This week’s alumni spotlight goes to Derek Steffen! Derek graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications. Read his full interview to learn more about Derek's life, post-college. 

"> This week’s alumni spotlight goes to Derek Steffen! Derek graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications. Read his full interview to learn more about Derek's life, post-college. 

"> This week’s alumni spotlight goes to Derek Steffen! Derek graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications. Read his full interview to learn more about Derek's life, post-college. 

"> This week’s alumni spotlight goes to Derek Steffen! Derek graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications. Read his full interview to learn more about Derek's life, post-college. 

"> Alumni Spotlight: Derek Steffen | Bright Foundation

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Alumni Spotlight: Derek Steffen

Derek Steffen

University of Iowa - Class of 2018


Derek grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa with a BA in Jour­nal­ism and Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. He cur­rent­ly holds a posi­tion as a Social Media Spe­cial­ist at an adver­tis­ing com­pa­ny in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Full Interview:


How did your col­lege expe­ri­ence pre­pare you for the post-col­lege work­force? In what ways were you unprepared?

Col­lege pre­pared me for real life by forc­ing me to make good use of what I’d con­sid­er free time.” Any down time is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn and get bet­ter. At the same time, the longer time­lines and pre­dictabil­i­ty of col­lege class­es left me with a learn­ing curve once I got into a fast-paced and rapid­ly chang­ing workforce.



Where are you now in your career? Where do you see your­self in five years? 10 years?

Three years after grad­u­a­tion, I’m work­ing as a social media spe­cial­ist at an adver­tis­ing agency in Des Moines. In my (rel­a­tive­ly young) career, I’ve learned that your inter­ests can change a lot after grad­u­a­tion. As much as I’d like to pre­dict where I’ll be in ten years, I’m real­ly not sure; and that’s a good thing. I don’t want to allow myself to get stuck in one career path.



What is one of your favorite col­lege memories?

My junior year, I took a trip to Wash­ing­ton D.C. with a stu­dent club I was lead­ing. Because we were con­nect­ed to Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa alum­ni net­works, we were able to tour the White House, the Pen­ta­gon and sev­er­al high-secu­ri­ty areas. I’ll always remem­ber that trip.



What is your favorite hobby?

While I’ve always loved to read and write, a new favorite hob­by has recent­ly emerged: home brew­ing. #JustQuar­an­ti­neThings


Thanks for get­ting to know our won­der­ful schol­ars! Stayed tuned for more spot­lights to come on our News & Events page, as well as oth­er updates!