Alumni Newsletter: March/April 2012

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We appreciate our alumni and rely on you as role models and mentors! We also truly value your continued support of and interest in the chapter. We hope that you enjoy our newsletter, which should keep you up-to-date on all of our current activities and possibly bring back great memories of your own days in the ISU Chapter of PRSSA.



Successful Alumni Make for an Inspirational Day By: Kaitie Ries


Alumni Spotlight: Kyle Musgrave By: Bruce Kennedy

T.J. Syndram, Kaitie Ries, Lindey Probst, Michelle Ketcham, Ian De La Rosa, Bruce Kennedy, Jill Collins and Brian De Pasqua at Edelman.

While planning tours for the 2011-12 academic year, the executive board and I knew for certain that we wanted to tour Edelman. With the agency’s sterling reputation, modern offices and a high number of Redbird employees, it was only a matter of finding a date that would work both for our chapter and Edelman’s busy schedule. After scheduling a day in March to tour the company, I heard about a mid-size agency, L.C. Williams & Associates, through an alumna. After researching the company, I was impressed with its well-known clientele and numerous awards. I was thrilled to find another company to tour that our members had yet to see. When I calculated the distance and it was only a five-minute walk from Edelman, I knew it would be the perfect way to incorporate seeing their office. Touring a large agency like Edelman and a mid-sized agency like LCWA back-to-back was a great way to show members the various options that agency life can offer post graduation. The panelists at Edelman took numerous questions from the audience, and all provided brief histories of their college career and what helped them land the job at Edelman.

PRSSA alumnus, Kyle Musgrave, graduated from Illinois State University in 2011. After ISU, Musgrave moved to Phoenix, Ariz., for an internship with CramerKrasselt. At C-K, he worked with clients like University of Phoenix, Blue Cross Blue Shield and many others. He crafted an entire years’ worth of Facebook and Twitter content for a client, conducted research and media monitoring for several clients and worked in new business, pitching to potential clients. Musgrave recently left C-K, the third oldest advertising agency in America, for JESS3, a new company, founded in 2007, that specializes data visualization.



VOLUME THREE “Both atmospheres have their perks, C-K has a very traditional setting and JESS3 is a heavily digital company with an amazing scope of talent when it comes to designers and artists,” Musgrave said.

Ian De La Rosa, Michelle Ketcham, T.J. Syndram, Bruce Kennedy, Kaitie Ries, Lindsey Probst and Brian De Pasqua at LC Williams & Associates. …Continued from page 1

Knowing everything about your dream company through research and social media and staying up to date on industry trends were strong themes throughout the panel. While LCWA has a smaller office and staff, the work its employees do on a day-to-day basis is filled with the same level of commitment and passion as a larger office offers. LCWA’s presentation was filled with examples of its work and a case study to show our members campaign ideas from start to finish. Hearing from multiple PRSSA alumni at both companies was inspirational. It showed me that the public relations curriculum at Illinois State University and the work we do in PRSSA really prepares graduates for a career in public relations. While at Edelman, Jill Collins, an assistant account executive, and Bill Mrazek, an intern, gave us a private tour of Edelman’s large office and explained the benefits of staying up to date on technology, as noted in their video conference room. At LCWA, Kaitlin Nickrent, an intern, and Lauren Platt, an account executive, were both able to participate in the presentation and share examples of the work they both have done since graduating from Illinois State University. My key takeaway after the tour was simple: I want to see as many companies as possible before graduating next year. I can’t imagine being able to apply to companies without seeing their offices, learning about their company cultures and listening to their employees explain why their office operates differently than all of the others. Each time we tour an agency, I am reminded about how different they all are, and I weigh the pros and cons of each. I know these firsthand experiences will play a vital role in where I decide to apply next year, and for that I am extremely grateful to be a member of PRSSA.

JESS3 prides itself on making complex topics and large data sets more accessible through beautiful visuals. Musgrave’s work is heavily focused on and influenced by research. He provides both quantitative and qualitative data for designers to work with before presenting to their clients. He works with Google Politics&Elections, American Express, Intel and several other clients. Musgrave spoke about the importance of being able to apply the principles taught in school to the real world. While research is only part of what public relations professionals do, he believes it is an area many students overlook or shun entirely. As social media finds its place in the industry, clients have been looking for measurable results from it. “You have to be able to see a narrative within the data and be able to create a campaign from it,” said Musgrave. While he loves his current position, he did mention that he misses ISU and advised that current students enjoy their time here, while still planning for the future. “Have that spark in your eye, but do not let it consume you,” he said.




Hey, You! Our alumni are an extremely valuable resource that we rely on for input and support. Monetary support is needed to keep our chapter active and effective; any contributions are greatly appreciated by all of us here and are tax-deductible. Alumni support is put to the best use to further our goals in PRSSA. Any amount, small or not-so-small, is helpful to our chapter. Please consider contributing to what you already know is an excellent educational cause. To donate, please visit and click on the “Make A Gift” button under the “Support” heading. If you would like to send a check, please address your donation to: ISU Foundation 1101 N. Main Street, Normal, IL 61761 and write “ISU PRSSA” on the memo line. If you are unable to give a monetary donation in any amount at this time, we would still love to hear from you! You may also donate some of your time to our chapter by either coming to speak to us during one of our meetings or by offering a hand at some of our organization’s events. Support from our alumni would be extremely beneficial to all of us in PRSSA and will help guide our chapter to follow in your footsteps.

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ISU PRSSA would like to thank the following alumni for their recent contributions to our chapter: Katie Adams Mike Blight Jillian Collins Jennifer Detweiler Dan Kehoe Michelle Murphy Kyle Musgrave Kaitlin Nickrent Deirdre O’Brien Lauren Platt • Leo Siguenza • • • • • • • • • •

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