Find your true north in Compass Creative
CSH majors who are veterans of ENG 375 or other immersive-learning classes are eligible to apply for a Compass Fellowship in Communications. Those selected work as paid project managers under Assistant Director Kathryn S. Gardiner in Compass Creative, the in-house marketing team for the departments of Anthropology, English, History, Modern Languages & Classics, and Philosophy & Religious Studies.
Compass Creative has provided me with creative confidence and experience leading a team of people. As a Public History major, I practiced different writing styles, made friends in other departments, and felt truly connected to the Humanities. This class has brought other communications opportunities into my life and looks great on my resume. I appreciate being able to make a positive impact on Ball State!
Compass Creative has taught me how to use my passion of storytelling in a whole new way. Being a part of this program has provided me with new skills, professional experience, and a unique bond with the English department. Compass Creative has truly taught me how to articulate the value of my English degree and how to make the most of it!
Blog Project Manager, 2020-21
BA Creative Writing 2017-2021
Currently: Heading to DePaul University to pursue her MFA in Screenwriting
Compass Creative has allowed me to feel welcomed and at home in the English department. I’ve met amazing people that I now call my friends that I get to work with daily. Not only have I met wonderful people, but I felt lost about what I was going to do with my major before joining Compass Creative. Now, I’ve gained vital experience and understanding that I can use in my future career path.
Design Project Manager, 2020-21
BA Creative Writing 2017-2021
Currently: Heading to Univeristy College Cork in Ireland to pursue her MA in Arts Management and Creative Producing
Compass Creative showed me all of the different career paths that my English degree can lead me to. My time working with this team has allowed me to enhance my skills as well as learn new ones in order to give me confidence in my future field of work.
Campaigns Project Manager, 2020-21
BA Creative Writing and Photojournalism 2017-2021
I’ve always felt kind of iffy about my anthropology major, unsure where I was going to fit in in the job market, beyond research or teaching. Working with Compass Creative allowed me to use the skills I learned in the humanities in a practical setting and encouraged me to come out of my shell and learn invaluable new skills. Before joining this team, I wasn’t sure where or what I was going to do when I graduated, but now I feel far more confident in my skills and the path I’m on.
Channels and Analytics Project Manager, 2020-21
BA Anthropology 2017-2021
Currently: Project manager at Digital Corps at Ball State University, Muncie, IN and pursuing her MA
Being a project manager for Compass Creative taught me how to apply my English-major skills, and I used that knowledge to get my current job in marketing. People assume you have to major in marketing to do that work, but I’d argue that a humanities education actually gives you an edge in this field. Compass Creative helped me to realize that.
Social Media Project Manager, Fall 2019
BA English/RW 2020
Marketing and Outreach Assistant, Louisville, KY
I spent two years switching majors until I found my place with the English Department and Modern Languates and Classics. The Humanities departments at Ball State are supported by a real community of passionate learners and teachers. It is a privilege to facilitate that voice and community through Compass Creative and serving as the social media project manager!
Social Media Project Manager, 2020-21
BAs in English/French and Literature 2017-2021
Currently: Heading to Indiana University in Bloomington, IN to pursue her MA in French
Through Compass Creative, I learned to leverage the writing skills from my creative writing and professional writing classes to promote brands and engage audiences by writing blog posts and social media content. I also garnered leadership and technical skills and learned many lessons—from Don’t forget to proofread! to It’s okay to make mistakes!—that have led me to my graduate assistant position and will guide my future career. Best of all, I enjoyed collaborating with a passionate, hard-working team toward promoting Ball State’s humanities departments. I’m grateful for my Compass Creative experiences, the people I met, and the opportunities it opened for me!
Social Media Project Manager, Spring 2020
BA English/CW 2020
Communications Team Leader, Digital Corps, Ball State University
PR Interns: 2010-2016
The English department at Ball State started developing a communications team in 2010 after students in Dr. Jackie Grutsch McKinney’s ENG 435 class created a WordPress blog and a Facebook and Twitter account for the department along with a strategic plan. They turned this over to the then-Assistant Chair, Dr. Adam Beach. Dr. Beach kept things going for 5 years with the assistance of student workers called the “PR Interns.”
When Prof. Cathy Day became Assistant Chair in 2015, she and Prof. Eva Grouling Snider continued this practice, eventually expanding the PR Intern team to four students.
Jacket Copy Creative: 2016-2019
In 2016, Prof. Eva Grouling Snider received a Provost’s Immersive Learning Grant and the class “Jacket Copy Creative” was born. Instead of a few student workers, she was able to work with a whole team of students who earned course credit. During this time period, while other English departments around the country experienced huge declines, the Ball State English department thrived.
When Prof. Day became Interim Chair in 2018, she proposed to CSH Dean Maureen McCarthy that the English department’s methods could be scaled up to include more departments.
