Junior Audrey Helfrich — Ready for the Real World

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Junior Audrey Helfrich selected a college just as skillfully as she shoots amazing photos. She’s a journalism and mass communication major preparing for a successful career as a professional photographer. The perfect academic program, scholarships and close relationships made The University of Olivet the perfect fit for Audrey.
“During my first visit to Olivet, I got to sit down with Professor Daine Pavloski ’13, assistant professor of media production and communication, and talk to him about the photography opportunities at OC,” Audrey said. “He told me that if I work for the school newspaper, my pictures would be getting published in the first issue, as opposed to a bigger school where I would have to wait years before my pictures were actually published.”
After learning about The Echo, Audrey didn’t hesitate to get involved. She served as a photographer during her first year on the newspaper staff, and now she’s entering her second year as the photo editor.
“I chose journalism and mass communication as my major because when I graduate, I would really like to be a photographer,” Audrey explained. “My sister and I already started a photography business together, and we have been booked for weddings, engagement photoshoots, family photoshoots and senior pictures. After I graduate, I would like to work for a nonprofit organization for a couple of years, using my degree to give back to the community. I’m preparing myself for a successful career by getting as much experience as I can through the College. For example, working for The Echo is a great way for me to experience taking pictures at a lot of different events and then editing them to be published in the paper. I try to take every photography opportunity the College gives me just so I can have that experience.”
In addition to the hands-on photography experience Audrey is gaining, she also enjoys close relationships with her professors.
“Professor Pavloski has helped me so much with my photography, and he even helped me get a job shadow with Michigan State University’s head athletic photographer, Matthew Mitchell,” Audrey said. “Both Professor Pavloski and Joanne Williams, associate professor of journalism and mass communication, help me with whatever I need, and I am so appreciative of both of them.”
This spring, Audrey was honored by her professors and peers as the Echo Staff Member of the Year and Echo Reporter of the Year.
“These awards mean a lot to me because it feels like I’m being appreciated for all my hard work,” Audrey said. “I spent some late nights in The Echo office working on the paper and went to a lot of different events on campus to take pictures, so it feels great knowing my hard work was noticed. Working on the paper is definitely a team effort, so I’m very thankful for all the other staff members that worked on the paper this year with me.”
As Audrey enters her junior year, she’s excited to continue growing her skills and expanding her network. She hopes other high school students will become Comets to experience the same great benefits that she has enjoyed.
“I would encourage a student to attend Olivet because of the tight-knit community at OC,” Audrey said. “At a bigger university, you could be in a classroom with a hundred other students, and your professor wouldn’t even know who you are. But at Olivet, you’re in smaller classes, and your professors actually get to know you. They’ll be willing to help you with whatever you need because you have that connection with them.”
Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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