By Jerry Duggan
Columbia, Mo. (Aug. 9, 2019) — Megan Crabb, a senior studying strategic communication from Sugar Grove, Illinois, has spent her summer working for Navistar International as a corporate communications intern.
Crabb applied to 70+ internships before landing what she calls “the one she truly wanted.” In a typical day at Navistar, she works on a variety of different tasks.
“The thing I love about this internship is that every day is different, I never get bored. I always have something to do; articles to write, projects to put together, or interviews to attend,” she said.
Crabb had envisioned a career in some form of journalism for many years, but choosing to attend MU was a big step out of her comfort zone.
“Mizzou was actually the only out-of-state school I applied to, the rest were close to me in Illinois,” she said. “I decided to come to Mizzou because I fell in love with it after my visit and the J-School felt like it was the perfect fit for me.”
When Crabb first started at Mizzou, she was set on an interest area related to reporting, but the intro-level journalism classes made her think twice about what she really wanted to do for a career. “J2100 really turned me off on the idea of being a reporter. I mostly just couldn’t handle the stress level that came with sources not getting back to me in a timely manner, but I still knew I wanted to do something that involved telling a story,” she said.
As she discerned what she wanted to focus on for her interest area, Crabb continued to hone her writing skills, working for three different publications: The Odyssey Online, Society19 and Tabu Magazine.
When the time came to choose an interest area, she picked strategic communication because she felt it allowed her to communicate a message effectively with an audience, be it through writing or some other creative means, without the stress of reporting.
As her junior year progressed, she applied to numerous internships and was eventually given an opportunity with Navistar. She says that although the job can be daunting at times, she was well-prepared, thanks in large part to her classes at the J-School.
“J2100 (News Writing) and J2150 (Multimedia Journalism) gave me a good background of how to do all types of journalism, and J4256 (Public Relations) really gave me a clear expectation of the kinds of things I would be doing day in and day out in my internship,” Crabb said.
Although she was initially nervous, Crabb has found that working for a Fortune 500 company is a lot less stuffy and much more fun than she ever would have anticipated. For example, she enjoys her boss’ willingness to let her work outside of the typical office setting.
“My chief communications officer encourages us to get away from our cubicles and work elsewhere, so I’m often outside or in these awesome swinging chairs getting my work done,” she said.
From the outset, Crabb was pleasantly surprised with how much Navistar was willing to put on her plate. “I have already had the opportunity to write for the magazine and get a byline because they want me to actually be part of the team, versus just grabbing coffee or sitting in on meetings,” she said.
Internship experiences like this can be quite formative in a young professional’s life, and can often lead their career interests in a different or unforseen path, but Crabb says that, if anything, this internship has only reinforced her belief that she is in the right field.
“I am always asking my boss to put more on my plate because I just love what I do,” she said.
Updated: January 10, 2020