‘Freshman Rachel would be so surprised by senior Rachel’

NAME: Rachel Green
HOMETOWN: DeWitt, Iowa 
MAJOR: Journalism & Communication
CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Entertainment ToKnight President, Wind Ensemble, Spiritual Life and Campus Ministry

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: When I was in my college decision-making process, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go into public relations or broadcast news, so I wanted to find a place where I could study both. I toured many colleges, and Wartburg was the only place that showed me their broadcast studio, and it was also the only place that guaranteed I could get a degree with concentrations in journalism and public relations and graduate in four years. That’s how I landed at the Burg!

HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR MAJOR: I chose my major because I’ve always been interested in telling stories. Journalism and communication majors practice telling stories in many ways which leads to a variety of skills where we’re prepared to do many different things. As somebody who doesn’t know exactly where my professional journey leads, having a varied skill set makes me feel comfortable and confident that a path awaits me.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: I was accepted to the Disney College Program for Fall 2023! After graduation, I will move to Orlando, Florida, to work at the Walt Disney World Resort. Although I do not know my specific role yet, something that has been so clear to me at Wartburg is how every person plays a part in someone’s overall experience. Disney is also all about storytelling. And that’s what I’ve been focused on here at Wartburg through my classes and through the music played in Wind Ensemble. Even through ETK, one of my personal goals was to create spaces for memories to be made that become stories to tell. All of those things and more have prepared me for to help make magic as a participant in the Disney College Program. Orange magic, if you will.

Rachel Green rides her scooter in a Wartburg shirt, orange crocs and Minnie MOuse ears with an orange bow

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MEMORIES FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM & COMMUNICATION: All of my favorite memories from the Department of Journalism and Communication have been working with my friends. For example, in one of my classes, we did this thing where every night while we were working on homework before a deadline, we would all pile into cars and go to McDonald’s at 11 p.m. We used that as our brain break to just hang out and have a good time.

A highlight that will always stick with me would be my time being a DJ for the radio station, KWAR. Something that’s meant the world in learning about radio is Professor Ohrt’s support of the KWAR tagline, which is “your sound.” Whatever you are passionate about she will support you to make happen, and I think that’s really special. KWAR 89.9 hour marathons are some of my favorite memories whether that was being up at odd hours in the night, doing guest appearances on other shows, or hosting the show “Hot Seat” with Nathan Stephany my second year. I think there’s just there’s a deep connection with people who understand the trials and triumphs of being a journalism and communication major, and that has created amazing connections for me.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR FOUR YEARS AT WARTBURG: I’m most proud of actually going to things, saying ‘yes,’ and stepping outside of my comfort zone. I think freshman Rachel would be so surprised by senior Rachel. I remember when Professor Thomas Payne told me to look at the graphic design minor, and I took advantage of him saying that and added it. Taking all those classes has helped me explore this other part of me that I didn’t know about. I would never have taken a drawing class, and I would never be going to Italy in May Term if I didn’t say ‘yes’!

HOW HAS BEING PART OF ETK SHAPED YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A STUDENT:  Being a part of ETK shaped my experience as a student. As a freshman, I went ETK events, and I’ve always enjoyed event planning, but I never connected the two. When people on the executive team reached out to me to apply for a position, it not only connected a passion with an opportunity at Wartburg, but it also validated that I was an important member of this community in a way that, especially as a freshman, I think a lot of people need to feel.

My first year on staff, it changed my Wartburg experience, not only because of learning how to host collegiate events, but because those were some of the only events happening on campus due to pandemic mitigation restrictions. Being able to connect students was a really unique opportunity during that time, and a way to care for students and to care for myself. ETK has grown my comfort zone, confidence, and leadership skills. It’s challenged me in how to be a professional, but also a friend. I’ve learned a lot about energy and being able to gain energy and engage community. I see myself using all of those skills not only in the Disney College Program, but just in life. I’m forever grateful that somebody said, “Go for it, do it,” and gave me this opportunity to serve in ETK.

WHAT IMPACT DO YOU HOPE YOU’VE HAD ON THE CAMPUS: I hope I’ve impacted this campus by showing kindness in a smile and be professional without taking yourself so seriously, whether that’s wearing something bright orange or walking in Crocs. And I hope more people will ride scooters!