There are an endless number of opportunities for Spartans to explore their interests and leave their mark at Michigan State, starting the first day they arrive on campus. Selected as a member of the 2022 Homecoming Court for her extraordinary impact, accounting senior Marissa Burk has stayed true to her values and passions throughout her undergraduate journey.
Burk is a native of Naperville, Illinois, and is minoring in Spanish. When reflecting on her time at MSU, she described it as extremely rewarding. Burk has spent hours working directly with students and the MSU community through on-campus jobs and enjoyed two summer accounting internship experiences at Ally and KPMG, and she’s made many friends and impactful memories along the way.
On campus, she has been involved on the Honors College Activities Board as president and liaison, as well as an undergraduate learning assistant for the Broad College’s Residential Business Community. One of Burk’s many highlights included the opportunity to develop a meaningful bond with Sherri Henry, RBC’s director.
“She has been my academic adviser, course instructor and employer. Working closely with her last spring as her undergraduate learning assistant for a sophomore business seminar course was inspiring,” Burk said, noting how Henry has been one of her greatest advocates during her time at MSU. “I loved listening to her lectures on leadership and teamwork, even as an employee, and was inspired to emulate her passion when she asked me to lead class sessions for her.”
Beyond the Broad College, becoming a campus tour guide was the perfect on-campus job for Burk as someone who wanted to share her passion for MSU with every prospective Spartan. Currently serving as a student supervisor for the MSU Tours program, she is responsible for training, evaluating and mentoring new tour guides.
In this role, Burk has enjoyed connecting with students who share similar challenges as herself — like with food allergies and dietary restrictions. She’s been able to foster more conversation around accessibility and inclusion with fellow tour guides and touring guests.
Topping it off, Burk has served as a peer mentor for the Resource Center for Persons With Disabilities. She acknowledges that all students face challenges when adjusting to college, but students with disabilities are presented with some unique hurdles.
“A lot of students don’t need to deal with investigating all the food items at the dining hall for potential allergens during every single meal, snack and dessert. Although this was a challenge for me, I learned by being an MSU tour guide and mentor for RCPD students that the best way to make people feel like they belong is to share my own story,” she explained. “It has become so empowering for me to tell friends and campus guests alike how I’ve eaten in every single dining hall, a goal a lot of people thought I would never be able to accomplish.”
Before walking across the stage at commencement, every student leaves behind their own personal legacy and positively impacts the Spartan community in a unique way. For Burk, that meant inspiring others through various mentorship avenues as well as welcoming all MSU guests with open arms and personable interactions.
Burk’s special advice to fellow Broad Spartans: “Take advantage of MSU resources, especially in Broad. We’re really lucky to have services dedicated to student success and career readiness. Planning my academic path with advisers, practicing interviews in the Russell Palmer Career Management Center and going to Broad club meetings have been crucial to my development as an emerging business professional.”