A Letter to the College of Arts & Letters

Dear College of Arts & Letters (CAL),

I’ve been one of your communications and social media interns for a while now. I got this job as a freshman. Just a cute little kid, trying her hardest to get a career-relevant internship. Two years and approximately 1,275 hours of work later, you’ve become the best part of my day, your people have become my family, and Linton Hall has become my home.

You and I were both pretty different back when I first started. We sat in Josh’s office and Will and Sharee were showing me the ropes. I was just then learning how to tweet effectively and when to use an exclamation point in a Facebook post or not. I was learning your content management system, and I was beginning to understand what content migration is (I was rightly apprehensive about it.)

But then Tori and I worked all summer long together for you, and I got to know you pretty darn well — and eat a lot of Dairy Store ice cream. Ryan was there and was incredibly helpful in coaching and collaborating. I was learning how to do research and make dashboards for our brand new Dean. I was learning how to interact with staff and faculty and students through website trainings. I was learning how to write student and alumni stories and present all the amazing things going on around you for all to see. I started your Snapchat, the first of any MSU college, which was certainly a learning experience.

Sam Ward with Linton Hall

Fall started and so did Erin, and we were quickly becoming the college for all things social and web. I was learning how to set us apart in all our channels and strategize what stories we were going to tell. The excursion to the other side of the building brought in a whole new era, with the weird but amazing intern space/hallway. Now we could really collaborate, bounce ideas off of each other, and craft the perfect Instagram caption — and keep our food nice and close because now the fridge was in our space.

Then Hannah, Chloe, Malarie, and I became the “CAL Gals” — adorable, I know — and we really hit our stride as a marketing department. After a brief time away from you working and loving it in London, I was back to take in an all new set of experiences from you.

Because, right before our eyes, we became a college with so much content and a kickass website. We were a best-in-class, and we had lots of work to do to keep it that way. With the help of Dean Long, Hannah and I embarked on a completely new journey of podcasting, actually speaking your stories and getting to talk with some of your most interesting people.

Recently, I’ve been learning how to train new young ones and manage all of the things you have going on. I get to think about content strategies and how we interact with alumni, how we might build up our resources, and how we can tell all of the stories we have coming about the incredible things your students, faculty, staff, and alumni are doing.

CAL gals eating Dairy Store ice cream on the steps on Linton Hall
CAL gals eating Dairy Store ice cream on the steps on Linton Hall.


You’ve really seen me transform. CAL, you’ve taught me most of the things I know about Twitter and Concrete5 and calendaring systems and workflow and taking pictures of Linton and hoarding plastic forks and collaborating and writing and interviewing and researching and pitching ideas and mentoring, and being a part of a functioning, amazing team.

As I look for opportunities after graduation, I know my education will give me the backbone employers want, but that you gave me the experience that I’ll need. Without being able to apply any of the things I learned in class from you, I would be a nervous wreck not knowing what I want to do and what I am capable of.

All of that was to say, thank you CAL. For all of the opportunities and learning, the laughs, and the ice cream. Thank you for being one of the most important parts of my college experience and for watching me grow as a communicator, a professional, and a person.

I’m sure I won’t be far, let’s keep in touch.

Sam