Michelle Bielas - Annenberg Student Spotlight

February 2016 Student Spotlight - Michelle Bielas

Full Name: Michelle Bielas 

What is your hometown? San Diego, CA

What is your favorite thing about your hometown? The consistency of “70 and Sunny” weather

What is your major? Public Relations

What is your minor (if any)? N/A

What is your expected graduation date? May 2016

Why did you choose to attend Annenberg? 
I was lucky enough to know as a high school senior that I wanted to major in PR so when it came down to choosing schools, it was an absolute no brainer: I HAD to go to the best of the best. Everything Annenberg offered from distinguished curriculum to the esteemed level of professors and career development was a huge draw to me. That, and the fact that it was part of USC.

Tell us about a great experience or opportunity you've had here at Annenberg? 
It’s hard to choose one great experience I’ve had during the past three and half years so I would have to say the guest speakers I’ve had the opportunity to listen to and interact with. Through my many classes, I’ve been able to learn from Lisa Kudrow, Bobby Flay and an abnormal amount of entertainment and industry executives, journalists and publicists. I’ve even gotten several internship opportunities through these speakers, opportunities that my friends at other schools don’t get nearly as often.

What makes Annenberg special? 
I would have to say that it’s a combination of the incredible career and internship services as well as the class size and quality of professors. In my time at Annenberg, I have yet to come out of a course disappointed. Every professor of every class I have taken has taken the time to get to know their students and offer a top-of-the-line course. The class size truly allows for every student to develop a connection with their professors that lasts all four years and beyond.

What's one thing at USC that no student should miss? 
No one, and I mean NO ONE, should miss out on All-Hail A Capella at Bovard Auditorium at the beginning of every Fall semester. You never know but you might get to watch a surprise proposal a la Pitch Perfect. And afterward, delve into the extensive secret menu at Ground Zero (The Absent Father from the Star Wars menu is my favorite)!

Tell us about an experience you’ve had outside of class (an internship, research project, publication, start-up, etc.). 
I am currently interning in the Special Events department at DreamWorks Animation and it’s already proven to go above and beyond all of my expectations. With the premiere of Kung Fu Panda 3, I’ve been afforded so much responsibility and opportunities as an intern that I can’t even begin to get into. The way DreamWorks treats their employees and interns is amazing. I feel like I’m at Google or any other tech start-up in San Francisco. Free breakfast and lunch, employee happy hours and lunchtime yoga are only a few perks that I get to experience. But the best perk of all is the company's friendly faces and consistent smiles I receive across the board from fellow interns to company executives and the openness to answer all questions.

What's your favorite spot on campus and why?
My favorite spot on campus would have to be the main fountain by Traveler. I love picking up some lunch from Seeds or Lemonade and sitting by it, watching the different characters of USC walk by. It’s such a fun, dynamic part of campus that most students walk through on their way to class so it’s nice to take a moment and feel the bustling environment at the center of campus.

What's your plan for after graduation?
Ah...the big question I seem to get everytime I go home or run into old friends. Career-wise, I hope to either join a company like DreamWorks in special events and event production OR become a Jewish nonprofit professional on college campuses. Overall, after graduation, I plan on happiness regardless of the career track I choose to follow first!