Friday, October 3, 2014

MSU College Life: A 45-day Day Check In

I am a month and a half into my first year at Michigan State University. And I couldn't be more in love with it here.

The atmosphere, the people, my professors, the football games, the endless opportunities... Yes, Michigan State is a huge campus and sometimes it's hard to not feel like a seat-filler, but I have gotten involved with clubs like WBSA (Women in Business Student Association)  and  MBS (Multiculturial Business Students) that creates a family atmosphere for me at MSU. In addition, I'm also in the Resident Business Program and have friends from SBI!

I also love all the people I have met; everyone is so honest and genuine. With the short amount of time I have been here, I can already tell I have made really loyal friends. I feel like I have already grown and learned so much.

Quick lessons I've learned so far: 
  • Always make sure you get off at the right bus stop or else you'll end up some where sketchy in Lansing
  • Always look at your syllabus before asking a question about the class
  • Always keep an eye out for when you run out of toilet paper
  • Always take your clothes out the dryer on time or someone else will (not cool, will end up on the floor)
I also have learned to speak up for myself because if I don't no one else will.

I attended my first Career Fair which was fun and chaotic, but it taught me that even if companies aren't looking to hire freshmen, they are still impressed I showed up.


I have learned to  take every opportunity I can, and to reach out and network with people. 

Being on my own seemed like a very scary idea - but I feel like I am managing myself well now and becoming a responsible young adult.

College is nothing like I thought it was going to be, but I love it!

I'm obsessed with Michigan State University. 

Although it's hard not being able to see my best friends and family everyday, I wouldn't trade being here for the world.  College is so amazing, and I am glad to be experiencing it at the best university there is. I can't wait to see what else the year has in store for me!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Another Role Model and Colege Advice from Kyla Grant

It's important to hang around the right people. 

I am so blessed to have some great people in my life.  Kyla Grant is one of those people. My family often visited the Grant home - and I met Kyla when I was seven and she was fourteen. Not exactly playmates but we bonded. She was always kind, funny, spiritual and a very talented singer. 

2014 Detroit Metro Youth Day Scholarship Awardees
2014 SAC Delta Sigma Theta Scholarship Winners

I have always looked up to her (literally) - and now that she is graduate from Howard University and living/working in New York city for a major digital marketing agency - I am even more proud to know her.

About Kyla C. Grant:  An honors graduate from Howard University with bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Born and raised in Detroit, Mich., Grant discovered her passion for reporting while interning at NBC affiliate, WDIV News-4 in high school. During her sophomore year in college she reported for the Howard University News Service where she had the opportunity to cover the historic 2008 Presidential Election and the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. Grant also had internships was with WTOP News Radio, in Washington, DC, where she wrote and edited radio scripts for the air and online and Blue Cross/Blue Shield where she wrote and edited newsletter and  suggested design ideas that are being implemented on the company website.

TODAY she is a high-energy strategic marketer with exceptional project leadership & communication skills who thrives on multi-tasking, developing strong client relationships & cultivating team efficiency in efforts to deliver innovative work.

Since I'm planning on majoring in Marketing at Michigan State, I wrote her and she gave me this advice:

Hey Aubrey! 

Don't pack your whole life to go to away to school! I left home and headed to Howard University with 8 very large suitcases full of things that represented who I was in High School. One semester in, I returned most of those things to my home over Christmas break -- to my mother's disappointment. :-) 

I give this advice because your identity as a (new) adult will undoubtably be shaped during your freshman year. And though who you were in High School will serve as an influence, who you choose to become in that first year of undergrad will be even more impactful. 

Freshman year is an opportunity to reinvent (for some) revitalize (for others) who you are. And align yourself with who God has called you to be in this new season. 

Change! Grow! Embrace your new life! 

Best of luck to you!

