Story by Sarah Sabatke

The Student Affairs Marketing and Communication department embraces Mizzou’s learn-by-doing mantra. Under professional mentorship, student staff produce much of the department’s graphic design work as well as its social media, video, photo and written content.

Seven student staff members will be graduating this weekend. We asked them to reflect on the memorable projects they’ve worked on and how their jobs have helped prepare them for life after graduation.

Cassie Florido

Major: Journalism (emerging media)
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Position: Videographer

Cassie Florido smiles at the camera.
Graduating senior Cassie Florido. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Q: What was your favorite project you worked on for the department?

A: I really enjoyed working on my videos with the MU Counseling Center last summer.  I worked closely with most of their staff, and they put their trust in me to create very important videos for their internship program.

Q: What have you learned during your time with Student Affairs?

A: I learned that there are so many stories to be told on this campus. No two people have the same Mizzou experience. I love what the “Faces of Mizzou” series has grown into. It has been great to be able to hear other people’s experiences and bring that to life visually for other people to see.

Q: How has your experience prepared you for life after college?

A: I learned how to work collaboratively with a team and individually. Going into the creative field, sometimes I will have to work alone and other times I will be collaborating with a team.

Q: Any plans after graduation?

A: I will be moving back to Kansas City and doing freelance photography around the city. So far, my main client is the Kansas City Chiefs. I will be photographing events and games for them this season.

Kristyna Kresic

Major: Journalism (strategic communication)
Minor: Business
Hometown: Chicago
Position: Graduate assistant, marketing account executive

Kristyna Kresic wearing a cap and gown.
Kristyna Kresic. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Q: What was your favorite project you have worked on for your department?

A: It sounds cliché, but I have enjoyed all of the projects I have worked on during my time in Student Affairs. One of the most invaluable opportunities I have received was the opportunity to serve as the account executive for the Starbucks and café locations on campus. Not only was I able to gain real world experience, but I was also reassured that this is the type of position I want to hold in the future.

Q: What have you learned during your time with Student Affairs?

A: While I have gained an abundance of professional experience during my time in Student Affairs, it is the personal skills I have obtained that will be valuable to me for the rest of my life.

Q: How has your experience prepared you for life after college?

A: The most important lessons I have learned during my time here center around communication, whether that be professionally or personally. After I leave Mizzou, I am looking forward to continue developing and perfecting this skill.

Q: Any plans after graduation?

A: After graduation, I will be continuing my studies at Mizzou to pursue Master of Arts in journalism. After graduation in May 2020, I hope to move to Chicago and work at an advertising agency in the city.

Sam Maxfield

Major: Journalism (strategic communication)
Hometown: Salt Lake City
Position: Student videographer

Sam Maxfield in cap and gown
Sam Maxfield. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Q: What was your favorite project you have worked on for the deparatment?

A: The Office of Admissions hype video 2018 because it was seen by a very large audience

Q: What have you learned during your time with Student Affairs?

A: I have learned a lot about working in an educational/corporate setting.

Q: How has your experience prepared you for life after college?

A: Most of my other video experience was with sports, so getting experience in other areas was very helpful.

Q: Any plans after graduation?

A: The job decision still undecided.

Jenny McNamara

Major: Master’s of Public Affairs
Hometown: Tustin, California
Position: Digital marketing and communications graduate assistant

Jenny McNamara looks into the distance.
Jenny McNamara. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Q: What was your favorite project you have worked on for the department?

A: I worked on a fairly large paid-advertising campaign for Residential Life to encourage current residents to re-sign for their sophomore year. I enjoyed this project because I had a lot of creative freedom, and I got to try lots of new formats and types of ads that we don’t normally run.

Q: What have you learned during your time with Student Affairs?

A: I have learned all kinds of new software and digital tricks, which have all been really neat. I have learned how to track social media analytics and how they can shape communication strategies. I also had the opportunity to take leadership roles in my projects and train others to do this work.

