Meet Katrina Steffensen! She graduated in 2011 from the Missouri School of Journalism with a degree in journalism. She also graduated with a degree in Spanish and a business minor. Read on to learn about her amazing job!
What is your current job title?
My job title is community manager at VML, a digital agency in Kansas City. I run the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google +, and Tumblr accounts for my client, Gatorade. I’m responding on behalf of the company and as the face of the brand to millions of people every day.
What are some of the most exciting and fun things about your job?
Working in social media is really exciting because you never know what is going to happen. Sometimes celebrities tweet at you, well not really me but the brand. *laughs* You get a lot of cool travel experiences. I went to England and met Premiere League soccer players, and I’ve been on tour. I like that I can make a direct impact on a person’s life through social media. I love that I as Gatorade can tell a fan good luck on soccer tryouts and directly make their day. I’m able to bring people closer to their passion, which is so inspiring. Seeing their excitement makes me work harder and an advocate for what they want.
How does it feel to be a Missouri School of Journalism graduate?
I think there is a special relationship to people who are broadcast journalists that you see in different areas. But at my job we’ve had a ton of Mizzou grad as well, and we regularly discuss who we know and finding out what links we have.
How do you feel seeing Journalism graduates doing cool things?
It is really exciting to see where people have gone in their careers. I haven’t even been out of college for 3 complete years, and I can think of people interviewing John McCain or Bradley Cooper, or working for a Fortune 100 company or owning their own business or writing for a magazine. It makes me really proud to call these people fellow Tigers, and in some cases, even great friends.
What to do think about picking majors, job hunts, and the reality of leaving college with out a job?
Well, I originally wanted to do broadcast journalism but I switched to strategic communication. I graduated and I had an internship instead of a full-time job. I was very lucky because it turned into a job—after two cities and almost a full year of interning at one company. It’s hard to think about when you’re graduating, but if you really want to work at some of the top agencies, you’ve got to put in your time at the bottom. With the way marketing is going, you have to be open to what opportunities come your way. As long as you are willing to adapt with opportunities presented you will be set with what is coming. Several of my friends changed careers or took a job that wasn’t what they thought they wanted to do during college. Sometimes it takes time to find a job or a career that will really work for you. Just be patient!
How would you describe your experience at Mizzou?
It was really eye-opening. I learned a lot about myself. Everyone really had an open heart at Mizzou. I came to Mizzou only knowing one other person on campus since I was from Texas. It was a lot different than people from St. Louis or Kansas City who knew a lot of people. College was the first time I started from scratch and had to meet people. I was surprised how friendly everyone was to me, but I really put myself out there to get to know people. I felt lucky that I participated in so many things that I enjoyed at Mizzou like Greek Week and Homecoming skits with my sorority, Chi Omega, working at the Rec Center, joining Caring for Columbia, AAF Mizzou and ODK. I didn’t think I’d be able to do so much, but Mizzou is so special. There’s a spot for you, no matter what your passion is.
Do you miss Mizzou?
Yes, I miss Mizzou. I have been lucky to go back a decent amount, and every time I go back it’s not the same. When I went back for the Career Fair and to speak to a class, I really felt like an alumn for the first time. I remembered how I felt walking through campus, preparing for that same career fair as a senior. I really miss seeing my friends every day and just all the random things that would happen on campus. I’d love to go back to Mizzou and relive it all again.
What would you say to a graduating Senior?
Say yes to an opportunity and be open. You don’t always know what you want to do or what you’d like to do until you try it. Be open to saying yes, that will really benefit you. Experience is always valuable, even if there’s not an obvious connection—especially if you’re a journalism major and need to be adaptable.
What is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to you?
I’ve traveled to England, been on the sidelines for major sporting events, gone back stage at a secret Justin Timberlake show, and more, all for my job. Those were exciting, but the best thing that happened to me was a couple weeks ago. I won an award as part of the Community Manager Appreciation Day awards and I found out that my co-workers had all got together to nominate me. It says so much about the people that I work with and the culture at VML. Two weeks after that, we won several awards at AAF – Kansas City’s ADDY Awards. Seeing our hard work pay off and be recognized by our industry and other leaders was hands-down the best, most exciting feeling.