Alumni Spotlight: 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.
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