An Internship Bound to Happen

MacKenzie Smith

McKenzie Smith

McKenzie Smith grew up in New Braunfels, Texas, where weekly trips to the local waterpark, Schlitterbahn, were her favorite activity. As a teen, she spent her summers working as a lifeguard for the park, but eventually she knew she wanted to do more for the company.

After graduating high school, she decided to pursue a degree in public relations at Texas State University. Currently, She holds an internship with the water park where she is getting hands-on experience working with press releases, social media and updating their media website, “Schlitterbahn Newsroom”.

Her passion for the company and the field she works in keeps her motivated while she strives to better herself and the company. As a consecutive dean’s list recipient, Smith prides herself on her ability to quickly learn and adapt to every situation. She describes herself as being a hard working perfectionist with a strong focus on innovation, always trying to find new ways to reach her audiences. Smith can also be described as a “people person”, someone who has the ability to strike up and hold a conversation with anybody. She can also be described as strong-willed and independent as she held a job all four years of college to pay for her education.

“She [Smith] has been a determined and hardworking addition to the team,” said Winter Prosapio
, Corporate Director of Communications at Schlitterbahn. “She’s a leader, a person you can count on to solve any problem no matter how fast a deadline may be approaching.”

With graduation in May 2014, Smith is looking to take the skills she has acquired into her future career. With a strong passion, great work ethic and a desire for greatness, McKenzie Smith will be a great asset to any company.

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A Tragedy in West, TX Affects a Texas State Student

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Kayla Urbanovsky in front of Old Main

By: Olivia Garcia — Kayla Urbanovsky scrolled through her Facebook feed on Feb. 17, 2013 and that evening, she noticed many statuses about a disturbance in her hometown of West, TX. A fertilizer plant had exploded, claiming 15 lives and damaging over 300 homes. Urbanovsky’s elementary and high school were destroyed, and luckily, her family and home were safe from the explosion. On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, she remembers how her hometown’s resilience changed her life.

“West is now known as the small town in Texas that exploded,” Urbanovsky said. “But I know it as my family of 2,800 people and the resilience of West, Texas and its people actually made me a better college student.”

Kayla

Kayla Urbanovsky at her internship

While attending Texas State University, Urbanovsky landed an internship at ChannelAustin where she puts her knowledge of electronic media to the test. She ran the teleprompter, setted up cameras and was the technical director of the control room. She was one of the top interns at ChannelAustin and felt more prepared for life after college.

Urbanovsky thanked her professors from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication for the support the Texas State University community gave her and West, TX during this tragedy.

“This turned my world upside down but was a blessing in disguise for myself and for the people of West,” says Urbanovsky. “I was inspired to be the best person I could be and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication helped me thrive to be that person.”

Urbanovsky graduated May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication – Electronic Media. Urbanovsky hopes to work on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and to continue to help rebuild her hometown and promises to keep her resilient attitude throughout her career.

Hard Work, Great Ethic Pays Off

Stephanie Ortega in New York City.

Stephania Ortega in New York City.

By: Niloofar Torabi — Life can bring us challenges and hardships, but who other than Stephania Ortega is better to take on the tasks? Born on Dec. 1, 1991, in Monterrey, Mexico, Ortega worked her way from the bottom up to achieve lifelong goals, traveling all over the globe in hopes of gaining more hands-on experience. In less than one month, she will take her steady walk across the graduation stage and accept her certificate of becoming a Texas State University alum.

Soon to have her bachelor’s in public relations, Ortega always showed an interest in the communications field due to family ties. Both of her parents were involved in the advertising industry. After participating in the high school newspaper and yearbook, Ortega realized that she enjoyed writing and connecting with people, and that’s when her career possibilities were endless.

“I have experience with several internships on campus like being a PR intern and a social media contributor for the school,” said Ortega. “I also completed a digital media planning internship last summer.”

Stephanie Ortega (third from left to right) at a PRSSA Convention in San Francisco.

Stephania Ortega (third from left to right) at a PRSSA Convention in San Francisco.

Freshman year, Ortega became involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). It was a great learning experience for her where she could apply the skills she learned in class to reality. It has given her a great network of professionals along with new friends. Eventually, she moved her way to the top and was nominated president of the organization.

“Being president helped me further develop my leadership skills and taught me how to work with people with different skills and find ways to bring them together.”

Ortega was also involved with El Centro, The Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets. Seeing it as her second home at Texas State, Ortega was able to assist first-generation students through tours and gain PR skills such as making media lists and event planning. It opened her eyes and created awareness of the Latinos on campus and sparked her interest in Hispanic marketing. However, that wasn’t enough for Ortega — she also joined the Texas State Ad Club.

Stephanie Ortega (third from left) as she assist future bobcats on a tour of Texas State University.

Stephania Ortega (third from left) as she assist future bobcats on a tour of Texas State University.

Through these organizations, she landed an internship in New York which encouraged her to pursue a career in the advertising field due to the strong multicultural community. Ortega received professional advice and eventually decided that her career interest was in strategic planning.

Ortega gained her first internship at University Marketing here at Texas State University, and then she gained another internship through the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program. Through a painstaking application process that included a video submission, essays and letters of recommendation, Ortega managed to be one of the 114 students picked from the hundreds of finalists the agencies chose for the summer program. By demonstrating her involvement in the community and revealing how she promotes diversity, Ortega slid her way into the program and began a new stage in her life.

“Within my agency I grew because I was able to prove that I could get something done in a timely manner and be there if the team needed me,” said Ortega.

“Texas State has provided me with so many opportunities to pursue a career in advertising and public relations,” said Ortega. “I wouldn’t have the network and a clear idea of what I want to pursue if it wasn’t for the organizations in the SJMC and great professors who have served as mentors throughout my time here. I was able to find my niche of Hispanic marketing and feel ready to keep furthering my skills to meet the demands of the ever-changing digital world.”

This is not the end of Ortega’s journey. She plans to gain more experience in the advertising or public relations industry for a couple years prior to attending grad school. She wishes to continue her studies in global communication or a similar program, while keeping her eyes open for bigger opportunities and study abroad programs.