This is how “Compass” was born.
Compass Creative: 2019-present
In Fall 2019, the communications team took on another client: the Ball State History Department.
In Fall 2020, they added two more departments: Philosophy & Religious Studies and Modern Languages & Classics.
In Fall 2021, they’ll add their fifth department: Anthropology.
Here are some of the students who kept the #bsuenglish community machine working for over a decade and what they’re up to now!
Take the class, ENG 375
Anybody can take ENG 375 Immersive Learning in English! Those selected for the class work as unpaid paraprofessionals for Compass Creative, the in-house marketing team for the departments of Anthology, English, History, Modern Languages & Classics, and Philosophy & Religious Studies.
I heard about Compass through an email that highlighted social media management experience. Having an internship that gives me the tools I need to do the job I’ve been wanting to was a no-brainer. I joined and not only created posts, but designed how they looked. It was fun to be a part of the process, and it helps when the teammates are very nice. Compass is a great place for anyone trying to grow in the media space!
Compass Creative, Spring 2021
BA Telecommunications Management 2017-2021
As my last semester comes to an end at Ball State, I would not change picking Compass Creative for anything. Not only did I get to implement the knowledge I have learned, but I also learned about myself. Compass Creative has not only taught me about design and marketing but also how to market myself. I have met some amazing people here and gained experience with them. Now facing graduation, I have acquired crucial experience and knowledge for my life after college.
Compass Creative, Spring 2021
BS General/Organizational Communication 2017-2021
As I was looking to pivot from my 14-year career in secondary education into communications, Compass Creative provided the marketable experience and skill-building I needed. Gaining experience in planning marketing campaigns, designing social media assets, and cultivating brand content in order to amplify the voice of the Humanities has been invaluable.
Compass Creative, Spring 2021
MA English Studies 2019-2021
Currently: Communications Specialist, Ball State University, Muncie, IN
I went into Compass with a strong love for writing, but only a vague idea of what I wanted to do with my life. Despite that, I knew that I wanted my future career to involve not just writing, but storytelling as well. I’m glad to say that Compass provided the opportunity for me to utilize my talents in a professional environment and understand that I have the tools that I need to have a successful career.
Compass Creative, 2021
BA English 2018-2022
For my final semester at Ball State, I wanted to end my studies with a course that would help cement my skills and future into a direction I would be proud of. Not only has Creative Compass helped me with that, I have also met some incredible people involved with the Humanities who share my interests. I am thankful to them and what I have learned from the alumni who have taken this same path.
Compass Creative, Spring 2021
BA English/CW 2017-2021
Nikole Darnell Behrens
Jacket Copy Creative was one of the most rewarding experiences I ever had at BSU’s English Department. However, it takes a lot of drive and passion. If you want to really improve your skills and work hard, this is the class for you. It’s not something you can blow off and still expect to get something out of it. My best advice is to make a close friend in the class. You can bounce ideas off each other, vent to each other about frustrating projects, and develop your communication skills as you work towards a common goal. It’s a great way to make long-lasting friendships and business connections. My Jacket Copy Creative buddy even stood up at my wedding. It’s one of the best opportunities you’ll ever have, if you’re willing to put the time and effort into it.
Jacket Copy Creative, 2016-2017
BA English/CW 2017
Currently: Social Media Writer and Editor at Emphatic.co, Grand Rapids, MI
My PR internship in the English department experience solidified my professional skillset. It was the first time I had the chance to design with client feedback, organize events, and help build an online community through social media. Not only did it set me up for success in my career, but it also gave me an opportunity to foster professional relationships inside and outside of the department. Even more important than that, thanks to this program, I felt more connected to my department and school than ever before.
PR Intern, 2014-15
English/CW Class of 2016
Currently: Designer at Penguin Random House, New York, NY
Macy Jo Byerly
During my time at Ball State, I participated in Jacket Copy for two semesters. At the time I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my English degree and I didn’t have any professional experience. Through this course, I gained valuable work experience and realized marketing and content creation is a great fit for me! The class allowed me to gain experience managing the department blog and Twitter account, work in WordPress, and be involved in the rebranding and migration of our old blog site (with eight years worth of content) to a new site. Since graduation, I have worked as a Digital Marketing Coordinator and Copywriter at two agencies. My experience in Jacket Copy directly helped get me to where I am today. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take this immersive class (and have the option to get paid for it?! That’s amazing!). It’s one of the best things I was involved in during my 4 years at Ball State.
Jacket Copy Creative, 2018-2019
BA English/English Studies
Currently: Digital Marketing Specialist, Russell Media, Muncie, IN
Simply put, I would not have the copywriting job I have now if I had not taken Jacket Copy. When I switched my major from nursing to English, I had no idea how to market myself to potential employers with an English degree. This class gave me the skills, experience, and confidence I needed to find and land a job that allows me to do what I love—write. If working unpaid internships is not an option for you, take this class. A valuable internship experience is waiting for you right here in the English department.
