From a fellowship that includes significant research on ghost tours to a summer internship as a personal shopper, Missy Fyock ‘11 has a special knack for turning hobbies and interests into legitimate academic and career pursuits.
A double major in Business Management and Sociology, Missy received a Comegys Bight Fellowship to study our culture’s interest in the paranormal. The fellowships support research on various topics connected to the American experience—and in Missy’s case, it’s our nation’s fascination with ghosts.
“I’m looking at how our country is obsessed with ghosts in movies and the media, and how that kind of cultural craze has turned it into this unique industry of ghost tours,” she said.
Her hands-on research includes interviewing some people who run ghost tour businesses and those take ghost tours—and even taking a few tours as well. When she takes the tours, she hands out surveys to the participants, who range from the ghost-obsessed to those dragged along by family or friends.
“I’m really looking at the motivations people have for taking the tours, why they’re so interested, and how much influence the media has had, and examining the same issues with the people who run the tours: why they decided to start such a unique business, how it works and how successful it is,” Missy explained.
Looking at both sides of the tour industry—provider and participant—allows Missy to explore the business and sociology aspects of the ghost tour industry, which will give her a leg-up on research for her senior theses.
“I’m going to be analyzing a couple different companies that run tours—some nonprofits, some historical societies—probably all with different structures,” she said.
The business major doesn’t plan on entering the ghost tour industry after graduation, though.
“It’s an interesting pastime, but I want to think about working with a nonprofit organization,” she said.
She worked with the Career Center to find summer internships with nonprofits and landed a volunteer position with the York, Pa. office of Dress for Success, which helps provide women with interview and business clothes to get them on their feet.
“I’m helping women pick out clothes, and I’m starting to solicit donations and help organize a big fundraising fashion show in the fall,” Missy said. “I’m really enjoying learning everything about the organization and how they function.”
She hopes to find full-time employment at a similar organization after graduation.
“It’s so interesting, and I really like helping people,” she said.
- Majors: Business Management and Sociology
- Sigma Beta Delta