Riley Herring | Faces of Midland
Not Afraid of Change
For junior Riley Herring, her Midland experience has been one of self-discovery. Coming in as an English major, Riley is now a digital marketing major with aspirations that differ significantly from those she came with. She credits the small school atmosphere that has allowed her to get involved and develop strong relationships with her professors as the linchpins for her future.
Early in her college career, Riley settled on pursuing a degree in English. Her initial goal was to situate her future around a love of writing. However, after taking a business class with professor Nick Schreck, she quickly came to the realization that her passion for writing was in the wrong place as an English major. Rather, it needed to be situated in the world of business.
“When I came as a freshman, I started as an English major because I really liked to write, and I knew I was somewhat good at it, so that was my go-to. Then I added a business minor in my second semester and really enjoyed that. Through that process, I realized that I really liked copywriting more than English writing. I enjoyed writing for business and blogs, things like that.”
Riley’s passions are centered around copywriting and marketing design. Both offer outlets for her as she admires the structure that copywriting offers and the freedom that design gives her. They work in tangent with each other.
“I like the structure of copywriting. They give you something to write about, and you sell it. That’s what I like about copywriting, especially on days that I am not feeling creative in the sense of starting from scratch; I can still make something because there is already a starting point. For design, those are the days I do want that blank page and creating something out of nothing.”
The relationships Riley has developed with her professors have proved instrumental in her college experience. She points to professors like Nick Schreck and Rita Bristol as individuals who have narrowed down her passions and have helped her figure out where she is supposed to be.
“What makes professors like Nick Schreck and Rita Bristol different is how much they care about their students. I think every professor has to care about students, but I was talking to Nick one day, and he was talking about how much fulfillment he gets working with college students and finding a career for them. I think that is what both of them have done for me by pushing me in their own ways. I just think the true care they have as professors is unique.”
Additionally, being encouraged by her peers and professors to join FBLA has been another place where Riley has solidified her passions. She has quickly become integrated with the group and appreciates the opportunities, the experience, and the growth in her fields that the organization has given her.
“I don’t remember exactly when I joined FBLA. I think a friend of mine asked me to go to a conference with her and it was secretly the best thing she did for me. I didn’t realize the payoff I would get being a part of FBLA collegiate. I feel like I have met so many professionals and so many contacts my age, and I can reach out to them in the future. The leadership experience I have gotten from FBLA has been rewarding, going from being a member of this group to only seven months later running for state office. I think FBLA collegiate is all about opportunity, and I have been able to capitalize on that.”
After graduation, Riley hopes to continue to find places where she is able to grow into the passions she has cultivated throughout her time at Midland. Plans are still fluid, but she hopes to continue to grow in her role while finding a marketing opportunity. Ultimately, she encourages students to care for themselves and truly make the most of their time here.
“To students, I say always take care of you. My college experience has not been easy. You would be surprised about how open and how caring your professors are and really being there for you. I don’t think I would have been able to get through all my challenges without the support from them. Making sure you are taking care of yourself through college is so much more important than anything else.”
Riley Herring is a junior Digital Marketing major from Gretna, Nebraska. To share your story or nominate a friend, email firstname.lastname@example.org or post using #FacesofMidland.