Graduation at Ferris State University
Saturday, May 10 at 12:30PM – I will walk across the stage of Ferris State University with my Bachelors Degree in Graphic Media Management with emphasis in marketing & advertising, whew!
Graduation feels like deja vu or something that I’ve already experienced before in my past life.. I mean, I have my associate’s degree and 2-year vocational certificate from tech school but this weekend reminds of an experience that I’ve already felt before. Maybe, it’s my visionary mindset coming out again; where I can see great things in my lifetime but I don’t exactly know what they are or when they are going to be here. Sounds a bit odd, but that’s what I’m scatter minded – where I think about 2,000 different things all in different order (at the same time).
Six years in higher education and I can finally say “I DID IT” – the feeling is indescribable. Education is something that no one can take away from you. Education is a lifetime achievement that is accomplished by you.. just you to signify the credentials that demonstrate a successful 2-year, 4 year of however many degrees. You can’t “buy a degree” but you can buy into debt for a degree :-/ With the help of scholarships, debt could be limited though. Ask me how, I have many scholarships.
My 15 Biggest Accomplishments over the past 6 Years
1. Finding a close group of friends who share the same passions as I do! Music, art, travel, business and culture — my college friends will remain my lifelong partners & it is such a blessing to have met so many wonderful people to make everlasting memories!
2. Funding my entire higher education on scholarships. After spending hours researching, reaching out, calling, cyber stalking and so on — I managed to fund my education solemnly on scholarships.
3. Traveling to Italy to Study-Abroad. I met wonderful Italians while sipping wine, clubbing in underground bars and exploring the art culture. I would travel back to Italy in a heart beat!
4. Networking with music professionals by attending music festivals, venues, night clubs, concerts and much, much more! I know what I want to do with my life and it will involve the music industry! I LOVE TUNES. My group of friends, described in #1, traveled with me to many of these venues & I am hooked.
5. Digital Media Print Lab Supervisor – our newly reconstructed Graphic Media Management print lab has an addition to the program – a BizHub digital press. I am currently the supervisor who manages five employee’s schedules, project tasks and liable for the lab.
6. Attending Kendall College of Art & Design — I grew my artistic abilities tremendously by dual-enrolling at FSU and Kendall the past two years! #ARTLIFE
7. Leadership responsibilities – I accumulated more than 700 volunteer hours by volunteering at campus events, providing campus tours and assisting alumni at extra curricular activities.
8. Featured in promotion for FSU — featured on the FSU homepage, billboard, catalogs and mailer features.. yay girl.
9. Saved a scholarship for low income students in the State of Michigan. Traveled with President Eisler to the Capitol on three rounds of public appearances.. add that one to the resume! Now more than 1700 of my classmates and other students in MICHIGAN can attend school because of MY story.
10. I met my boyfriend at The Gate – Big Rapids. He doesn’t like/want to be on my blog, so this bullet point is short & sweet
11. Over 6 different internships including one in Sunny California as a digital media intern for The Garage Team Mazda.
12. My artwork was featured in the Detroit Institute of Arts museum in May 2012 for an entire summer.
13. Published my digital media business, certified my business and made my small business & everything that comes with — officially legit.
14. Became affiliated with the Movement festival in downtown Detroit every Memorial Day Weekend. Working closely as a street team leader, I have truly found a passion that I love and will continue to promote as the years go by.
15. Traveled the world — from NY to Chi to VA to Penn to Maryland to Cali to — you get my drift. I’ve been in many different places. I will continue to travel!
As I write this blog post on a reflection of my experience at Ferris State University; I want to remind my users that an educational institute is considered a profit margin for their own benefits. While some of my users will disagree, usually a few, I will beg to differ to express my story of an independent student who lived paycheck to paycheck (broke as a joke) the entire 5 years of attendance of Ferris State to live, work and go to school in this depressing economy. It is a grueling process to be accepted into university level institutes and then becomes a nightmare when financial aid officers strangle you into signing documents with high interest rate loans to pay for the ridiculous credit hour at their institute. Education will become an elite process where only the families or persons with money will be able to attend. I see a high forecast of tuition continuing to raise each year, especially at Ferris State with the new installment of the University Center and additional incentives that are popping up everywhere on-campus. I am proud of Ferris State for continuing to upgrade their university with advancements but I also want to remind them of their mission & values –> which should remain in the student’s hands & reflect how we will be able to afford attending FSU to benefit our lifestyles and the future of our education leaders. Although my entire education has been paid with scholarships, where I spent 1,000 of hours applying and researching, I do have debt that paid off my housing arrangements.