Q: How has your experience prepared you for life after college?

A: This job has taught me essentially everything I know about the digital marketing and communication field. I have gained so many important skills that I can use throughout my entire career.

Q: Any plans after graduation?

A: Not yet. I am still interviewing for positions in Kansas City.

Tiera Montgomery

Major: Journalism
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas
Position: Marketing specialist

Tiera Montgomery smiles at the camera.
Tiera Montgomery. Monique Woo/University of Missouri

Q: What was your favorite project you worked on for the department?

A: I have had the opportunity to work on many projects during my time as a student employee. My favorite projects have always been student-facing tasks that aim to make campus better for students. I am often asked to sit in on client meetings to provide a student perspective on department and client objectives. It is nice to know that I bring something unique and valuable to the table.

Q: What have you learned during your time with Student Affairs?

A: This job has provided me with the skills and confidence necessary to apply to any prestigious job in my industry. The range of clients and portfolio of experience I have gathered throughout my time is enough evidence of my job and educational experience.

Q: How has your experience prepared you for life after college?

A: This job definitely taught me how to manage relationships as a professional. I am so grateful for the supervisors and other student staff members that I have worked with over the past years. If I ever needed advice, help with a client project or just wanted to get out of the office, there was always someone who was down to help.

Q: Any plans after graduation?

A: After graduation I plan to work at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation through their Media Fellowship Program. I will be working in their Kansas City office producing multimedia content about entrepreneurship and learning brand journalism.

Alexa Sheldon

Major: Journalism (strategic communication)
Minor: English
Hometowns: Dallas and Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Position: Graphic designer

Alexa Sheldon at the MU Student Center on Tuesday May 07, 2019. Sam O’Keefe/University of Missouri

Q: What was your favorite project you worked on for the department?

A: Mizzou-A-Palooza because it was one of my first big projects. I got to produce heavy illustration work for the poster, and it was very exciting. I would say it also showed me the effects of advertising and how I can influence people through my work.

Q: What have you learned during your time with Student Affairs?

A: I have learned how to work with different clients and how influential design can be.

Q: How has your experience prepared you for life after college?

A: I have learned time management skills and how to produce my best work!

Q: Any plans after graduation?

A: I will be moving to Kansas City to work as an entry-level art director for an ad agency!

Alexa Timmermann

Major: Mass media communication
Minor: Human development and family studies
Hometown: Bloomington, Illinois
Position: Marketing intern

Alexa Timmerman smiles at the camera.
Alexa Timmerman. Photo by Monique Woo

Q: What was your favorite project you worked on for the department?

A: My favorite project has been my internship project that I’ve been working on all semester. I’ve been doing a rebrand of the social media for the ZOUtique and beauty products in The Mizzou Store.

Q: What have you learned during your time with Student Affairs?

A: I’ve learned so much. Mostly, I’ve learned what exactly I want to do by essentially having the opportunity to work my dream job here. I’ve learned my strengths and weaknesses as well as the industry I want go into.

Q: How has your experience prepared you for life after college?

A: This job has prepared me for my future in more ways than I could have imagined. The amount of responsibility I’ve been given here is much more than I had expected, which I am eternally grateful for. I have also been given the freedom to be as creative as I want, which has been so much fun and has helped me learn more about myself as a person.

Q: Any plans after graduation?

A: Not yet!

Julia Wopata smiles at the camera.

Google Bound

Julia Wopata came to campus a nervous freshman. She leaves as the outgoing MSA president with a job at Google.

0 comments
Noteboom stands on a Memorial Stadium concourse, the Rock M behind her, as she stares off camera.

Grace Finds Her Place

Grace Noteboom combined a top sports program, a top journalism program and a top documentary film festival to make her Mizzou experience.

0 comments
Four December 2018 graduates.

Pomp and Circumstances

Four seniors share their paths to graduation.

0 comments