Parting Words from Chanel Sheffer, Student Practitioner


I applied to Martin Waymire in the spring semester of 2020. If you were to tell me when I first started at Michigan State in the fall of 2018 that I would be interning at a public relations firm in Lansing for more than a year, I would’ve looked at you like you were crazy.

When I started at Michigan State, I had it ingrained in my mind that I was going to be a physician’s assistant focused on neuroscience. As my first year went by I realized that this path was not for me, and I honestly wasn’t sure what was. At the end of my freshman year I changed my major to Advertising Management. I took the intro class in the summer, and in the fall I took the intro class for public relations. It was in that class that public relations first sparked my interest.

That same semester, I joined MSU’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter to learn a bit more about the field. Through becoming a member and attending meetings, I was able to join the Bateman case study team, which allowed me to gain my first public relations experience.

I had my first interview with Martin Waymire right after COVID-19 flipped the world upside down – on March 17th, 2020, to be exact. I joined the team the following fall semester. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I didn’t know what to expect. I had never had an online job before, but I was very interested in public relations and knew I needed an internship to really understand PR and get hands-on experience.

I had an extraordinary experience at Martin Waymire. Throughout the months of working virtually I was always provided with assistance and advice when I needed it. I could feel all the warm and inviting personalities through my computer screen. Even though I was working alone in my apartment, it never felt like it. I was able to attend client calls and video meetings, create social media content and was trusted with drafting press releases, memos and reports.

For me, the transition into hybrid work came in June of 2021. Though I had already built amazing relationships with my colleagues online, I was so thrilled to finally meet and work in-person with everyone I had been working remotely with for nine months. This transition allowed me to gain an even more inclusive and hands-on experience than before.

In-person meetings, ad shoots, client lunches, and one-on-one chats were a part of my daily life in the summer. From start to finish I am very proud to have had a part in making Michigan a better place through influencer marketing campaigns, communications audits, public health communication efforts for COVID-19 vaccinations and much more.

Working at Martin Waymire has allowed me to know that PR is the path for me. I have gained more than enough experience to confidently apply and sell myself in positions I am interested in after graduation. Working among highly skilled professionals and learning from them every day has been very valuable to my growth professionally and individually. I have gained mentors, friends and references all in one. I am eager to see where these talented people take the company in years to come.