Name: Averi Baudler
Hometown: Clive, Iowa
Major: journalism and mass communication
Minor: event management
Experiences as an Iowa State Daily reporter, Rent The Runway campus representative and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority member prepared Averi Baudler for one of the most rewarding experiences of her college experience so far — a digital apprenticeship with the Better Homes and Gardens brand at Meredith Corporation in Des Moines. In this Q&A, Baudler shares her Meredith Apprentice Program adventure and why you should consider applying for the 2020-2021 program.
What has been your favorite Greenlee experience?
I would say Meredith. For sure Meredith. I have really liked it, and it is just incredible and a little mind-boggling that, at this age, I get to work at a renowned magazine like Better Homes and Gardens. I work on the website platform for the BHG publication. I really like the BHG brand, especially at the Des Moines headquarters. It’s the brand I align closest with because Better Homes and Gardens is something I’ve grown up with. My mom reads it and we have the cookbook, so it was so cool to get the opportunity. I know Meredith also houses People and InStyle and some brands that are focused more on fashion and pop culture. BHG caters to an older audience, but it does a really great job. The tone is really fun and light-hearted, and I really enjoy that.
The community I’ve gotten to be part of with the other apprentices is really cool, as well. We meet with each other once a month and get to know each other. One of my best friends is also in the apprentice program so getting to eat lunch with her at Meredith and carpool is fun. Overall, it’s just a really cool program and a great way to get my foot in the door.
Describe your typical day working for Meredith.
Right when I get there at 9 a.m., we have a stand-up meeting every day where everyone on the team pitches their stories, shares what they are going to be working on during the day and talks about any news that may have come up overnight that they might want to write about as a news piece. That usually lasts about 30 minutes, and then I go back to my desk and do a variety of different tasks. Last semester I was under the Lifestyle and Pets section which was fun. Now I am under the Home section because my supervisor moved to a different publication. I really like working under Home because there is so much more content.
So a lot of times I’ll help out with picking stories that are in copies of the print that I think should go online or building stories from print on the website, getting photos, researching products, just kind of piecing things together. We did a really big SEO project where we had to go and unpublish a bunch of old, outdated content which is kind of one of those “interny” things but I know it was really helpful to the team so I didn’t really mind. Plus, I got to listen to a podcast while doing it! And then I just do whatever people need help with. We have meetings occasionally to talk about what we’re doing, and I’ll have lunch with the other apprentices and my friend, Bryce. It is a nice way to break up the day.
What has been your favorite project that you have worked on?
Last semester I got to write a story — technically it was a gallery — but it was a compilation of Halloween costumes for dogs. It was just so fun and I got to unleash my inner cheesiness and write “hot diggidy dog” about a hot dog costume for a puppy. It was super cute and lighthearted, and it was really exciting to have a published piece of content. There are a couple of other things, but that was probably my favorite one.
Since you only work on the digital side currently, would you ever want to switch and work on the print side?
Yes, ideally after college I would like to work on the print side of a publication for a while. But I think it’s great that I am getting experience on the digital side since that’s where I see the industry heading. A lot of magazines with print editions that have folded still have an online presence. So I think it is really beneficial for me to get that experience, but I would love to work on print if I can.
How do you think Meredith will help you when you graduate and enter the job force?
I would say that it will give me so much more legitimacy in terms of a resume. Meredith has that name recognition. I also have three years experience working for the Iowa State Daily — and that is a great experience and how I got my position. But I think a yearlong internship at Better Homes and Gardens and a major publishing company like Meredith will give me so much more credibility, at least on paper. More than that, I also have experience working in a corporate environment. My communication skills have definitely improved, and I know how to hold myself, how to operate, how to dress. In addition to all the ins and outs and logistics of working on a digital platform, I have learned so much about back-end things and SEO and just a lot of other things that will be beneficial for anything that I go into.
What would you tell someone who is interested in applying for Meredith?
Anyone who is interested should look into it. I feel like it is such an underrated opportunity. It is Meredith, people! Meredith! I don’t understand why everybody isn’t applying for it that is semi-interested in going into a writing field. It’s an amazing opportunity, and it is so crazy and unique to Iowa State and Greenlee.
Interview by Grace Ekema; edited for length and clarity.