Class: 2013, journalism and mass communication
Then: Production Intern at Droptone Studio, Social Media Intern at Hearth & Home Technologies, Coporate Communications Intern at Andersen Windows, Editorial Intern at Meredith Corporation,
Now: Copy Editor at Room & Board
Before graduating from Iowa State University in 2013, Merritt Rethlake, copy editor at Room & Board, spent most of her time assuming her journalism degree would lead her to a magazine in New York.
“I’ve always thought of journalism as storytelling,” Rethlake said. “I for sure thought I would go with the magazine route, but it’s pretty incredible what you can do with your degree once you define for yourself what that means.”
Rethlake is a firm believer in taking advantage of every opportunity.
“An internship is going to be what you make it,” Rethlake said. “Just do the best job. They are stepping stones to get you where you need to go.”
From working at Droptone Studio as a production intern and Hearth & Home Technologies as a social media intern, to growing her experiences with Andersen Windows as a corporate communications intern and writing for Meredith Corporation as an editorial intern, Rethlake found her specific interests and understands her strengths and weaknesses.
Along with those many opportunities, Rethlake constantly builds her portfolio by freelancing for a few publications along the way, mainly Herlife magazine, since the fall of 2013.
The knowledge and connections Rethlake gained from each internship brought her to where she is now. Working at Room & Board, located in Minneapolis, Rethlake is one of three writers. Since joining the team in December 2014, she values her opportunity to write flowery and technical in both print and digital. No day is ever the same, from writing marketing emails to her favorite task of traveling to interview partners and manufacturers. A bonus to these trips is the connections she makes.
“It’s always a good reminder to tell yourself to continue networking after college,” she said. “It’s easy in college to find those connections, but afterward you still need to meet new people and open your mind to new ideas.”
Rethlake’s original idea to end up at a magazine has spiraled in several directions. She continues to find intriguing ways to use her degree in the best way that suits her life.
“I couldn’t see myself leaving [Room & Board] anytime soon,” she said. “This may sound silly, but my friend and I have talked about moving to California and opening a winery. I love creating a welcoming space and bringing people together. I could even write little stories on the wine bottles.”
Written by Rebecca Haars