Yay Me!! A Humble Brag (Not really….)

Today, I was a proud recipient of the William J. Hopp Endowed Scholarship. I was chosen for this award because of my “academic accomplishments and potential to succeed in the advertising profession.” The award was established by Mr. Tony Hopp, the Chairman and CEO of Campbell-Ewald agency. He established the scholarship to honor his father, William J. Hopp, who was the first one to encourage him to pursue advertising as a career.

ADV PR Award 2013

I am trying to be as humble as possible, but I am just so happy! ..And I can’t lie- being recognized for doing great, is well, great!


Why is studying abroad so important?

I recently applied for a position in the Office of Study Abroad at my university, I was really excited that the position opened up, and I really hope I get the job. For the interview, candidates were asked to prepare a verbal presentation, I wanted to share what I wrote for mine:

I believe everyone deserves to be inspired. A study abroad program through Michigan State University provides you with that opportunity. You are inspired everyday. By the people you meet, what you see on your walks to class, the different tastes and smells, as well as from your studies in class or at an internship.

You lose the ability to be inspired when you get into a routine, because your thoughts start to become routine. You don’t appreciate your surroundings, you don’t really pay attention to what you’re learning, and everything seems a little lackluster. It’s only after traveling; that you can appreciate the strangeness and beauty of each place you visit as well as your home.

By submerging yourself in another culture, you learn something new everyday—whether you realize it or not—you will come back a more knowledgeable and enriched human being.

Studying abroad is not an extended vacation. You really get to understand and appreciate both the good and bad aspects of the country you are living in. On a vacation, you tour local hot spots and visit museums, sample dishes that are the most well known, and spend the majority of your time with your family and friends—You just skim the surface.

When you study abroad, however, you have time to get lost and explore, you meet locals, you get to know your peers and professors, and you find secrets of the city that are even better than anything you’ve ever read about.

You also get to learn about the problems the country you are in is facing—economic and unemployment issues, poverty, crime—the stereotypes the people who live there might be predisposed to—not everyone in Spain loves bull fighting and drinks only Sangria—and how different this life is from the one you are accustomed to back at Michigan State.

You absorb so much in your time abroad, that you come back a well-rounded individual by default. I studied abroad in Santander, Spain last summer and the experience was invaluable.

The peers who take the journey abroad with you will end up being your best friends. Studying abroad is such a unique experience that it is hard to understand how quickly and deeply you bond with the other students unless you take the trip.

Traveling to and living in a different place gives you a new perspective on what is truly valuable. You come home looking at things differently, excited to share what you’ve seen and learned, and you are ready to take on the rest of the world.

So why is study abroad so important?

 From an academic standpoint, you have the chance to take incredible classes in amazing cities across the world, you get to bond with professors who are not only recognized and respected in their country, but well renowned internationally, and your time in a foreign country makes you much more marketable.

From a personal standpoint, every student’s experience is different, but you come home changed.  You learn to become a pioneer—adapting to unfamiliar situations, interacting with people of all different backgrounds, exploring new terrain, and overcoming fears.

Both aspects of the study abroad experience are equally valuable and if my time in Spain taught me anything it’s that in order to be successful and not live with any regret or remorse, you should always be willing to go on an adventure in order to learn more.

Shoot A Photo That Tells A Story.

For my most recent CAS (Intro to Creative Process) assignment, our professor asked us to “shoot a photo that tells a story.” At first this seemed like a really arduous task. I started looking through my photo albums for inspiration and I began to notice that there were certain photos of mine that were just kind-of odd. By odd I mean, they weren’t of my friends or family, or even a pretty view, they were just weird. I started wondering to myself why I took these photos in the first place. Then I realized it was because I was trying to understand their story. These are some faces and places that created a curious scene which I just happened to capture.

“Happy Family”

I stumbled upon this billboard that had been covered in graffiti. I took a photo because I found it odd that the store was trying to portray this classic happy family, but someone had just spray painted over it. Quite the juxtaposition. (PS- This is the photo I decided to submit for my class assignment.)


I took the photo above while I was on vacation in Toronto, Canada. I spent the day exploring China Town. I thought this was odd because this woman is so saturated in the kitschiness of her culture, she is practically drown out. You almost don’t even notice her, she could disappear.


I also took this photo while in Toronto. I enjoyed this because 2 of the girls are trying to plan their day using a map while the other girl is relying on her smartphone. The girl to the far right is staring idly, almost unsure of who to listen to for directions. I thought this was funny because 10 years ago, everyone would have used a map. It’s scary how quickly technology changes things.


I was about to use this photo for my assignment. I took it of my cat when I visited home a couple months ago. I love this because my cat’s eyes seem kind of concerned meanwhile the porcelain cat is totally at peace. It’s almost like my cat had just realized the new friend she made wasn’t exactly real.


I took this photo at the Broad Art Museum. I thought it was interesting because there was a painting of a fireplace on the wall and this family was staring at it so intently and for so long. It made it seem like they longed to all sit in front of a fireplace, but they were unsure how.


I took this while thrifting this weekend. It stood out to me because I’m so used to seeing extravagant displays when it comes to dresses in stores. This was refreshing and kind of harsh as well. It really just showed the difference in priorities and what some people find important as opposed to others.

What do you think of these photos? Have you captured any unique moments? Do you have tips on how to tell a story through a photo? Comment below and let me know!

Creativity Diagram

Creativity Diagram

For our most recent CAS 110 homework assignment we were asked to create a diagram of the terms surrounding the creative process (knowledge, inspiration, imagination, creativity, and innovation). Using the previous in-class activity, I took what the words meant to … Continue reading

Lateral Thinking Exercise

Lateral thinking is described as a way to imagine differently. The challenge is to come up with an answer to a seemingly impossible or ridiculous situation. Logic isn’t your friend when thinking about a way to solve the problem—at first this can be extremely irritating—but once you decide to get creative, the process is a lot of fun.

This week in my creative advertising class, we were asked to find two solutions to the following lateral thinking puzzle: “A young girl walks into a field and turns on a TV.” 

In addition to just brainstorming solutions to the puzzle, we were asked to draw out our favorite solution and then write the other one out. My drawing looks like something a second grader came up with, but you know what, I’m proud of it.

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