Graduating Senior Spotlight: Emily Benda

Major(s): journalism and mass communication, Spanish

Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa

What clubs and organizations have you been involved in, both within and outside of the Greenlee School?

I am the treasurer of Association for Women in Communications (AWC) and an apprentice with Traditional Home magazine. In the past, I have been involved with Happy Strong Healthy magazine and the Iowa State Daily. Outside of Greenlee, I’m a part of Pi Beta Phi and work at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

How do you think Greenlee has prepared you for a career in journalism?

Getting involved in the publications Greenlee offers has by far been the most helpful tool for me. I got a lot of great writing experience early on with the Daily and magazines, so I was able to pursue more internships in the later years of college. Without these student publications, I don’t think I would have been ready to complete internships in my freshman and sophomore years, which turned into better internships my junior and senior years.

What has been your favorite class at the Greenlee School?

I loved JLMC 316 (Intro to Digital Publishing) with Beth Haag and learning the design programs. I also really enjoyed depth reporting (JL MC 414X: Digital Newsroom) with Lisa Oakes because I had time to really perfect my clips that were published.

Where did you complete your 499 internship? Have you had any other internship experiences?

During my sophomore year, I began my 499 at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) as a communications intern. I loved it so much, and I am still there today working as long as they’ll keep me. Throughout college, I’ve also interned with Mudd Advertising Agency, the Minnesota Vikings, Land O’Lakes, Inc. and now Traditional Home magazine. I have enjoyed every single one, but my favorites are Traditional Home because I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine, and the ECpE department because it opened my eyes to a career in university communications.

What are your plans for after graduation? What do you hope to do long-term in your career?

I have no plans as of now, but I’m currently on the job hunt with organizations in the Midwest. I hope to eventually work as an editor of a magazine or a communications specialist in university communications.

Interview by Molly Olson; edited for length and clarity.