Let me introduce myself.

My name is Rachel Hartley, and I’m a midwest grown, aspiring communications professional.

I am a leader, a creative, and an empath who thrives on using my ambition and creativity to achieve _______.

When I started at Drake University, I switched from a future math teacher to a journalism student on a gut feeling. Since then, I have fallen in love with all aspects of the communications field- writing, advertising, video production, design, social media- you name it.

After graduation, I wish to further my education and obtain a Master of Arts in Communication degree with a concentration in Brand Communication. My professional goal is to work in creative strategy and content creation, whether that’s in a corporate, agency, or nonprofit setting.

Me and Cookie Monster hugging it out at Iowa PBS.

My Career Story

“Some people want to be doctors, I want to be a leader.”

This was a quote I wrote at the age of 9 years-old on the notepad that sat on my Grandpa’s desk. I was considered the “bossy” kid for wanting to choose the game we played on the playground, or teach people how to draw flowers in a different way. I would even write and direct plays to show my classmates and teachers. I think it comes down to when you’re a kid, people aren’t ready for you to lead when there’s so much a kid still needs to learn, but even as adults, we are always learning.

I apply that logic to everything I do, keeping an open mind to new perspectives and opportunities. For example, choosing my major was a complete split second, gut decision, an opportunity to learn something new. I was absolutely set on high school math education, but switched to journalism during orientation, never once having prior journalism experience.

Spoiler alert, it worked out, better than I could’ve ever imagined.

My ambition took over about a month in as I started to solidify my decision. That first summer, I worked as a production assistant for videographer Daniel Mott on two different shoots. The first being a promotional video shoot with Shaw Media Marketing, and the other for the Chicago Bears Training Camp with Pro Football Weekly. That experience not only gave me the confidence to pursue my first internship that fall at Iowa PBS, but I also got to make eye contact with Chicago Bears quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, while shooting footage.

At Iowa PBS, I was able to work alongside a team, both in studio and out in the field, to develop my technical skills while meeting some amazing individuals, like Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke, along the way.

Today, I work as a Web Design Intern for Baldwin Web Design where I assist the owner with data entry, photo editing, and website design for different clients. Straying away from WordPress, I even got the opportunity to learn a new website development software and designed the bones for St. Mary’s Youth Football and Cheer’s website.

At Drake, when not in a pandemic, you can find me studying at the on-campus Starbucks or coordinating video shoots as the Video Producer for Drake Broadcasting System (DBS), our student-led broadcast group. Through DBS, I have been able to visualize, coordinate, and create video content for our online social media platforms, as well as live stream campus events. This role allows me to lead and collaborate with others through the entire production process to create successful productions. Also at DBS, I am a Disc Jockey who hosts the weekly radio show “Indie City” on our radio streaming platform.

Socially, I am a member of Delta Gamma Fraternity where I designate time to volunteering within the Des Moines community. Some organizations I have volunteered for in the past are Iowa Reading Radio Information Service, WesleyLife, and Prevent Blindness Iowa.

While my future goals are still being finalized, I am looking to further develop my technical and interpersonal skills, as well as help corporations, businesses, or nonprofits to tell their stories through the media of the digital world today. I have a strong curiosity for industry knowledge and am always up for new opportunities, especially in the fields of design, advertising, and content creation.

Beyond the Books

When I’m not working my two jobs or attending classes, you will find me rewatching old episodes of Conan, taking pictures of pretty skies, playing solitaire on my phone, or practicing mindfulness in my day to day life. In addition, I am an advocate for mental health, the rights of women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and BIPOC individuals.

Personality-wise, I am a Capricorn, an INFJ, an Enneagram 2, and an empath. I believe all of those traits enable me to connect with others and see things from multiple perspectives. These traits also provide me with the ambition, self-discipline, organization, and reliability that is valued in the communications industry.

To connect with me, please check out my social media links or email me at rachel.hartley@drake.edu. Don’t be a stranger!