Class: 2006, dietetics, journalism and mass communication
Then: 2005-06 editorial apprentice, Meredith Books Group
Now: digital food editor, BHG.com, Meredith Corporation
Greenlee alumna Sheena Chihak has built a career that combines her two core interests in journalism and nutrition, and she owes that to the [Meredith Apprentice Program](/internships/meredith-apprentice-program/).
Now the digital food editor for BHG.com at Meredith Corp., Chihak was one of five apprentices selected during the 2005-2006 school year, the program’s second year at Greenlee. Throughout her senior year at Iowa State, Chihak carpooled with her fellow apprentices to Des Moines two to three times a week. She worked with the Books Group, a book publishing division that no longer exists at Meredith, mainly focusing on food and children’s books.
After graduating in 2006 with a double major in journalism and dietetics, Chihak went on to complete her dietetics internship at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. Realizing a hospital was not ultimately where she wanted to work, she returned to the world of publishing after her internship ended.
With the connections she had formed during her apprenticeship, the transition back to Meredith was smooth.
“It got me exposed to a lot of different people in this company,” Chihak said of the apprentice program. “I know people all over Meredith now.”
When she first returned to the company, she went back to work at the Books Group as an assistant editor. Her work centered on publishing children’s books, including coloring books, cookbooks and storybooks.
After passing the exam to become a registered dietitian, Chihak shifted her concentration more toward food and health. In 2009, she moved to Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Media, working on publications such as Diabetic Living, Heart-Healthy Living and Eat Well, Lose Weight.
In 2012, Chihak became digital food editor for Better Homes and Gardens’ website, a position she has held since. Her duties revolve around content creation, from making slideshows and videos to writing online stories and digital newsletters. She is responsible for both producing and editing content, as well as pushing it live through the site’s content management system. Her broad range of tasks keeps every day interesting.
“It’s totally variable, and I think that’s very fun,” she said.
Working as a food editor also has its perks. “I get to eat a lot,” Chihak said.
Her current job is the perfect marriage of her interests. As a college student, Chihak hoped she would someday work in a job like the one she now has, and she’s thankful the Meredith Apprentice Program helped her get there. “It’s such good life learning,” Chihak said. “It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the corporate world.”
By Jessica Bennett