Aaron transferred to Simpson last year and has been working hard to make up for lost time!
I’m studying Integrated Marketing Communications with a creative emphasis. Some classes that I have enjoyed in particular are definitely the ones I took with Professor Brian Steffen. He makes every single thing that much more interesting and he goes the extra mile to see students excel. He personally has helped me hone my writing skills during our coaching sessions for my practicum class.
As far as for extracurricular activities, besides playing baseball for the Storm, I am a part of the Simpson Student Media. Last year, I served as a sports reporter for the school newspaper, The Simpsonian. Being a part of the paper really showed me that this could be something I could enjoy doing; meeting people, writing about their life and presenting it to the public. I never really grasped what potential I could have until I won those two, first-place awards at the 2013 Iowa College Media Association convention for Best Sports Story and Best Sports Feature Story. That really sealed the deal on me wanting to work within this field. I was fortunate enough to get elected as Director of Sports Content for Simpson Student Media, and I am definitely eager to get things rolling this year. I’ll have big shoes to fill with Zach James graduating, but it is definitely going to be a lot of fun. I’ve also helped out as a student assistant to Athletic Communications Director Bryan Geelan since I stepped on campus.
Aaron has a unique internship this summer with Midwest Cage Championship, the largest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) company in Iowa. MCC hosts events at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines and their featured fighters have gone on to greatness in the UFC. We’ll let Aaron tell you more about his internship:
I currently am a Staff Writer/Media Relations Intern with Midwest Cage Championship, a cage-fighting promotion in Des Moines. I got involved with MCC through a personal connection to the co-owner, John Halverson, and his wife. They have followed bit-by-bit of my work with The Simpsonian and thought I could really contribute with the promotion. I went to one of the shows last January, and boy, seeing someone get their head pounded live rather than on television is something else! I was so amped up after watching the fights that I totally wanted to get involved and see where this goes.
To get everything started, I had to do research on my own to get a much better knowledge with the sport. MMA was a sport that was definitely overlooked by me personally as I typically follow baseball, basketball and football. I spent hour-after-hour reading MMA articles, watching YouTube clips and learning the jargon. Once I got the feel for things, I was ready to go and went right to work.
My primary duties include covering all of the fighters on our card. We typically hold 12 fights at our events, so 24 fighters each event. I’ve reached out to each one of them for interviews, then with whatever is suiting, write preview stories, feature spotlights and event previews. I also interview our fighters on-camera live at our public weigh-ins and for post-fight interviews after their fights. Along with controlling most of the digital content produced, I’ve helped out with marketing efforts via social media and have shadowed what John and my other boss, MCC co-founder and match maker Ryan Hass, do day-in and day-out.
I’ve had this internship since March and have enjoyed every second of it. I’ve met a ton of great people throughout this internship and have gained valuable experience and good networking from it. I plan on staying with MCC once my internship credit is up. Simpson has definitely prepared me for work after college, so I am confident for what my senior year brings and what I end up doing after college.
Thanks Aaron! We’ll be looking for your work in The Simpsonian in the fall and your continued hand in the promotion of MCC!