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Phillip McGuigan

Phillip McGuigan

While working at an internship in Portland, Oregon, I got an interesting e-mail from Troy Hale, an instructor in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, who explained that during the fall semester, MSU would be offering a class in partnership with the Big Ten Network. That information by itself peaked my interest. I went on to find out that the class would include following MSU students, documenting their lives, and portraying their stories. The result would be a show that will air on the Big Ten Network. This class sounded completely up my alley.

I could not wait for the semester to start. I knew that it would be the most fulfilling class on my schedule. I was so ready to get my feet wet and work with a group of interesting people that... I missed the first day of class. However, the next week, I was totally prepared!

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Clearly we were not going to meet in a classroom and take notes the entire time. As I walked into the Communications and Brand Strategy office, the first thing that I realized is the level of professionalism I would be expected to show. Yes, we were getting college credit for it, but the studio itself made the idea of this being a normal class fade away.

We all sat in a group as if it was a morning meeting at a company. The instructors Jim Peck, Troy Hale, and Al Moreno gave us a rundown of what the class was going to be like. We each were handed a camera and a hard drive. For the rest of the semester, each week we had to film a student and complete an edited segment of a student we had filmed the previous week.

This format really emphasized that this experience was more like a job than a class, with real deadlines. If we did not complete what was required for that week, we fell behind. The rest of the semester, we’d bring in our work, Jim and Al would talk to us about how our videos looked, and we’d prepare for the week ahead.

I thoroughly enjoyed this class. The work I got to do was incredible. The students involved were all great to film. They understood what we needed from them and were happy to help us get it. Jim, Troy, and Al are all amazing at what they do.

I believe you can see the improvements in my videos each week. I cannot express how grateful I am to be given the chance to work with everyone who was involved in this production. The work that came out of it is unbelievable, and I am proud to have been part of it.