Expanding your interests: Bethany Deuel on discovering your career path

Published by Emile Creel on

By Addie Thompson

When Bethany Deuel first stepped foot on Mississippi State University’s (MSU) campus, one of the things that impressed her the most was the variety of opportunities available to her. 

Although she started college unsure of exactly what she wanted to do in the future, Deuel made the most of those opportunities and is now narrowing down on her career goals. The senior and Hoover, Alabama, native credits her time as a communications intern at the Social Science Research Center for helping her hone in on her future job aspirations.

            “Don’t be afraid to try out something different or something new, even if you’re not sure exactly what it’s going to entail,” Deuel said. “I think that’s kind of the point of being young. You can try out different things while the risk is low, and through that you can learn more about who you are, what you like, and what your skills are.”

            Now entering her last semester of senior year, Deuel looks back on her time at MSU with gratitude for the community she’s found in Starkville. Whether through her organizations, professors, or friends, one of her favorite parts of college has been meeting different people and learning from a variety of cultures. 

            “I’m really going to miss the people of MSU, but more specifically, I’m going to miss all the people surrounding me and the culture that’s pushed me to be better than when I started here,” Deuel said. “There’s such a good culture of growth and challenging yourself.”

            As Deuel began thinking about internship opportunities on campus, she knew she wanted to find a similar feeling of community in the workplace. As a communication major with a public relations concentration, she searched for an internship that connected her to a community of professionals where she could build her skillset and grow her interests. Deuel began working at the SSRC in January of 2021, and throughout her internship experience, she has discovered her passion for working in the college environment.

            “After I’ve been here for a year, I’ve realized this is actually what I want to do, doing communication for a university. So, kind of in a backwards way, it became what I wanted. I’ve loved it,” she said.

            As a communications intern, Deuel writes Spotlights on SSRC researchers, creates graphics for the social media, updates the website, and aids in other small marketing projects for the various SSRC departments. As Deuel has gained experience with interviewing researchers, she’s learned the key to writing an interesting story.

            “You want to write a story about them that really shows who they are,” she said. “Few people in the general public want to read about just numbers from the research study, they want to hear about the person that’s conducting it and the impact those numbers bring. I’ve been figuring out how to share that.”

            As she is wrapping her up time at MSU and the SSRC, Deuel is planning to find a job working in the public affairs department for a college or university. While she’s not set on one specific location or region, she knows she wants her full-time work to have a similar culture to MSU.

“There are a lot of places that I could see myself working, but hopefully somewhere that has a really good culture,” Deuel said. “I just love the pace and the atmosphere of being on campus, in the university setting. I would love to continue to be in a setting like that and be on the back end of getting to amplify the work being done at universities, wherever I end up.”