Plaid Works

Michelle Malkowski: Broad Knowledge of the Wider World

“Not only do you get a good education here from the amazing professors, but you also are welcomed by the college with open arms.”

Michelle Malkowski is pictured during a spring term course in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Malkowski is pictured during a spring term course in Orlando, Florida.ALMA — Liberal arts colleges like Alma College are well known for offering students the opportunity to pursue broad knowledge of the wider world. For Michelle Malkowski, the opportunities at Alma College helped opened her mind and set her on an exciting professional path.

Malkowski, a senior from Saugatuck, said she did not necessarily have a plan for post-graduate life when she originally came to Alma. But after studying a wide array of courses and taking part in a variety of campus activities, this spring she will graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in graphic design.

“The liberal arts framework Alma offers allowed me to take class in many areas, and after all the classes, internships and activities I was able to take part in, I found my love for branding,” Malkowski said. “If I hadn’t had all those experiences, I would not have been able to find my passion in graphic design, communications and marketing.”

Perhaps Malkowski feels inspired to creatively tell the stories of others due to the wide range of experiences she had at Alma. Among them, she traveled to the University of Shiga Prefecture, in Japan, for a course in intensive Japanese language and culture. She helped get rid of invasive plant species at Mammoth Caves National Park during an alternative break, took a spring term course in Orlando, Florida, where she studied teaching and leadership, and took several classes on graphic design at the University of Dundee, in Scotland.

“Being able to wake up in Japan, walking through the entrance of Walt Disney World, and strolling through the streets of Scotland has inspired me to be more open and have a mindset that is more open to diversity,” she said.

As she explored the world, Malkowski got to know her local community, too. She said some of her most treasured memories at Alma came while working in the Admissions Office and college chapel, and as a member of the International Club.

“I learned many new skills and developed amazing relationships with my supervisors and coworkers. The community and people of Alma will always be there for you,” she said.

After graduation, Malkowski plans to pursue a master’s degree in marketing or intercultural communications. Her hope is to someday work as a brand manager or a marketing manager.

“Alma College has given me the opportunity to discover who I am and how I can pursue my dreams. Not only do you get a good education here from the amazing professors, but you also are welcomed by the college with open arms,” she said.

Story published on April 01, 2021