We are the future leaders of the nation, we need low-interest rates to afford the opportunity of living in today’s economy while benefiting our minds with education.
I am in no shape or mind — knocking down my university or any educational institute in Michigan; just making my users very aware that I am not completely oblivious to what is happening in Big ol’ Rapids. Since I’m already here (can’t really switch schools), and its almost over (graduation on Sat) I couldn’t address these problematic issues. Big Rapids may be a community of 10,000 members with the lowest tax bracket and salary income; but the university is penny pinching every student down to the $20 DPS tickets, $13 racquet center, $47 Birkham Health Center and many more — extra tag-ons that you don’t realize are included on your ebill statement until you look closely at the fine print. * You can opt out of some of these fees but you have exactly 5-days within the beginning of the semester to do it; which also isnt announced unless an upperclassmen tells you about these tips.
Why Big Rapids?
So how did I even start at FSU? I came to the BIg Rapids campus in 7th and 10th grade where I met different faculty members and had a tour of the campus. I wasn’t completely blown away by the area but I something intrigued my interest to pursue more research. I came to this university simply for my program, Graphic Media Management. This program is considered one of the very best printing programs in the nation. Michigan State, Wayne State and U of M did not offer the class structure that I needed to advance my technology skills in the graphic arts industry. Ferris State has a very close relationship with their alumni which benefits our current students to utilize them as mentors.
Graphic Media Management offers
+ state of art laboratories
+ newly released software (nerd lovers)!
+ small class sizes
+ student organizations affiliation
+ field trips to tour printing facilities
+ scholarship opportunities beyond amazing!
+ alumni relationship — door is always open
+ 100% placement into the field
Featured article: http://ferris.edu/business/stories/grapic-media-management-graduation
*simple reflection on my feelings over the past 5 years.*
1. Class-Size — Professors will demonstrate one-to-one learning & actually remember your name.
2. Program Selection — with the unique amount of programs from Optometry to Engineering, Golf MGMT, Marketing, Pharmacy, Nursing and so on – you will find the most unique individuals — I love it!
3. International – international students attend our university and it is a blessing to have their cultural presence because I have met so many wonderful people from different countries
4. Study-Abroad — is possible & you can earn college credit! I highly recommend going on a study abroad trip – I went to Italy which was the best experience of my life.
1. Entertainment – unless you have an amazing group of friends; there is no larger sized music venues in this area. YOu will need to travel to Grand Rapids to find fine-dining, shopping centers, nightclubs and corporate buildings.
2. Small Community — while others may love living in this 5mile radius of a town, the area is so small that you immediately become aware of your surroundings. You are limited to being involved in student groups and campus events to stay busy – which isn’t a bad thing BUT it’s also important to be in the real world too.
3. Tuition — very expensive. Admissions does a VERY good job of making prospective students feel welcome but just remind yourself, if you are going to go into 60K+ of debt — better be very aware that is where you want to go!
4. Police — the largest Criminal Justice program resides at FSU — which means 5 different dispatches of police. Be careful, don’t do stupid stuff – you will get caught.
Willingness to defeat the odds
I was denied acceptance into Ferris State in 2009 due to my transfer grades from JCC. I left JCC for an emergency surgery that reconstructed my entire internal system. Due to leaving during mid-semester, I did not receive ‘incomplete status” which slammed my GPA to under 2.0. While working closely with the President of JCC and the admissions officers at Ferris State, I successfully persuaded the right people to assist with appealing this denial process. I don’t want to embarrass the person who wrote the FSU denial letter so I will not upload that letter, although I will always remind myself the hoops & jumps that I had to take to become a bulldog.
I wrote letters to the admissions department, Dean of Student Life and even the President of Ferris State. Something sparked their interest because I was successfully re-admitted into FSU under academic probation. Academic probation requires students to take additional courses that will assist with tutoring and hands-on learning to boost GPA. It is a blessing to show individuals that I can defeat the odds & I will make you proud.
What would Ferris State do without me? Not but seriously, I’m one of their elite leaders. I am so happy that I got through the denial process for admittance into this university. I grew a strong emotion to the community, student life and different departments on-campus.