Jacket Copy Creative, Spring & Fall 2019
B.A. English/RW 2020
Currently: Copywriter at Pearl Companies in Peoria, IL
Jacket Copy didn’t just prepare me for my career, it gave me a huge leg up. Because of the experience I gained —working with a team with diverse skillsets, creating content for clients (which is very different from creating something for a grade), managing multiple projects at a time, etc.—I was miles ahead of my peers when searching for marketing positions. Now called Compass Creative, it’s is a unique program that I wish more schools offered; I truly do not think I would be where I am today without the invaluable experience earned through this program.
PR Intern & Jacket Copy Creative, 2016-2018
BA English 2018
Currently: Copywriter, Intersection, Muncie, IN
Jacket Copy gave me the confidence I needed to enter the marketing world as an English major. I wasn’t sure what I could do with my degree and was constantly discouraged by the stigma surrounding the humanities. Jacket Copy taught me how to apply the skills I learned in my classes to marketing, communications, and even design. I’ve been able to talk about my experience in job interviews and on cover letters, helping me to get multiple internships during my undergraduate career.
Jacket Copy Creative, 2018-19
BA English Studies, 2019
Currently: pursuing an MA in English at Ball State
Working as a PR Intern helped instill confidence that my English major had value in professional settings. With guidance and mentoring, I learned through realistic, applicable experiences that prepared me for future jobs and internships. I acquired tangible skills like digital content creation, copyediting, and project management that helped me get hired as a content marketer after graduation. I grew as a professional and built a resume that felt good to submit for job postings. Plus, it was fun, and I felt like part of a community!
PR Intern, 2014
BA English/English Studies 2014
Currently: Pursuing an MEd in School Counseling at the University of Cincinnati
Perhaps more than any other course I took at Ball State, Jacket Copy pointed me to post-graduation success. The course bolstered my existing skills and nudged me to grow in ancillary areas. Social media management, communication with clients, and leadership are just a few such areas. But most importantly, the course made me believe that English was indeed the right path for me, and I was fortunate enough to receive a full-time job offer within a month of graduation. If a loved one or a dentist has ever cast doubt into your mind by asking, “What are you going to do with that English degree?” allow Compass Creative to set you–and the doubters–straight.
Jacket Copy Creative, Fall 2017 & Spring 2019
BA English/CW 2019
Currently: Technical Writer at Applied Systems, University Park, IL
As a student in the English department at Ball State, I worked alongside some of the most ambitious and talented students I have ever met. During my semester in Jacket Copy, I got to write a guest blog post that was shared on the Ball State English Department blog and shared to the department’s social media. In that class, we all worked together to promote the English department and to promote each others’ work. I remember one afternoon we all sat around the table and endorsed each other for skills on LinkedIn, because we got to see each others’ skills in action, first hand. That was priceless.
Jacket Copy Creative, Fall 2017
BA English/RW & Sociology 2018
Currently: Data and Reporting Specialist for the National FFA Organization, Indianapolis, IN
Jacket Copy was the cornerstone of my leadership development—it pushed me in every way I needed to be pushed to grow as a person and break into the industry. Sometimes the value was task-oriented like honing a consistent brand voice (which so many companies struggle with); other times it was people-focused, such as learning how to create a team that was self-sufficient, communicative, and harmonious.I have also benefitted incrementally from gaining project management skills—without them campaigns fail, budgets get blown, and clients leave. Additionally, I learned how to thrive in a fast-paced environment, work calmly and decisively through ambiguity, manage expectations with stakeholders, and advocate for myself gracefully but firmly. From collaborating with the C-suite to directing developers on site optimization, Compass empowered me with the confidence to bring my voice to tables that I never thought I could reach.
Jacket Copy Creative, 2018-19
BA English/CW 2019
Currently: Digital Copywriter, Asher Agency, Fort Wayne, IN
Kirsten Dollar Stock
Jacket Copy was hands-down the best experience I had during my undergrad experience at Ball State. I stepped into a world where I could manage a team and create content that was meaningful for the English department and Muncie community. I got to work with an awesome group of people who were extremely talented high performers, and I learned a lot from them along the way.
I also learned a lot about myself, like how to believe in my abilities and see myself as someone who is capable and able to learn new things. Many of my impactful moments were with JCC’s instructor at the time, Eva Grouling Snider. She saw the best in me and actively shared how I brought strength and organization to the team. I left JCC with a renewed sense of confidence in my skills. Not to mention, I had incredible content to add to my professional portfolio. 11/10 would recommend seizing this opportunity to do important (and fun!) work.
Jacket Copy Creative, Fall 2016
BA English/RW 2019
Currently: Director of Operations, Russell Media, Muncie, IN