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Creating change with her skills

Immersive learning experience solidifies career goals for Brooke Braun of Frankfort

Brooke Braun of Frankfort hopes to use her experiences from three immersive learning courses at Ball State University to help nonprofts.
Brooke Braun of Frankfort hopes to use her experiences from three immersive learning courses at Ball State University to help nonprofts.

Like many recent college graduates, Brooke Braun of Frankfort is looking for a job.

Ideally, the job will be with an advertising agency with a philanthropic focus.

"I think everyone can use their skills to do something that is bigger than themselves," Braun said.

Ideas that appeal to her include making videos that benefits a cause or "push for some kind of change in the world," she said

"I just think everyone has the opportunity to create change with their own set of skills," Braun said. "And I'd like to live by that with my own knowledge."

Fueling Braun's desire is the semester-long immersive learning course Braun took before graduating from Ball State University in December with a double major in advertising as well as telecommunnications.

In the immersive learning course, led by telecommunications lecturer Chris Flook. Braun said she and 11 other students partnered with the Indiana Office of Tourism and Development to produce high-quality promotional video content for Indiana sites.

The featured sites for Braun's team, where she served as producer, was Albanese Confectionery  in Merrillville, Beasley’s Orchard in Danville and Joseph Decuis Restaurant in Roanoke.

Braun said she led a team of six crew members. Her main job was keeping the project organized and making sure tasks were completed well and on time, as well as meeting as special requests from the clients, she added.

This was Braun's third immersive learning experience and she loved it.

"You get to work with real clients and be immersed in real life productions," Braun said. "But instead of getting paid, it's for a grade."

During her first experience, Braun served as a production assistant for a centennial documentary that Ball State produced, which was backed by school administration, Braun said. The second time Braun produced a short film on Indiana Public Broadcasting.

She appreciated the way Flook oversaw the students' efforts.

"He's extremely hands-off unless there is a problem," Braun said. "If there was something we coudn't handle, he stepped in. One of my favorite parts of immersive learning programs is that you're thrown into the shark tank and you've got to swim. You learn how to handle problems and crisis management.

An introvert, Braun said her parents "fake threatened" to send her to boarding school if she didn't join three clubs at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort.

So Braun joined orchestra for a year and then Future Business Leaders of America and then Griffin Television. This last, Braun said, broadcasted all the school football and basketball games.

"I was producer for that as well," Braun said.

But since orchestra was technically not a club, Braun still needed a third choice. While taking a digital media class, Braun learned the school also had a digital media club.

"I contacted the teacher and he let me join," Braun said. "I made tons of friends in that club."

In fact, Braun still keeps in contact with these friends, she said. And participating in that club solidified Braun's career aspirations. She also learned how to manage her introversion.

"Even if you're introverted in your everyday y life, when you're doing something for a job and you have to talk to people, a switch flips suddenly," Braun said. "It becomes not about your and it's easier to talk to someone."

Braun said she initially majored only in telecommunications major until she decided to broaden her experience. She felt majoring in advertising as well presented more creative opportunities than telecommunications alone offered.

"It's a very addicting career," Braun said of advertising. "I can't wait to work in the industry. [I like] just how creative people are and how fast-paced it is. It's almost like thinking in color all the time, It's very vibrant."

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