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  1. New Season Brings New Adventure

    May 30, 2016 by Stephanie Kocer


    I’m very happy to say that since April I’ve been working for Special Olympics Iowa as their Marketing and Communications Manager. I get to edit the website, write articles and press releases, talk to media, and run social media. It’s a dream job for me, but one that I never saw coming.

    Those who know me know I’m not always the most warm and cuddly person. I certainly don’t like organized group activities or even the idea of fundraising. And yet, here I am. Working for a nonprofit and somehow feeling a strange sense of determination and purpose.

    This new role has brought new challenges and stresses to my life. It’s a 9 to 5 job, but not always in the traditional sense. Last weekend we held our annual state Summer Games. Since I’m the new kid in the office I had just over a month to prepare all of my small parts that make this very large, very important event function. I brought work home with me every night. I replied to important emails after 9 p.m. I even got a text from our CEO after midnight once because that’s just how hard everyone works. (more…)

  2. Time Well Spent in the Real World

    January 20, 2016 by Stephanie Kocer

    “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
    —John Steinbeck

    I came across this quote the other day and it got me thinking about how much my life has changed since graduating from college just seven months ago. It seems like yesterday and yet a lifetime ago.

    The biggest takeaway I’ve gotten so far from post-grad life is that in the real world nothing is perfect and, unlike college, we have time. I no longer have to rush from six different classes to internships. I’m not staying up until 2 a.m. to do homework. I have my job and then I have free time to do anything I want.

    That extra time is now used on making myself better at a few things that I really care about. In school I had classes that weren’t always my top priority and my attention was spread over a bunch of tiny things. Now I have a few big things in my life to focus on. And I’m no longer focused on getting everything perfect, I’m focused on getting really good at the things I want to excel at.

    I’ve got my job now. I’m still the new person in the office, the kid, and I’m constantly learning. I’ve been given new and scary opportunities and I’m working every day on becoming a good professional. I don’t think I’m there yet. I’ve got a long way to go before I get to that place, or even know what it is I truly want. But I no longer have to stress about perfection, because I know now that it does not exist.

    And when I’m not working on the professional me, I have more time than ever before to work on other things I want to be good at. I’ve finally started reading again. I’m cooking dinner for myself on weeknights. I’ve been writing in my spare time about anything I please. I no longer have the limitations of college, yet I’m still free to learn. It’s a terrifying time, but it’s exciting.

    Lately my extra time has been focused on writing and that’s specifically led me to focusing on my passion project, “Am I Watching Too Much TV?,” my film and television blog. I’ve been thinking a lot about my love of cinema and how it correlates with my love of writing and where they meet in the middle. I’m continuing to work on my film criticism to develop myself into a reputable film critic. It’s a skill I’ve always desired but until recently never had the chance to hone as my own. I’m creating and owning my voice in the world. Who knows if it’s a distinct, well-executed process just yet, but with time, energy, and a determination, I can become, not perfect, but good at the things I love.

    In both my professional and recreational life.

  3. Update: September 2015

    September 28, 2015 by Stephanie Kocer


    Hi everyone!

    As you may have noticed, there have been some updates made to my site. Exciting! I’ve got some new information to share and some new clips uploaded.

    You can check out my updated work and education on my new Resume page as well as new writing examples on my Writing Clips page. And, to catch you up on my new job and professional experience, check out my new About Me page!

  4. I graduated!

    May 19, 2015 by Stephanie Kocer


    I’m so excited to say that this past weekend I graduated from Drake University! I was lucky enough to graduate in four years with two degrees: a BA in journalism and a BA in English.

    The next chapter of my life has begun and it’s terrifying and amazing all at the same time. This new freedom and adulthood is a new challenge, and it’s one I’m ready to take on.

    Over the last few months people have asked me what my plans are. At first I felt like a giant disappointment telling people that I had no plans. But now, however, I’m excited to say that I have no plans. That means I have a blank slate that’s just waiting to be filled. For the time being, I’m staying in Minnesota with my parents and have begun the job search. I would love to settle in the Twin Cities area or go back to Des Moines, but no plans also means being open to anything. And I’m willing to seek out the next chapter wherever my professional life may take me.

    As to what I want to do, that’s also a mystery. I’m looking for jobs in communications, in social media, or at magazines. But I’m open to other things. I’m a firm believer in the idea that you find what you’re looking for when you least expect it.

    So I will enjoy my summer and spend time with my family and friends. I will search for the job that’s right for me. And I will take the time to be proud of myself for graduating from college. And, as always, I’ll remember to laugh along the way. Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” I’m not going to waste a single day.

  5. Senior Year!

    January 21, 2015 by Stephanie Kocer

    Hello everyone!

    I’m starting my final semester of college and will begin the exciting search for a post-grad job very soon. I’m both nervous and very ready for this process to start. Bring it on!

    I’m going to continue my apprenticeship at Meredith Corporation this semester and will be working on my senior journalism capstone. I’ll be trying to update this site as well as my blog as much as I can!

    I’ll leave you with a quote I’m trying to live by in the last few months leading up to graduation:

    “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” -Theodore Roosevelt


  6. Welcome!

    March 29, 2013 by Stephanie Kocer


    The personal portfolio site of aspiring magazine journalist Stephanie Kocer.

    Here you will find Stephanie’s resume and skills as well as some examples of her work.


    Stephanie Kocer is a junior magazine journalism and English double major at Drake University.


    Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.


    Right now!


    To get the word out about Stephanie and what she can bring as a writer to a publication.