Q: Welcome! Could you start off by telling us about yourself and why you’re here?

A: Thanks for having me! My name is Cara Hofstra. I’m a sophomore at Alma College, originally from Zeeland, Mich. I am a digital marketing major and I’m having a really great time here!

Q: Digital marketing! That’s really cool. It’s one of our newest majors. What type of work do you do in that major?

A: It is really cool and I’m glad to be a part of it. It’s sort of a blend between art and design, communication and business. It’s very hands-on, which is exactly the kind of thing I like to do — less on-camera-type of stuff, and more behind the scenes. I made a short film for the first time, and I created my own podcast, too. I’m taking a Spring Term course this year called Backpack Filmmaking, with my academic advisor, Dr. Anthony Collamati, in Italy. I can’t wait!

Q: That sounds like so much fun! When you’re making multimedia, do you utilize the resources in the Greg Hatcher Learning Commons?

A: I do. I think it’s been a great addition to campus. I don’t have the Adobe Cloud software on my laptop, so I come to the digital maker space to do all of my marketing projects, because the computers here have it. The computers also have way more memory than my laptop has, and the screens are bigger. There are people here, like the audio/visual specialist, Jake O’Brien, who can help us use the equipment. So, it’s really helpful. Besides my marketing projects, I like to use the private study rooms in the Learning Commons, because it eliminates distractions.

Q: How does a student like yourself get to Alma from Zeeland? Why did you come to this college in the first place?

A: Well, Alma is in the middle of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, which means that if I want to visit home, or if my family wants to see me, it’s not a long way to drive. I really liked the size of the campus. It’s small here, and our professors have lots of time to spend with us students. But a big reason that I came here is because the scholarships at Alma are very generous. I had a pretty good high school GPA, and I got a scholarship for that. I also got a scholarship for just visiting campus before enrolling. The sticker price of Alma College may be shocking to some people, but I don’t think all of them necessarily factor in the value of scholarships before they come here.

Q: What do you do on campus besides digital marketing?

A: I have an on-campus job in admissions, which is pretty fun, and a nice opportunity to make money. I am a member of the Kappa Iota sorority, and my siblings are some of my favorite people on campus. They let me be myself — I’m able to completely relax when I’m around them. I’m also an Alternative Breaks team leader, which is one of my favorite things. This spring break, we’re going to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, to help with environmental stewardship.

Q: That’s amazing! Is that going to be your first Alternative Break?

A: No, I did one previously, at Joshua Tree National Park, in California. That was my first time on an airplane. It was a lot of fun, and very meaningful. Someone who works at the park told us that they wished we could be there all the time, because we did so much good work. It’s also nice to be in the company of students who have the same passions as you. It’s like, “I’m not sure that I would have been your friend if we didn’t meet on this trip. But I’m glad that we did.”

Q: How do you feel about your decision to attend Alma College?

A: I feel great! There was a time, a couple of weeks into my first year, when I was questioning myself. Then I realized, a lot of students probably felt the same way I did. I forced myself to get out and talk to people and that really paid off. I’ve made a lot of friends and I’m in a great academic program. And I never thought I would travel as much as I’m doing right now.

Learn more about experiential learning and digital marketing at alma.edu.