Thanks Kyla. I hope to make you proud!  Thanks for all the encouragement and your prayers.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Misha L. Helvey, Vice President, Integrated Marketing

Integrated Marketing: Strategy aimed at unifying different marketing methods such as mass marketing, one-to-one marketing, and direct marketing. Its objective is to complement and reinforce the market impact of each method, and to employ the market data generated by these efforts in product development, pricing, distribution, customer service, etc.
Definition from

Since I am studying marketing at Michigan State University, I decided I would feature those who have successful careers in marketing. I selected Misha Helvey, Vice President, Integrated Marketing for Real Times Media, because not only is she a great role role model for me in marketing but also a Michigan State University graduate. Go Green! She's also from Detroit. 

Here's the interview: 

1. What influenced you to be your current career? The opportunity to meet amazing people and earn an attractive salary.

2. What is one challenge you've faced and what did you learn from it?
A consistent challenge in my industry is reduced marketing budgets. I have learned to demonstrate that by partnering with our Brands, it will result in growing their revenue and increasing their budgets!

3. Do you have a mentor? Yes, it was my dad. He taught me I can do anything I want in this world, as long as I am willing to accept the consequences. Consequences can be good or bad. :-)

4. If so, how has your mentor impacted your life/career? He inspired me to be confident and unafraid to follow my dreams!

5. What do you do to continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Training to keep up with advances and demonstrate I'm a team player by listening and supporting our team as needed.

6. What advice would you give a college student today?
Don't be afraid to open your mind to explore the vast array of training opportunities that exist. But most importantly, make friends and have fun!!! :-)

Misha L. Helvey
Vice President, Integrated Marketing for
Real Times Media
Atlanta, GA  
Twitter : @Mishalhelvey


Monday, July 14, 2014

Metro Detroit Youth Day awards scholarships to 100 area youth with help of sponsors

This is an article from, reporter Jared Purcell interviewed me about the Metro Youth Day's scholarship. 

DETROIT -- Before Belle Isle became jam-packed with area youth from around the region for Metro Detroit Youth Day, a special group of graduating high school seniors were presented with scholarships to start the event on Wednesday morning.

Giving away $40,000 in scholarship money this year, Metro Detroit Youth Day presented the scholarships in the name of it's numerous sponsors, including General Motors, Pepsi Beverage Co., Michigan Food and Beverage Association, DTE Energy, Detroit Pistons, Sprite/Coca Cola, and many more.

Metro Detroit Youth Day scholarship recipientsView full sizeMetro Detroit Youth Day honored 100 different graduating seniors with scholarship money. Pictured are those who were honored in a ceremony to kick off Metro Detroit Youth Day. 
"We thank the community and the companies for providing these scholarships," MDYD co-founder Ed Deeb said. "We give them in (the sponsor's) name. It is wonderful to see so many at one place to get all of these scholarships."

Kawanta Cason, 18, was one of the many scholarship recipients on hand to accept his award. A graduate of Detroit Cass Tech High School, Cason will use his scholarship money to pursue a degree in finance at Michigan State University.
"It's a great opportunity for young kids who don't have much money to go to school," Cason said.

Each scholarship recipient wrote an essay and submitted an application to be considered. Students from Detroit and many suburbs were well represented. The students were introduced individually in front of the gathering crowd at the MDYD main stage.

"It's really special out here because I'm really excited and I'm glad to have people supporting me going off to school," Aubrey Perry, 17, said. "It makes me want to try even harder when I'm there."

Perry, a graduate of Farmington High School, knows that every bit helps as she prepares to head to Michigan State to study marketing.

"College is really a lot (of money)," Perry said. "To receive something - whether it is a little or a lot - it is really the next step to get you there."

Since Metro Detroit Youth Day began in 1981, it has given out over 1,000 scholarships to graduating high school students from within and outside of the city.

#grateful #thankful @aubrey14 instagram 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bright House Networks offers techscholarships to Farmington area seniors

June 16, 2014

For more information about the Bright House Networks Bright House Networks’ educational initiatives, including the Future Leaders campaign and Classroom Innovators Grant program visit:

Monday, June 30, 2014

PR Career Interview with Ercia Tackett

Go Green! Go White!

