By David Warrington
Megan Studer, a junior double majoring in both Digital Media Production and Public Relations: Special Events, wants to take what started as nothing more than a hobby, and turn it into a career.
“I bounced around with wanting to be an English teacher, and then I realized that wasn’t the path for me,” said Studer. “I’d always been interested in media productions, but I’d never taken it too seriously. I had done projects with video, but it was more of a hobby.”
Studer comes from the very small town of West Bend, Iowa, with a population of 785 people. During her time at West Bend-Mallard High School, Studer was very active, participating in volleyball, softball, dance, golf, National Honor Society, choir, and quiz bowl. Part of this large load of activities was out of necessity at such a small school.
“I was really involved, just because we were so small you pretty much had to be, otherwise we wouldn’t have a team for anything.”
When it came time to decide on attending college, Studer knew early on that UNI was the place for her. “Being from such a small town, it was kind of a culture shock for me to even come here,” said Studer. “I knew UNI would be a good fit just because it’s not too big and it’s not too small. I knew that I was going to be exposed to a lot, but I was gonna have somewhat of a small town feel.”
Studer has gotten some very exciting opportunities in the field of digital media. She has done two internships, the first of which was an opportunity to do something that no one had done before.
“About a year ago, right when COVID was hitting actually, I got to travel to Wind Cave National Park with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry where I got to be the student videographer,” said Studer. “The trip was funded by NASA, but basically they were going there to do research inside the caves and see if there was any life growing inside.” There were definitely some difficulties throughout the course of doing a project about the cave system in southwest South Dakota that had never been done before. “It was something I got to take initiative on. They had never had any kind of media coverage before, so I had to step up and think of myself as an independent filmmaker and decide how I’m going to go about all of this.”
She also got an exciting opportunity to have an internship with a local radio station in the Cedar Valley.
“For my digital media internship, I was an intern at Townsquare Media in Waterloo,” said Studer. “I got to learn how to edit all of the music using the Segue editor, how to set up ramps, and the other thing I got to do was be known as ‘Intern Megan’ on the radio station. For Marks in the Morning, I’d have to be up at 4:30 to make it over to Waterloo and do the morning show from 6 to 9 a.m.” This was an exciting experience for Megan, and one that pushed her out of her comfort zone. “I’ve always been used to public speaking but being on the radio live was a whole new thing, and I wasn’t really sure how that was going to go. I felt like I adapted to it pretty quickly and I enjoyed it a lot.”
Studer is not yet sure exactly what career path she wants to follow, but she knows she wants a position where she can utilize her skills from digital media, public relations, and especially story telling.
“An ideal position would be somewhere where I get to utilize both my media skills and my PR skills. I’m an avid storyteller, and I love telling other people’s stories so that they get shared throughout the world, throughout the country, or wherever they’re going.”