My name is Anna VanWaardhuizen and I have always loved mysteries. Every summer I devoured Agatha Christie and Ruth Rendell novels. I still play my old Nancy Drew PC games. Veronica Mars is everything I aspired to be as a teenager. Honestly, I still want to have her wit and detective skills.
Now that I’m pursuing a career in public relations, I still love a good mystery. Usually, they come in the form of problem-solving. What can I do to create awareness, use feedback or improve my own work?
I already have some tools to solve those mysteries and more. I’m getting a great education at Drake University, with a major in public relations, a concentration in leadership and a minor in sociology. I have experience in non-profit PR, both with established organizations and start-ups.
In 2015, I interned with the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation as their public relations intern. I coordinated the Iowan of the Day Program, helped organize donation packages for Corndog Kickoff and managed two merchandise stands and the Fair Squares trailer during the Fair. It was the hardest I’ve ever worked and I gained a lot of great experience during my time there.
In 2016, I worked with the Des Moines European Heritage Association to help promote their upcoming event, Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2016. I created content for their social media and wrote weekly blog posts to promote sponsors and fundraising events. I was able to take a lot of projects and make them my own. My favorite was the social media plan to promote DMEHA’s participation in Give Local Des Moines. I was able to create and execute it. At the end of the day long giving event, I had helped raise more than $500.
Before starting my senior year at Drake University, I traveled to Belize to finish my leadership development and education capstone. I learned to collaborate with different fields of study and people from other cultures. Even better, I started exploring the mysteries of the ocean. While we studied there, I earned my PADI Advanced Open Water Scuba certification.
Right now, I’m looking for agency, social media or corporate experience to help me round out my mystery solving toolkit. After all, what’s a detective without her magnifying glass?
If you want to know more about me, you can find my resume, work samples and blog posts on this site. I’m always open to talking about my experiences. If you would like to connect, feel free to send me a message.