Parting words from our spectacular student practitioners


Sydney Naseef, Class of 2020 | Major in Journalism, Minor in Public Relations

Sophomore year of college, my professor urged our class to do a job shadow in our field of interest. As a journalism major with a public relations minor, I started doing some research on public relations firms around Lansing. After a number of phone calls and conversations, I connected with an employee at Martin Waymire, and was invited with open arms to get a glimpse into the public relations world. I walked away with a new interest in agency life, and a new mission to strive for. Throughout my undergraduate career, I spent many seasons as an intern working for exciting companies in varied industries. But with each experience, I continued to find agency life more appealing, and knew I had to break into this side of the industry.

Flash forward: 2019 ComArtSci Connect Career Fair. I re-introduced myself to Vice President Kathy Hoffman and Senior Account Executive Elizabeth Battiste – two familiar faces at the Martin Waymire booth. After a round of interviews and a skills test, I received an offer to work as a student practitioner at Martin Waymire starting May 2019.

I came into this role accustomed to working in public relations on a very traditional level – i.e. writing press releases, making pitch calls and assembling media lists. Agency life was a completely new, eye-opening experience. While the importance of these traditional media tactics remained a vital element to the good work we do here at Martin Waymire, I also began exploring the world of creative, digital and social media. I’ve designed creative for assorted digital and print ads, crafted copy for major social channels across numerous account teams, built relationships with bloggers and influencers across the country, and played a major role in producing award-winning campaigns.

At Martin Waymire, student practitioners are trusted with a unique level of responsibility. Whether it’s designing a pamphlet dropped into the hands of key legislators or creating an advertisement served to audiences in the thousands, I am pushed each day to try something new and notable. There is no shortage of learning curves to tackle in this industry, but there is power in taking on these challenges with a talented team rooting for you every step of the way.

In this role, questions are welcome (as long as you make a good effort trying to figure it out yourself); help and strategic counsel is given. In this role, I never feel like I am on my own. From vice presidents to student practitioners, titles take a back seat when it comes to getting the job done at Martin Waymire. I am grateful for the experience of being a member of an inclusive team – one that truly values the work of young professionals and the ideas we can bring to the table. It’s these kinds of diverse experiences that are key to growth, and I cannot thank the Martin Waymire team enough for continually pushing me to improve personally and professionally each time I enter the office.

Michael Duke, Class of 2020 | Major in Journalism, Minor in Public Relations

My Martin Waymire journey started a little more than a year ago, at the 2019 MSU ComArtSci Connect Career Fair. Ironically, I didn’t initially intend on going. I had recently added the public relations minor which opened up a whole new world to me. Journalism completely consumed my life throughout my first two and a half years of college. I felt a little burnt out and wanted to try something different.

Enter the ComArtSci Career Fair and Martin Waymire. I walked up to their booth and introduced myself to two friendly-looking faces — Vice President Kathy Hoffman and Senior Account Executive Elizabeth Battiste. After a couple of skills tests and an interview, I was presented with an amazing offer to intern at Martin Waymire, and forced to make a difficult decision. I went with my gut and chose Martin Waymire, and after being here for nearly a year, I can confidently say I made the right choice.

Coming into this internship, I expected my responsibilities to mainly consist around doing simple, tedious work, but that wasn’t the case. I was thrown into the fire and challenged immediately. In just my first week, I was pulled into a meeting with a client to help plan a large, summer event. I’ve helped coordinate grand openings and workshops for clients, attended conferences with thousands of people, and contributed to producing social media campaigns.

Here at Martin Waymire, I’ve been exposed to every aspect of the public relations industry. From creating content for social media and producing digital campaigns, to planning and coordinating large events, to writing press releases and making pitch calls to the media. At Martin Waymire, student practitioners are expected and encouraged to try our hand at everything, and then some. But we’re also encouraged to always ask for guidance when needed.

Student practitioners at Martin Waymire aren’t just viewed as typical interns, but as valued members of the team — a pretty darn good team. And because of this, we’re expected to produce as such. This internship has tested my skills in every way imaginable and has given me the experience needed to excel in my next role.