Friday, June 20, 2014

Seeing Stars and Stripes: Dora Grote Takes on Washington

During the school year, you might find 21 year-old Dora Grote wandering the lush University of Iowa campus, enjoying the picturesque scene set by the towering fa├žade of Iowa’s Old Capitol building in the center of campus.

But this summer, Grote has a different Capitol building in her sights.

An ASME intern at Washingtonian, Grote is spending the summer immersing herself in the rich culture of this nation’s capital.

“Working at this regional magazine, which is a service magazine, has really helped me get acclimated to D.C.,” Grote said. “What better place to find the best restaurants, stores, and trails than the ‘Best of Washington’ magazine edition?”

Grote certainly is taking in all that the city has to offer, from working just a few blocks from the White House, to going on runs through the National Mall and seeing the Washington Monument, reflecting pool and the Lincoln Memorial.

However, Grote said she has enjoyed her work at the Washingtonian the most thus far because she learns something new every day. Her work in the past few weeks has included reporting for the “Pets” section of the magazine, and her duties include helping editors with research, participating in happy hour events hosted by the magazine for readers, and posing for a photo shoot which featured Grote reaching for a book.
Grote was featured in Washingtonian's book section.

“I think the best part about working for a regional magazine that's all about Washington is the sense of community and dedication in the newsroom,” Grote said. “Every issue is Washington-themed and serving the readers in the area. Also, it's nice because we have concrete staff writers and editors who cover certain beats and topics. [This] teaches you to be crafty and think outside the box to put a new spin on old topics.”

Grote applied to the ASME program upon learning about the excellent opportunities given to its interns to work in a major city. She said she knew she wanted to leave Iowa for the summer and evolve through new experiences.

“I applied because I knew I could take on the challenge,” Grote said. “I knew it'd be a learning experience, and I truly believe in being a life long learner.”

However, leaving her home wasn’t easy. She attributes her love of nature and her compassion for others to growing up in a state where the saying, “Iowa nice” rings true.

Grote is also the youngest of five siblings in her family. Her sister Lydia Reis said Grote has always exhibited traits that make her a top-notch journalist.

She is driven, ambitious, hard working and passionate,” Reis said. “She will not consider her work done until it is perfect.”

Grote, a journalism and mass communications major with an emphasis in political science, works for University of Iowa’s TV station as news director and has previously worked for the campus newspaper, the Daily Iowan. She said that she was first drawn to magazine journalism after writing a long form piece for the newspaper. Her favorite thing about IU, however, is football season, and she looks forward to game days when, “the campus is flooded with black and gold.”

Though Grote said she would be happy living in Iowa for the rest of her life, she dreams of experiencing city life before putting down any roots. As for right now, Grote hopes to finish the summer with a greater insight into the direction she will pursue in the journalism field.

“I don't have a set journalism career,” Grote said. “I certainly love magazines, but I don't know what type of magazine I am set on yet. I also want to learn how to be adaptable and how to dive right in to a new job and new city and go in full force. I want to learn software systems, how a national magazine works, the whole process of putting a magazine together from start to finish, and how to do journalism on a larger scale, since I'm used to focusing on a decently small town and working with peers. I want to learn how to go about journalism in the right way.”

-- Chelsea Stone, University of Southern California, Reader's Digest 
--Edited by Rose Minutaglio, Trinity University, Sports Illustrated 

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