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Ferris First (#Ferr1s): Samantha Bankey

Ferris State University faculty, staff and students come from all over the world with one thing in common – Ferris as ultimately their No. 1 choice. In the Ferris First series, we chat with members of the University community to learn more from them about why Ferris was their No. 1 choice.

They all have a story. Here, we tell part of that story. Meet: Samantha Bankey

She is: A 2013 Ferris State University alumna. She currently works as a marketing coordinator for HelloWorld in Detroit.

How did you find out about Ferris? Samantha started at Michigan State University, but began to look at other schools after deciding her major. Her boyfriend at the time suggested Ferris, and she began to look into the school.

What made Ferris your top choice in the end? Samantha discovered she was struggling academically because of the large class sizes at Michigan State and little one-on-one interaction with professors. She began to research Ferris, where she discovered its Public Relations program. Bankey said that she could feel herself growing at Ferris and was able to drastically increase her grades.

While Samantha was a student, she took on many different leadership roles.

“During my time at Ferris, I joined PRSSA and held a leadership role, founded the Student Fashion Alliance, worked all over campus in several different roles, and had nine internships,” she said. “I feel like at larger schools, these big opportunities only come your way in your last one to two years; they started for me as a sophomore.”

How do you stay affiliated with Ferris? Samantha tries to keep in touch with past professors, mentors and fellow alumni. Since she has graduated, she has been asked to participate in education sessions such as workshops, Twitter chats and speaking engagements.

“My main focus is to be a resource for students, especially those going into public relations, marketing or any related field,” Bankey said. “It’s incredibly important to me to be the kind of mentor and helpful professional that I looked up to when I was a student. Without those role models, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities, experiences and first-hand advice that has shaped me into who I am today.”

What do you love about Ferris? Samantha couldn’t pick just one thing she loves about Ferris. The IRC, The Rock, The College of Business and A La Mode were some of her favorite places at Ferris and in the Big Rapids community.

“All of those places at Ferris and in Big Rapids hold so many memories for me,” Bankey said.

Why should Ferris be a top choice for others? “If you’re looking to be more than just another student in a lecture hall and want a deep-dive learning of your specified field, Ferris should be the top choice for you,” Bankey said. “I took my first PR class as a sophomore (most take it as a freshman, but I was a transfer); at most schools, you do two years of pre-requisites followed by two years of a few courses dedicated to your major. Ferris isn’t like that, which makes it unique. Ferris is small but mighty.”

What is your favorite Ferris memory?

Samantha couldn’t just pick one top memory, so she chose her top five!

  1. PR Senior Sendoff in Grand Rapids
  2. Ghost Hunting in the Alumni Building with Avery Larson
  3. Filming our senior goodbye video to Dr. Bishop
  4. Eating candy with Sandy Gholston and the News Services team every day
  5. Working on PR Campaigns until 3 a.m. with my #PRPeeps