From billboard appearances in Traverse City to catalog features that were mailed to prospective students. I’ve put a very large mark on this university. It will be mindblowing to see another student become as successful or more — surpassing my goals. My face was featured on the FSU homepage, promotional pieces and other areas of importance in different departments. I became well-known in just a year while admitted.
I worked in the web development area for five years, which is my longest job.. ever. I built my skills in coding, designing and social media structure under university policy.
My freshman year, I had the most exhilarating opportunity to join the president at the Capitol to save a scholarship that was on the edge of being cut from the government budget. This scholarship, Tuition Incentive Program, is given to students from low-income families or Medicaid recipients. After three rounds of public hearings, I moved the appropriations committee with my fight to stay in school while maintaining a normal lifestyle during my daily battles of my illness. There were 7 scholarships on the chopping block and only 2 remained — mine was one of them. You are more than welcome to read the story on my media page — www.melissadivietri.com/media
One of the most important days of my life
Graduation is not only important for me, but it is important for the students who are following in my footpath. I attend high schools, vocational schools and motivate students to apply for schools, scholarships and begin preparation for their lifestyle. I have a huge following base on my social media links of these students who were touched by my obstacles and perseverance to succeed even with limited abilities.
My family is so proud of how far I’ve come and the battles that I faced while attending school. There were many times that I wanted to drop-out, leave Big Rapids and go back to work in the city. There was something in my willpower to just finish, get it over with and start fresh somewhere. College can be very stressful and unless you can adjust your body — your mind won’t think any different until you control the situation.
I lost my health insurance so many different times. The amount of obstacles that the DHS office of Mecosta county put me through, I will never forget it. I have every single piece of paper from all the different caseworkers. I will slam their asses, just waiting for the right time & lawyer to be on my side. The government is corrupted and a wasteful piece of resources. After contacting the Governor, meeting him at Ferris State and working with his entourage that eats shit out of his hand – I still have not moved the boulder for health insurance coverage. I can’t afford my own, the premium is more than $1500, fml. I hope he somehow gets to reads this too (maybe I should forward to his posse).. You suck, Snyder! ugh Healthcare just really gets under my skin. Unless you are going thru the process of fighting for health insurance & proving your disability, you have no input in anything I get to say. =}
Okay, back to graduation — lol
Even though I am not looking forward to the commencement process of being there for hours.. I will say that, this moment will be something that I will never forget. The amount of smiles from my fellow classmates, my family and friends — it will be enough to make an impression that I will always remember. I am so proud of my accomplishments and I look forward to a bright future while continuing my higher education.
So, what is my plan?
Everyone has been asking the same thing- over & over. I don’t have a plan, I never really keep a plan either — I live in the moment and pounce on opportunities and sit on ones that I think might work if the others do not.
I was accepted into GRADUATE school! Yea girl! Coming from being denied into undergrad and then turn around, with the same shitty GPA — and charm the graduate officers to allow my admission. ANything is possible — you just have to believe in yourself. The only true fear is your mind.. if you let your mind say that you can’t do it — you will always believe that. But if you keep trucking away and just slowly move towards it — it will happen!!
But, unfortunately = due to yet again, financial restrictions, I am unable to afford graduate school at this time. BUT! I will go to OCC this summer and eventually Oakland University in the fall for marketing certification. I think education is important but I wish it was more accessible to afford the learning experience. Students are attempting to better themselves and our country — let’s try to help each other out, huh?
I will be residing in Metro Detroit while working in DOWNTOWN DETROIT! I can’t tell you where because I don’t know yet LOL – I’m still interviewing at marketing agencies, something will stick.. and it has to be the best one.
If you actually read this entire blog post, I applaud you for sitting this long because it took a few hours to write it up. If I can leave my users with one thought – remember to stay true to yourself.
You live ONE life — there isn’t a repeat button. If you;re boyfriend or girlfriend is trying to control your lifestyle or what you should be doing; easiest solution is to leave them. It is not worth risking your entire future, career goals and endless amounts of opportunities if you stay with someone who doesn’t trust your ambitions. You will love again. But can you go back to school, work and so on..? Yes, but it will get harder as you get older.
Do not go to a university, job offer or whatever the case may be – that your family, friends or whoever is steering you towards. Trust your own intuitions and do whats best for you even if you live 3 hours or more from home. Family is forever, you’ll be fine.
With that being said, good luck Dawgs — see you on the flip side.