Studio crawl connects students, community

Advertising senior Mark Stuenkel made his way around Old Town Lansing Thursday afternoon with a notebook and copies of his résumé as he visited different creative companies during the fourth annual Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance Studio Crawl.

“I hadn’t really heard too much about these studios in Lansing,” Stuenkel said. “I’m going to one in Detroit tomorrow, and I wanted to see what this was all about.”

The event offered students and members of the community the chance to tour 14 different companies in the Lansing area by purchasing a $10 passport, said Julie Becker, vice president of the Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance. The participating agencies specialize in marketing, graphic design, advertising, video production and printing.

Participating companies included Gravity Works, 1132 N. Washington Ave., Ciesa Design, 200 E. Grand River Ave. and Redhead Design, 408 E. Grand River Ave.

“It’s really an opportunity for students and the community to see the kind of creative agencies in Lansing across a very broad range of services,” Becker said.Stuenkel said he was trying to take advantage of the chance to meet with employees from many different creative agencies.

“I kind of wanted to make some networking connections,” he said. “Then also, I need to get an internship. It was cool — I really enjoyed it.”

In last year’s crawl, 125 people participated, and Becker was hopeful that number would grow to 150-200 participants this year, she said.

TC James, accounting manager at MessageMakers , 1217 Turner St., said the crawl is beneficial for both the students and the businesses that participate.

“We’re always inviting people to come in and see our building, and I think the crawl brings a lot of different people that have never been down here (and) get to see what we’re doing,” James said.

MessageMakers produces videos, events and instructional materials for clients in the U.S., Canada and internationally, she said.

The crawl gives the company a chance to meet with potential interns and tell them about more their company, James said. MessageMakers hires interns in video production, graphics, marketing and accounting.

“We work with the local colleges and some of the colleges around the area, and I’ve already had a couple people ask me how to apply,” she said.

For some, such as MSU alumnus Lauren Fifarek, the event provided a chance to put her degree to use.

“I just recently graduated in May, and so I’m looking for a job,” Fifarek said. “I’m really taking every networking opportunity as possible because, as everyone knows, it’s really hard to find a job. This seemed like a great opportunity.”

With an advertising degree, not all of the businesses on the crawl applied to Fifarek, but making the connections was still important, she said.

“Maybe (I’m) not necessarily finding a job,” Fifarek said. “But maybe (I’m) finding someone who’d be like, ‘Oh you’d be perfect for this agency.’”

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