments of wounded pride that allows your true character to show through. I had decided at that moment that fear and doubt are manageable because they are predictable.
After my parents helped move me into my freshman dorm (at another university), my father wrote on my whiteboard: “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” Knowing what I wanted to set out and do, I worked toward this goal until one day I had received THE email, my acceptance letter. After I transferred I started experiencing what I can only describe as some of the best moments in my life thus far. Keeping that quote from my father in mind, I went on to explore the University of Michigan in all its glory. I joined countless student organizations, a few rec sports teams, and switched my major once… but one of the most rewarding was joining the UMSocial team and becoming a communicator of all things maize and blue.
The Team. The Team. The Team.
First, I have to brag about the people I got to work with for over a year. UMSocial has been one of the best places to work because of the people behind the screens. There was never a dull moment. Our content meetings were always my favorite part of the week because I got to hear about all the cool projects everyone was working on. This team truly does an outstanding job at representing an all-encompassing view of the university across all of the university-wide social accounts.
I learned a lot. I joined the team initially as a strategic intern, but throughout my time at UMSocial I was also able to flex some creative muscles. A year later, and I’ve learned how to use the Adobe Suite creating everything from graphics to videos to icons to gifs. I am proud to say that some of these icons even ended up on admissions and alumni materials! I hope that the Michigan heart and Reggie are icons that will live on once I am gone. Most importantly, it has been an honor to be able to cultivate the @uofmichigan Instagram page and represent all the wonderful aspects of this university.
This job has enhanced my Michigan experience in ways I could never have imagined. Working with different departments, student organizations, and outstanding individuals I would have never been able to meet otherwise. Since the beginning, I have kept a running list in my phone of opportunities that this job has brought my way:
To the next group of interns:
This was one of the biggest highlights of my time at the University of Michigan, but this job requires patience, a commitment to learning, and above all adaptability. Lastly, no matter how many times you need to recalculate your direction, never quit chasing your goals until you become “who and what [you] want”.
Be different. Believe in yourself. And always and forever Go Blue!