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An alumna in the Advertising Age

Abbey Klaassen, JO'02, pays a visit to her alma mater

Drake University magazines major Abbey Klaassen, JO’02, is a headline-worthy example of where a Drake education can take you in a decade.

In just 10 years, Klaassen has gone from editor of Drake Magazine (fall 2000 issue) to editor at Advertising Age, a global resource for information about advertising, marketing and the media. She oversees editorial operations for the company, which offers a print magazine, robust website and active social media presence.

“Drake did a really nice job of helping me understand the business aspect of media, which is very important in today’s media marketplace,” Klaassen says. “Every editor today has to be business-minded in addition to possessing the traditional skills of writing, editing and story formulation.”

Prior to joining the Advertising Age staff, Klaassen worked as a contributing writer for Meredith Corporation in Des Moines and assistant editor for MSP Communications in Minneapolis.

Klaassen said she has two major tips for career advancement: add value to whomever you’re working for and help your audience become smarter.

Earlier this month, Klaassen shared her passion for education with journalism, marketing and business students at Drake. During her time on campus on Feb. 1, she visited classes, met one-on-one with undergraduates and gave a free public lecture about learning to thrive in a fast-growing mobile marketplace.

Klaassen was glad to find a student body that was well versed in contemporary social media techniques and business principles.

It was rare for students to use social media during her time as a Drake student — although some used MySpace and Friendster. Today, many students are required to use Twitter, maintain blogs, register their own domain name and engage in other best practices for personal branding online.

“I’m impressed by the amount of digital training students are receiving,” she says. “I mean, the idea of a journalism student graduating today without a strong background in web writing, social media and web development is kind of crazy, but that doesn’t mean students at every college or university receive that training. It’s nice to see that Drake teaches those skills, and that students are taking advantage.”