Michigan State University senior Raegen Eller has a great passion for travel that began at a young age when she would play on the swings at recess and picture herself flying in the sky.
“I remember thinking that I want to fly in an airplane all around the world,” she said. “I felt like the possibilities for me and my future were endless, and that feeling has stuck and is something I still strive for today.”
That passion for travel led the Graphic Design major to an internship abroad in Ireland. During summer 2022, she interned for MaxMedia, a content creation agency with 11 employees based in “the cutest town in the entire world,” Dalkey, Ireland.
Eller used the skills she has learned in her major and in her Art Photography minor for her work with MaxMedia. As part of the internship, she took photos for Tourism Ireland’s website and social media, wrote articles for Tourism Ireland’s comment pages, researched and created content for articles and social media, and worked on content management system tasks.
“I loved the flexibility in the work, developing content and understanding the strategy behind social media engagement,” Eller said. “Most of all, I loved going out in the country to take photos for the website/social media and creating Instagram reels for both Tourism Ireland and Maxmedia Ireland.”
Not only did Eller grow professionally during her time abroad, she also gained a new sense of independence.
“I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and, without doing this internship abroad, I don’t think I would have anywhere close to the independence I have today,” she said. “I was fine that I didn’t make as many friends as I had hoped because I learned how to be alone. I had never been able to go to a restaurant on my own and sit and have a meal, but on this trip, I did and now I can do it here in the U.S. I even went to a pub alone one night just to push myself out of my comfort zone. I learned to not be afraid to do things alone because you will grow.”
I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and, without doing this internship abroad, I don’t think I would have anywhere close to the independence I have today.
The biggest surprise for Eller working abroad was how much more relaxed work life was as compared to the United States.
“They told me on the first day to just walk around the town, explore, get coffee, and simply don’t do any work,” she said. “They never pressed any hard deadlines or made me arrive at a specific time. They told me I could work remotely or come into the office whenever I wanted. They even insisted that I take a long lunch break on some days to take a dip in the sea.
“My internship abroad was overall an amazing experience. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to do this. I got to explore an amazing and historical country.”
It was during a trip to Italy in summer 2021 when Eller first decided she wanted to go to Ireland.
“On our way back to the United States, we flew over Ireland and I knew that was where I wanted to go next,” she said. “Since that moment, I hadn’t stopped obsessing over Ireland. I created a Spotify playlist named Ireland. I journaled about Ireland, pinned a thousand pins on Pinterest about Ireland, and the next thing I knew I was buying a plane ticket to spend my summer there.”
During the application process for the “Internship in Dublin” Study Abroad Program, Eller worked with numerous faculty members to perfect her resume and essays. She eventually had the option of choosing between three different opportunities in Ireland.
“When it was time for me to choose one of the three placements, I knew that MaxMedia was the one I wanted to go with,” she said. “Looking on Google Maps, the office was located across from a flower shop, next to a bookstore and bakery, and down the road from a literal castle. Not to mention, I was so inspired by MaxMedia’s website looking at their clients and the type of work they did. I was so excited about this opportunity.”
“I know my past experiences like this summer internship abroad will have been an experience that has influenced my future career and life choices positively.”
During her interview over Zoom with one of the founders of MaxMedia, Eller was told she was a good fit for the company and was offered the internship.
“I went from profusely sweating before the interview to jumping on my bed and calling my parents afterward,” she said.
Following her internship abroad, Eller returned to MSU’s campus and took on the role of President of AIGA (The Professional Association for Design) and is now focused on completing her undergraduate degree.
“I am actively doing things at MSU to set myself up for success such as leading AIGA, meeting people through my photography, applying myself in my classes, and talking with my professors about future plans,” Eller said. “I know I will end up somewhere beautiful, with a cute little house with land, doing photography and graphic design. I know my past experiences like this summer internship abroad will have been an experience that has influenced my future career and life choices positively.”
Eller will graduate from Michigan State University in Spring 2023. After graduation, she plans to take a road trip out west and do freelance photography as she searches for a graphic design job.