Student View: Graduating Senior Highlights Community as Best Part of MSU 

Hannah Diggs-King is graduating from Michigan State University this month with a double major in Spanish and Marketing. She also is an Honors College student. As Diggs wraps up the final days of her undergraduate education, she reflected on her personal journey at MSU in the following Student View

Woman sitting at a table with an open book in front of her.
Hannah Diggs-King

When I first applied to MSU, I wanted to be a teacher, then I wanted to be a marketer, now I’m going into ministry. To say that I tend towards restlessness whenever I get too comfortable is an understatement. I was not nervous to start college but instead anticipatory despite having no idea what was to come.  

Early on in my time at Michigan State, I took an Arts & Letters introductory class and my instructor was Maggie Harris, Assistant Director of Internships and Career Education for the College of Arts & Letters. When she heard of my double major, she said she had the perfect internship for me with my marketing background that made me adept at managing social media and my Spanish degree that made me well-connected in the College of Arts & Letters.  

Unbeknownst to Maggie, I wasn’t interested in finding an internship, but because of a people pleasing habit of mine, I said “of course” and applied. Unfortunately, the internship had already closed, but since they hadn’t found a candidate for the position, Maggie introduced me to the hiring manager. That was the beginning of my time with the Content Studio and, over two years later, I’m still here and I’m so grateful I said yes.

Through my internship with the Content Studio, I have learned an immeasurable amount about the behind-the-scenes work it takes to run a college. I realized just how much goes on outside the little bubble of Spanish and Marketing students that I was so often surrounded by. I’ve expanded so far beyond what I have realized was possible.  

Woman standing next to a river with a large building beyond her.
Hannah Diggs-King at the Oslo Opera House in Norway as a part of a study abroad excursion.

At the Content Studio, I am a Communications and Social Media Intern where the largest part of my job is to craft verbiage that highlights university events and the accomplishments of our students and professors. Outside my Content Studio internship, I attained four other internships. My internships were written about in these two articles published on the College of Arts & Letters website: “Spanish Major Wins Internship Contest, Flown to New Jersey to Present at National Meeting” and “Spanish Major Interns for Medical Tech Corporation.” 

Besides my internships, I also completed a semester-long study abroad, contributed to undergraduate research, and participated in numerous student organizations in many leadership capacities. It has truly been my experience that the people I’ve met here and all the experiences I’ve had are by far the best part of MSU. 

One of the first things they put on the informational packets for interested students at MSU is the vast assortment of clubs and organizations available for students to join, and it was this aspect of MSU I dramatically undervalued until I came to experience it myself. It was through these clubs and organizations that I met some of my closest friends and my now husband. These fellow MSU students have motivated me through every high and low of school, making the valleys bearable, including every exam or interview, project or personal hardship. 

Of my closest friend group, I have friends in education, medical research, accounting, kinesiology, engineering, and more. One of the most advantageous parts of Michigan State is just how expansive the areas of studies can be. And since the clubs I have been involved with are largely non-academic, finding diversity in interests and future aspirations has been not only easy but natural.

a huge crowd of people wearing MSU clothng and cheering.
Hannah Diggs-King (center) with The Salt Company, one of the student organizations she is involved with.

The three student organizations I would especially like to highlight are The Salt Company (@saltmsu), MSU Mosaic InterVarsity (@msu.mosaic.intervarsity), and Cru at MSU (@cruatstate). In these clubs, I became more than a member and served in numerous ways. With Cru, I got to do hurricane relief in Florida, with InterVarsity I got to manage social media and marketing efforts, and with Salt Co. I got to mentor younger students.  

Lots of people go home on the weekends where I almost never do because at Michigan State I became so ingrained in the friendships I had built here that I made every effort to stay in East Lansing. To demonstrate the impact of these clubs, it was at a conference through Cru that I met my now husband. It was in a weekly small group through Salt Co. that I met six of my eight bridesmaids. Finally, it was through a one-time coffee meet up through InterVarsity that I found my closest mentor. 

The greatest misconception I heard prior to college was this push, that if you wanted to succeed with a career you needed to join a business fraternity, serve on E-Board, and network, network, network. With all my commitments outside the classroom, I had to choose between this chance to get my name out there and my life-giving communities. I decided early on that I was simply going to have to figure out the career “stuff” because I wasn’t willing to make the sacrifices people said I needed to.

This decision to say ‘no’ to so many good things in order to say ‘yes’ to the best, was the hardest decision I could have made but was absolutely the right one. Since then, I have gained several highly competitive internships, traveled across Europe through my study abroad, completed a double major within four years, was on the dean’s list every semester, obtained a 3.9 overall GPA, and will graduate from the Honors College. Lastly, lined up after graduation, I’ve just been hired to a dream job as well. 

A woman sanding with outstretched arms and a castle behind her.
Hannah Diggs-King at Dracula’s castle in Romania as a part of a study abroad excursion.

For this dream job, I’ll be relocating to Illinois to join the staff of The Salt Company. The Salt Company has locations all over the country, including Michigan State, and it was through my involvement the past four years at the Michigan State chapter that I decided to take this role. This June, I’ll be joining the Illinois State University chapter. In this role, I’ll be able to utilize both my Marketing and Spanish degrees in unique ways as I transition into a full-time ministry position. My role here is to facilitate authentic community among college students and encourage them on their own personal faith walks with Jesus, wherever they may find themselves.  

A quote I heard my sophomore year of college that I still think of is “If the best years of your life are college, then you’ve failed.” This seems pretty bleak but the encouragement to be gained is this, that college is not supposed to be perfect and neither are you, you are constantly being formed into the future you, being molded and shaped. You aren’t a finished product and that’s a beautiful thing. There is not a prescribed path that if you fall off there’s no hope, the future is bright beyond college, even if right now it feels like this is all there is. Your best years are not behind you, they are right in front.  

I’ll forever be grateful to be a Michigan State Spartan and for the opportunity I’ve been given these past four years to truly thrive, at the Content Studio, in my classes, on my study abroad, and everywhere in between.