Student Spotlight

We wanted to recognize Communication students who work hard to go above and beyond coming to class and truly make a difference in the department, student media organization(s), and/or the community. As a parallel to our Alum Spotlight, our Student Showcase offers students an opportunity to lift up those who truly stand out, allows others an opportunity to conceptualize their academic path, and evoke inspiration through various careers that stem from a degree in Communication. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to submit a nomination for any student currently attending Valpo. Please email us with any questions or click here to nominate a student who stands out!

Student Spotlight: Tyler Betustak

Q) What brought you to Valpo?

A) I had lived in the Northwest Indiana area my entire life, but never really knew about VU. I ended up hearing a buddy of mine talk about his acceptance in high school and thought I’d apply, but really had my heart set on IU Bloomington. I visited and absolutely fell in love with the place! Everyone here was so attentive and truly cared about my dreams and goals. They’ve worked tirelessly from that point on to foster my success, and I’ll forever be indebted to them for that. 

Q) What is your dream job?

A)  I’ve always wanted to work for Disney, and after my internships with them in Orlando always wanted to get back there and work in Hospitality I also have a newfound passion for recruiting and professional development, so I’d love to get back to Disney and work in their Internships and Programs department to help develop students in the same program that gave me the start to my career! 

Q) What are you involved in on campus?  

A)  I spent all four years on our competitive ballroom dance team and my last two as a captain, worked in the admissions office as an AIA, previously interned at the Institute for Leadership and Service, I’m an Allen Scholar so I loved attending Church Voc. Symposium weekly as well. I also ran two marathons in my time here so I tried to use the various 5k’s on campus to train for those! In true Valpo fashion, I attempted to be involved in as many things as I could in four years. 

Q) What did you want to do when you were 10?

A) I desperately wanted to move to Florida and work for Disney and nine years later I made that dream a reality on my first internship there! The virus put a bit of a damper on the next chapter of that dream when new hires could no longer start work, but there will be a day without a pandemic and a day when hospitality and tourism can once again boom without fear!

Q) What is your favorite COMM class that you have taken so far?

A) I loved Comm 290: Career and Professional Development with Lanie, as well as Paul’s social media course. The career course fit perfectly in the first semester of my senior year and answered all of the questions we think we should already have the answers to. It was a space that allowed its students to dig deep and figure out not only what we truly wanted to do but who we wanted to be and gave us the tools we needed to get there. Paul’s Social Media course COMM 401 really made me aware of how powerful and impactful social media can be. It’s no longer just about social networking, the security side of social media, and how much these sites know about their users is quite scary. It was incredibly interesting and thought-provoking! 

Q) What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a professor or student while at Valpo?

A)  In Lanie’s professional development course, we often talked about never feeling stuck. I’ve often reflected on the story of her own career as she made her way from a decent marketing gig to a pay cut and a job in IT. That role eventually led her to teaching and becoming the chair of our department. There’s a constant fear that if we don’t land our dream role right out of university we’ll never find success. She assured us that it’s okay to change your mind, it’s okay to not land a “dream” job right away, and the “dream” job is only what you make of it.                        

Q) What is your favorite memory from being at Valpo?

A) My favorite memory hasn’t yet happened. I can’t wait to walk that stage in my cap and gown and celebrate with my classmates, the class of 2020, and finally close this chapter of our lives. I’m so looking forward to the huge celebration with the students and faculty that’ll come when this all comes to an end. Even if it’s a year or two from now, that’ll be my best memory. 

Q) First feeling you had when you attended a gathering on campus? 

A) Togetherness. This is a special place full of hard work and dedication and passion so intense that you can feel it even when away from the campus. There are a lot of things about undergraduate life that are hard, but being a student here and feeling that energy every day made this experience one I’ll never regret. 

Q) What internships have you had?

A) I did two separate internships with the Walt Disney Company in Orlando. On my first, I worked in Food & Beverage/Merchandise as a General Teller at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. My team was responsible for coordinating the cast on the floor and monitoring cash flow in and out of our areas. On my second internship there I worked in Guest Operations and was statused to events at ESPN Wide World of Sports, but split time between that and regular assignments at the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom. I then spent a summer at Disney Store on the Mag Mile in Chicago, the next semester as a Comm intern at the Institute for Leadership and Service at Valpo, and most recently completed an internship in the marketing department at Dwyer Instruments in Michigan City! 

Q) What words of wisdom do you have for other students?

A) I was at a talk earlier this year from a former Valpo student talking about how hard it was to leave this place and the life he had made here. He said he was really struggling as he got closer to graduation and one of his friends stopped him and said “The reason God gives us so many wonderful people and opportunities and memories is so our brains know it’s possible and our hearts won’t settle for anything less”. When our on-campus lives and closing the senior year chapter was taken from us in the pandemic, I’ve reflected on those words and found peace in them. The people and this place are so special, take in every second of it. Stay out late, lose sleep, work hard, laugh all the time, take every opportunity no matter how busy you may be, and look back on it all at the end and smile at the fact that you had the chance to be a part of this.