 I am starting Michigan State in the fall and my head is swimming with all the information that the school is giving. So, I wanted to reach out to a student and get their weigh in on all this career stuff.  

 I am going to major in marketing in the business school, but I also like the creativity of advertising and communications.  I am pretty good with coming up with ideas and writing.

Well, there's a lot to think about and I wanted to ask someone who's "been there, done that".... that's why I chose Ms. Erica Tackett as my first interview.

She is amazing.This summer she is a Corporate Communications Intern at Chrysler Group LLC and she is the Director of the Michigan State University PR Firm, Hubbell Connections. 

Her major is Advertising with a specialization in Public Relations. She is in the MSU Residence Halls Association and a Peer Advisor in the Communications Arts and Sciences Career office.

She's interned/worked for 89X CIMX, Pete's Place and The State News. She recently won the 2014 George Brown Memorial Scholarship. The Award is a PACE Award from the Central Michigan Public Relations Society of America. Erica won this PACE award, which is mid-Michigan's highest honor of public relations activities. (See photo)

She was kind enough to answer my questions:

1.)    What first attracted you to go into PR? Did you always see yourself going into this field?
When I was still in high school, I had intentions of going into the medical field—then I took AP Biology and realized that was NOT for me! I was class president at the time, and my school counselor recommended I try out PR. The rest is history. 

2.)    What is one of the most fun experiences you have had being a part of Hubell?
Hubbell Connections has been so rewarding in so many different ways. As for the top of the list, I would have to say seeing your client gain news coverage. It may not seem fun from the surface, but when you work hard on promoting an event and see a story online the next day it's super thrilling!

3.) What have you learned and how have you grown/matured by being a part of Hubell?
Hubbell has taught me everything from the basics of working with different clients and learning how to work with each one differently, to handling a client crisis. Hubbell gives students the opportunity to try out different aspects of the industry, and gain a general knowledge and skill level of PR that they can build on later in their school career—whether it be with Hubbell in an executive position, or at an internship. 

3.)    Why did you choose to go to Michigan State?
I came from an area where hardly anyone moved away to school. I decided early on that I wanted to go away, and Michigan State was my number one choice. Then, after researching their PR program and learning about PRSSA, I was set. I was fortunate to attend a "Day at State" program, where I was partnered with the at that time Hubbell Director. She was super informative about Hubbell Connections and all the opportunity the firm had to offer. 

4.)    What would you have done differently if you could go back to your first year in college?
Nothing. I have had an amazing experience so far in my college career, and wouldn't change a thing. There are little things here and there that I would have been better off with or without, but you can't live life with regrets. Make the most of out your first year and get involved in EVERYTHING POSSIBLE—you won't regret it. 

5.)    What are some of the most important tips to be successful in college?
Find what you're passionate about and completely submerse yourself in it. I joined PRSSA as a freshman—I knew no one, was probably the only freshman, and was scared to death. But by stepping out of my comfort zone, I met amazing people and have gained experience that many people don't have by the time they graduate. If you get involved from the beginning, you will strongly benefit later. 

Thank you Erica!

See you at State in the fall - count me in!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Role Model, Jennifer Hawkins #thezonedancecenter

Role models help shape you into the person you would like to become.

One of my role models is my older cousin, Jennifer. I’m aware she’s not world famous, or doesn’t have millions of dollars in the bank, but to me a person with material things doesn’t determine their success in life.  
Jennifer Hawkins

Jennifer is a dance teacher, and she has been dancing her whole life.  To me, it doesn’t matter how many people know who are are or if the whole world has regconized a person for what they accomplished; it’s about how big of difference a person has made maybe in just one person’s life.

As a dance teacher, Jennifer Hawkins has touched countless students’ lives and has shown them how to be passionate about something you love. I love her passion for the art of dance. 

Below is a video sample of her prize-winning choreography! She is amazing! 

