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December 07, 2022

By Ellie Madison, Emerging Media & PR ‘22

Senior Reflection by Ellie Madison

When I took my first step on Capital’s campus in the fall of 2020, I had no idea how much growth, change, and success I was going to experience in the years to come. After what feels like the fastest two and a half years of my life, I will be graduating from Capital University in December 2022 with a dual degree in Emerging Media and Public Relations with a specialization in Marketing. As I begin to look back on my time as a student in the CapFam, I find myself thrilled with the unique experiences and opportunities Capital has given me that have tremendously changed my life.

I graduated high school during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with no idea what my next few years at Capital would look like. I originally decided to take a completely remote first semester but changed my mind and moved to campus after the first three weeks of the semester. I came to campus not knowing anyone and experienced major anxiety knowing the pandemic was going to make it a lot harder to socialize. Capital’s small class sizes and close-knit community made it simple to adjust quickly. After just one week, I fell in love with my new home and made genuine friendships that will last me a lifetime.

In high school, I completed two years in the College Credit Plus (CCP) program which allowed me to jump start my college career. By the time I came to Capital, I was already taking courses related directly to my field which fully immersed me in building a passion for my education very quickly. All of the classes I was taking at Capital prepared me for my future in the best way possible, because I was assigned hands-on work related to tasks and topics I would actually be working on in my field after graduation. Every class I have taken at Capital has taught me how to succeed. Because of the experiences Capital has given me both in and out of the classroom, I have a renewed and strengthened sense of confidence in my abilities.

After my first year, I learned the importance of getting involved on campus and took the leap to start joining campus organizations. In both 2021 and 2022, I was an orientation leader. This experience introduced me to some of my closest friends and immensely developed my leadership skills. As an ambassador for the Admissions, I gave tours to prospective students. My one piece of advice that I shared on every tour was to get involved in at least one campus organization, no matter where that potential student was going to end up. Getting involved in college is one of the best ways to create meaningful relationships, find out who you are, and form lifelong memories that you will cherish for the years to come.

I also wanted to find an organization that related to my future career, so I could meet and connect with other Capital students with similar career interests. I joined Capital’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter during my second year and enjoyed networking opportunities that I couldn’t have found elsewhere.

As a member of  the Capital Visions Firm, I gained live-client experience in the field of public relations. These experiences connected me with working professionals and overall made me more passionate about my field and my studies.

When I decided to get involved in fraternity and sorority life, I joined Alpha Sigma Alpha. This organization made Capital feel like home, as I fostered close friendships with people who allowed me to blossom into the person that I really am. The on-campus experiences that I had while at Capital are the memories that I will always cherish, I am so thankful I get to leave with such fond memories because of my involvement.

As an intern for the Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) team since 2021, I have been able to witness my ideas turned into tangible experiences. I was able to have creative freedom and express the benefits I have received as a Capital student in the most engaging ways. Working for IMC has given me ample amounts of hands-on experience that brought me major success throughout my college career. I never felt like I was “working” as I attended events, filmed videos, wrote blog articles, and studied trends for our social media.

My internship has allowed me to make a direct impact on campus, and I am filled with gratitude as I reflect on the opportunities and experiences it has given me. My experience in IMC prepared me immensely for my external internship, which I started in May 2022.

Through Capital’s Office of Career Development, I landed a summer Marketing and Communications internship at Pelotonia. Pelotonia became a huge part of my life very quickly and has allowed me to build an extreme passion for the work that I do. I learned so much about myself, career, goals, and capabilities in the field of marketing and communications. I was provided with the most empowering and impactful mentors who trusted me to take on a big role in managing all Pelotonia’s social media accounts right from the beginning. The experience has allowed me to grow immensely in the span of three months. During my internship, I have conducted multiple social media campaigns, formed and applied new content ideas, and stepped out of my comfort zone.

After my summer internship, I received an extension offer to continue my internship for the fall semester, which then turned into a full-time job offer. After graduating from Capital in December, I will start my full-time role as Pelotonia’s Digital and Creative Marketing Coordinator in January.  I built such a passion for my job and the work that I do, and I am so enthusiastic that my future plans are held at Pelotonia.

I am beyond excited to stay close to Capital and immerse myself in the local community after graduation. I am tremendously thankful for all my mentors and professors that prepared me to start this next phase of my life. My Capital experience was one-of-a-kind, in the best way possible. The people that I met and the memories that I made at Capital University will always have a special place in my heart. I am extremely saddened to close this chapter of my life, but I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me!