Students Receive Cash Prizes for Their Creative Resumes

two people holding up a large board that resembles a check

During the second annual Java & Jam networking event, hosted by the College of Arts & Letters’ Excel Network, three students received cash prizes for their outstanding creative resumes.

Winners of the Creative Resume Competition, funded by Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU), were announced by Dean Christopher P. Long and include:

  • First place, $1,500 prize – Sean Vichinsky, senior Professional Writing major
  • Runner-up, $750 prize – Matthew Gillespie, senior Graphic Design major
  • Second runner-up, $250 prize – Emily Esch, senior Interdisciplinary Humanities major

“The purpose of the competition was to encourage our students, many of whom are interested in working in creative industries, to develop a professional resume that also is creatively designed,” said Christie Schichtel, Field Career Services Coordinator, and Victoria Morris, Student Employment Coordinator. “Many of our creative students feel compelled to use their resume to demonstrate their full artistic abilities, yet the resume is foremost a document that is professional and conveys your experience.”

More than 30 College of Arts & Letters students submitted their resumes for the competition.

group of four people standing together
Dean Christopher P. Long (right) with the winners of the Creative Resume Competition (from left to right): Sean Vichinsky, Emily Esch, and Matthew Gillespie.

“It’s awesome to see CAL placing a focus on professional development through initiatives like the Creative Resume Competition,” Vichinsky said. “Not only does it help students fine-tune their already amazing resumes, but providing incentive to do so makes it that much better. I’m honored to have won this year’s competition and I thank the judges for the time and effort they put into this.”

The resumes that were submitted went through an editing and suggestion process with the help of College of Arts & Letters alumni, friends, and staff members. Students then took this feedback into consideration and updated their resumes for the final round.

“The creative resume competition was an awesome experience! I got to update my resume and also get one-on-one feedback through the Excel Network,” Gillespie said. “I’m graduating in December, so the timing couldn’t have been better. I’m very grateful for the generous support of MSUFCU.”

It’s awesome to see CAL placing a focus on professional development through initiatives like the Creative Resume Competition.


Java & Jam was held at the Broad Art Lab on February 21 and provided free coffee and live music. All majors and levels of College of Arts & Letters students were invited to participate in both the competition and attend the event.

“Students are often told that networking is a key component to professional success, yet it can be daunting for them to know where and how to get started,” said Dan Meier, Assistant Director of Experiential Learning. “Java & Jam brings the networking to the students with the goal of facilitating meaningful, in-person networking opportunities with CAL alumni in a variety of industries.”

Congratulations to the three winners and thank you to MSUFCU for their generous support.