Stephen Dykstra ’16
Pella, Iowa

Endless options

In addition to his public relations major, Stephen is minoring in political science. His dream career is working as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., on behalf of a nonprofit organization. Toward that end, he plans to spend a semester in the nation’s capital through the American Studies Program and is hoping the program’s internship will lead to an employment opportunity. Another option is to pursue a degree in communications law and work for the federal government. At Northwestern Stephen has been active in student government, worked as an editor for the student newspaper, and served as an Admissions Ambassador, peer tutor and teaching assistant.

Making connections
The communications department at Northwestern is made up of excellent faculty who are experienced and dedicated to the field. I’m amazed at the numerous opportunities that exist with public relations, and my profs do an excellent job of connecting students with those opportunities.

The right fit
I became a public relations major by accident. I was registered for a different major as a freshman, but after taking a basic writing course within the communications department, I was convinced the field was a good fit. Public relations is a diverse field that plays a role in many different industries. And the Internet is redefining communications, so the future for young PR professionals continues to look promising.

Life lessons
I appreciate Northwestern for its mission to foster learning and life-changing experiences. The knowledge and abilities represented on campus are wide and diverse, which I believe cultivates a sense of community that is unique to this college. My time at NWC has provided me with a solid educational experience and prepared me for life. I’ve learned to think critically, explore courageously, and embrace the future with anticipation.

Leadership training
I’ve had numerous leadership opportunities at Northwestern. Being a peer tutor has been a great way to push myself and help my fellow students. My involvement with student government and role as the student representative on the college’s Strategic Planning Committee has also provided leadership experience. And through the support and generosity of NWC, I also had the opportunity to attend Leadership Iowa University, a program for college-aged students in Iowa that challenged me as a leader and young professional.