To me, someone’s passion is so beautiful…she’s constantly thinking of new choreography, new show themes and I love how dance takes over her mind, she is truly talented. 

That's why she is the Artistic Director at the Zone Dance Center in Southfield. Oh, and they're celebrating ten years this year!  And she's still excited as day one …and it gets better and better every year!

Passion is the key to success and Jennifer has it and she is!

Father's Day Tribute to My Dad

Yeah, I'm a Daddy's Girl! 

As a teenager, I rarely see girls who are close with their fathers. I’m lucky that my father is my best friend. Obviously we don’t agree on everything all the time, but I know he has the best interest for me. 

My dad will drop everything he’s doing to make sure I have the best, and that I’m happy. 

He is constantly worried about my well-being and safety and whenever something is wrong with me he just wants to put a smile on my face…which he never fails at doing. 

He teaches me a lot - and I love hanging out with him. He's a lot of fun. 

I appreciate the big sacrifices he makes for me, and the small things he does. He's my hero. 

Whether it's paying for my education, getting my car cleaned, making dinner after his long day at work,  or going out to buy me stuff needed in my life on a regular,  I honestly have the best father in the world; I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. Love him! 

Book Review Hello My Name is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. [Video]

Beauty is a big business and a big deal - especially for teenage girls.  So much emphasis is on how a person "looks."  

A lot of girls want to be "celebrity-like" perfect but in real life you can't look like you're on the Red Carpet everyday.  

Some girls have more issues than VOUGE. Meaning they don't feel good about themselves and have low self-esteem because they don't feel "beautiful."

So many  teenage girls watch reality TV shows and music videos and try to look like the Kim Kardashian or Beyonce. A girl will have to really know and hear often that she is "beautiful" by her own standards.  If not, you'll always be insecure. And trust me, insecurity will destroy you. 

So, I was recently given a book to review on my blog by Loretta A. Morman.  She is a graduate of Michigan State (Yaay!) and she was also in the movie "DREAMS." She is so amazing! Plus she has a Master's degree and her own business.  She is an awesome role model.

Anyway, Loretta Morman just wrote “Hello My Name is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L”  - and it is actually a very good bookI like reading books about how to better yourself, and to be a better woman…especially because I’m going to attending Michigan State University and I will be away from everyone that keeps me sane, it's important I know who I am, and that I know what I stand for so I don’t lose myself in college.

The pressure to be "beautiful" can really make girls very anxious and sometimes become anorexic or even worse. It's sad.  There's more to life than trying to look a certain way...

Loretta's book teaches girls how to take care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally through the Word of God, which is very important. 
Book by Loretta A. Morman, Hello My Name is BEAUTIFUL

As young girls we tend to sometimes lose our way, and forget that there is always God  on our side and we can lean on Him during whatever mood we are in.  Her book is also a workbook which helps you really dig deeps and know yourself and get to know God more. 

This book covers just about everything on being a girl…from table etiquette, make up, being confident to tons of other aspects of being a girl, the book covers it all. I can tell a lot a research went into the book and Loretta does a good job of breaking down the details so even "tweens" can understand this book. 

My Name is BEAUTIFUL is a good book for pre-teens, teens and even younger adults. Every girl could benefit from this book because the learning never stops. 

Watch this video and order the book!  It's available on Amazon.

Hello My Name is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. 


A graduate of Michigan State University ( B.A. in psychology) and University of Chicago (M.A. in Social Service Administration), Loretta  Morman has definitely prepared herself educationally to gain the proper training to fulfill what she believes she has been called to motivate young people to live beyond the boundaries of their cultures and exceed the limits of their environments. Loretta is an advocate for young girls in gaining a healthy and wholesome sense of self-worth and self-esteem. 

Due to her passion for young girls, Loretta has taught various charm and etiquette classes. Loretta's passion for the performing arts, and love for young people have been the leading factors in her desire of establishing her own business, Life Beyond the Norm LLC. Loretta's overall mission is to please God and to always be true to herself while continuously serving others.