When the world’s top athletes competed at the 2012 London Olympics, about 40 Ball State students from eight fields of study provided behind-the-scenes stories for media outlets across the U.S.

It was the first time a large group of American students covered the Olympics, and the experience guided the direction of Kait Buck's career path.

"I doubt I'd be where I am today if it weren't for immersive learning at Ball State,” says Buck, ’12, public relations and history. "I had the chance to prove what I’m capable of as part of a student team covering the London Olympics for media outlets nationwide. That allowed me to break into an up-and-coming field immediately after graduation. Now, I'm sharing my marketing ideas with the biggest companies in the world from my home state."

Buck landed a project management position at Fizziology, a pioneering social media research company in Indianapolis that tracks real-world behaviors from movie and music box offices to advertiser impact.

"Agility and problem-solving are essential," says Jen Handley, '02, co-creator and chief operating officer of Fizziology. "Kait's experience covering the London Olympics with a student team proved she could bring the energy and polish we needed to provide quality insights to clients."

Through BSU at the Games, student photographers, reporters, videographers, and illustrators produced and distributed stories about sporting events, individual athletes, life in the Olympic Village, and London’s culture and atmosphere. They also maintained a website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and YouTube channel. Kait worked as a public relations director leading a team of five.

"Delivering products—in this case stories and photos—to a variety of clients in different time zones by deadline is a skill I use in my current job. I also organized projects and the people who worked on them, another skill I use as project manager at Fizziology. Most importantly, I tracked social media conversations about the brand we created. Without this experience, I would not be able to come into my first job with the skills necessary to excel."