Meet Shelby Sowders ’25, a freshman double majoring in advertising and public relations who just joined the CCIM’s Dean’s office team. In this blog, Shelby shares everything from what led her to Ball State and the College of Communication, Information, and Media to her hobbies and interests.

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Can you describe your journey prior to Ball State University?

So coming to Ball State was never really in my plan. I planned to stay put and major in psychology. My mom unfortunately ended up getting really sick so that threw a wrench in things. At the time, I was less focused on school and I wasn’t even sure if I would end up applying to college. One day though, I saw a brochure for Ball State at my high school’s counseling office. Immediately it caught my attention. The brochure mentioned a lot of really cool programs offered there. I just knew Ball State is where I was meant to go.

What has been your favorite class or career opportunity during your time at Ball State?

The opportunity to work here in the CCIM department! This job was exactly what I was looking to do and it’s within my field of interest.

How have your experiences at Ball State shaped your personal growth?

Even though I haven’t been at Ball State very long it has been an amazing journey so far. At Ball State, the environment is so welcoming and open with lots of opportunities to get involved. Being on campus gave me a new level of independence and also a community. In high school, I never really had the chance to have deep personal friendships and since being at Ball State I’ve made some of my closest friends. Not only have I grown into a more independent and confident person, but I’ve also discovered what I feel passionate about. Ball State made that really easy with so many clubs and opportunities. I’ve been able to discover how working with media makes me happy.

What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?

Just during my first semester I was given a lot of fun opportunities through my journalism 101 class. My professor who is a freelance writer picked a few students to do some editing work for her. I was selected to do that a few times and it was such a fun learning experience for me.

Have you won any awards for your work?

As a first year, I’ve had less time to be involved, but I did win quite a few scholarships based on some short stories that I did in high school. Super cool! 

Share one thing that people don’t typically know about you.

I competed in show choir competitions for about ten years and won a few awards over that time. Although I wouldn’t ask me to sing for you now, I probably wouldn’t be very good!

What are your plans after college?

The field of advertising and public relations is so broad. This does make it hard to choose one career path. Since the possibilities are endless I’m not totally sure.  In general working for a company that I genuinely care about and being near my friends and family is definitely the ultimate goal.

Who are your mentors?

My parents are always in my corner rooting for me so definitely them. I also had a few amazing teachers from high school that really pushed me to pursue what I was passionate about.

Are you involved in any student organizations at Ball State?

One of the most enjoyable things about this past semester was getting involved.  Currently I’m a member of Phi Mu Sorority and I hold a few chair positions. Such as COB chair position and I have a spot on the Social Media Management board. The Social Media Management Board has given me a lot of fun and educational experiences with social media and that was really fun. I am also a member of Delight Ministries which is an all women’s ministry on campus!

What do you think is most important about Ball State?

With Ball State it’s important to seize all the opportunities you’ll be given. Being on campus, especially during these first few years of college, is such an overwhelming time. It’s important to make the most of it and really enjoy that time. The truth is, you’ll get out what you put in. I think that’s the fun part.

Interested in an experience like Shelby’s? Check out The School of Journalism and Strategic Communication

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