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Drake SJMC Students Secure Positions with People, Better Homes & Gardens, Travel & Leisure, The Spruce and Midwest Living

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

Five Drake University students have been selected to serve as Dotdash Meredith apprentices for the 2024-2025 academic year. Assignments this year include editorial, social, and graphic design positions with People, Better Homes & Gardens, Travel & Leisure, The Spruce, and Midwest Living.

Dotdash Meredith is the largest digital and print publisher in the country. Students will be placed with one of the company’s national brands for the academic year, learning from and working alongside industry professionals locally at the Des Moines offices and remotely with teams in New York and Los Angeles.

“The Dotdash Meredith Apprenticeship Program is a unique opportunity for students to use the editorial and design skills they’ve learned in the classroom to help forward the mission of some the largest media brands in the world,” said Jeff Inman, associate professor of Magazine and Brand Media and Drake SJMC’s Apprentice Program coordinator. “More importantly, they learn directly from media pros, getting hands-on training on how to create audience-focused content in an ever-changing media market.”

Created in 2003, the Dotdash Meredith Apprenticeship Program has provided over 160 Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication students the opportunity to connect the classroom to the professional world. Participants have worked for many of Dotdash Meredith’s iconic brands, including InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple and more.

“The opportunities provided by the Dotdash Meredith Apprenticeship Program are incredible,” said Catherine Staub, dean of the Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “We’re grateful for our more than 20-year apprenticeship partnership and the decades of support and mentorship Dotdash Meredith leaders have provided for our students.”

Meet this year’s apprentices

Meghan Holloran: Better Homes & Gardens

Texas-born, Meghan came to Iowa looking for opportunities. In her three years at Drake, she’s served as a staff writer, photo editor, and digital editor of Times-Delphic, the university’s award-winning student newspaper. She’s interned for the World Food Prize and the Drake Community Press, as well as written for the two campus magazines, Drake Mag and Drake Political Review. She’s currently pursuing degrees in Multimedia Journalism and Magazine and Brand Media with a minor in Environmental Sustainability. 

Ava Leigh: The Spruce

Ava is a bit of a unicorn: a writer, designer and social media aficionado. She’s handled social media for clients and served as a junior production scout while working for the branding company One Simple Plan in her native Minnesota. She’s designed for Drake Mag, Drake University’s award-winning student magazine, provided graphics and posts to the Student Activities Board, the school’s entertainment arm, and written for the Times-Delphic, our award-winning student newspaper. She’ll leave Drake in the spring of 2025 with degrees in Digital Media Production, Magazine and Brand Media, and Multimedia Journalism with a minor in Graphic Design.

Colson Thayer: People

A rising senior, Colson has been a working journalist since his days at Waukee High School. He’s written cover stories for Cityview magazine for several years. He was selected to participate in the prestigious NPR Next Gen Radio project last summer, interned with both Des Moines Performing Arts and the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, and served as both an editor and business director for Drake Mag, Drake University’s award-winning student magazine. He majors in Multimedia Journalism and Magazine and Brand Media with a minor in Music. 

Kelsey Wolfe: Midwest Living

Kelsey treats design as serious business—even when it’s for a satire magazine. As the Art Director of DUiN, Drake University’s satire publication, the Illinois ex-pat created a system to tame what was once a chaotic design process, while also establishing visual branding around the magazine’s social media posts. Kelsey has brought that same eye to their work as a marketing and communications intern for the Family Planning Council of Iowa. A rising senior, Kelsey will wrap up degrees in Advertising and Graphic Design, as well as a minor in Magazine and Brand Media, in Spring 2025. 

Parker Wright: Travel & Leisure

Parker has spent the last year focused on documenting the difficult decisions being made on Drake University’s campus. As the news editor for the Times-Delphic, Drake University’s award-winning student newspaper, the Minnesota native has been directing coverage of the contentious budget discussions on campus. In his free time, he also serves as an editor for Drake Political Review, the university’s political magazine, a publication he will helm next year as its editor-in-chief. Next year he’ll graduate with degrees in Writing and Multimedia Journalism.