Hello, my name is Olin Meinders. I am a sophomore at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. I grew up right outside of Des Moines in Prairie City, and attended PCM High School.
At Drake, I’ve had the opportunity to expand my horizon and gain valuable life experience. It’s been a great fit so far, there’s even a building at Drake that I phonetically share name with: Olin Hall (My full name is Olin Hol Meinders). Despite being raised just 30 minutes away from downtown Des Moines, adjusting to life at Drake was not easy. Initially, I felt like a lost small-town kid. However, it only took a couple months for my college to feel like a second home.
College has allowed my gain valuable professional experience too. I was able to intern for a senatorial campaign during my first semester. I created video clips for the campaign’s social media, photographed an event, and digitally archived media.
The Iowa caucuses were a great opportunity for me to further explore the world of mass media and communications. Last January, CNN came to Des Moines to host a presidential debate on Drake’s campus. This gave me the chance to work for CNN for a week as a production assistant. The day before the debate, I participated in a mock debate where I took questions from Wolf Blitzer. The experience is one of my favorite memories from the past year.
Later that month, I held a position with CBS News as a news runner. I assisted the production team and further saw how a national news outlet operates.
During that time, I was enrolled in a January Term course offered by Drake that was aimed to allow first-year students to go back to campus to work for a political organization. The Republican Party of Iowa took me on as a communications intern.
I called hundreds of managers or secretaries of public buildings such as schools, city halls, churches, and even one man’s house to confirm information about the caucus sites.
I enjoy spending time with my friends, watching sports, hiking, analog/digital photography, exercising, and walking my dog. I have a passion for traveling, baseball, and beagles. I’ve been a Yankees fan for ten years, and have had at least one beagle in my family for my whole life.