One of Drake University’s 2020 graduates, Adam Heater came to Drake as a first year, with an interest in public relations and ended up graduating with a major in Digital Media Production and a minor in Rhetoric Media and Social Change.
Heater grew up in Indianola, Iowa were he watched some of his high school friends graduate and move onto a higher education at Drake University. The campus was a familiar and comfortable place to Heater once he had graduated high school and Heater decided to attend because of his past visits to see friends on campus. Heater said he enjoyed the people and knew that Drakes journalism school would prepare him well for post college.
Once at Drake, Heater said he changed his major almost six to seven times before he found the best fit. Heater tried news, religion, public relations and many more before his involvement with Drake Broadcasting System (DBS) helped to push him down the path of digital media production.
In his first year at Drake, Heater immediately became involved with DBS and when his sophomore year came around, Heater applied for the position for the Sports Director to get a taste of his long dream of becoming a sportscaster at the time.
Heater said he was able to work on a few sports broadcasts his freshman year but admits he wasn’t very good at it and was beat out by his good friend for the position. When Heater was approached by the DBS president at the time with the position of Video Producer he said yes regardless of never having made a video before.
No one else has applied for the Video Producer position and Heater wanted to be a part of the organization, so he took the position not knowing he would find his passion in it.
“I made my first couple videos for the organization through iMovie and didn’t tell them that I was doing it through iMovie because I didn’t know how to work any other editing software,” Heater said.
Through this experience Heater was able to learn and discover what he loved doing to launch his career after graduation. The students in DBS helped Heater learn and grow, he said, Heater believes that what sets Drake apart is the quality of people that walk its campus.
“The people that end up at Drake are generally very smart, outgoing and kind,” Heater said. “More so than anything I learned in a textbook, Drake taught me how to improve myself as a person.”
While in his time at Drake, Heater participated in a program through the entrepreneurship center called the Lorentzen Student Hatchery, a program where students are coached on how to start a business with the help of start-up capital. Heater spent his summer before senior year creating his own business called Adam Heater Media LLC where Heater creates promotional video work.
During Heaters senior year at Drake he started working part-time at KCCI where Heater works on the evening broadcasts. Heater began his work at KCCI in January working behind the camera as a camera operator and has expanded his horizons by working on the audio board and with mics for the studio production.
Heater was able to expand his personal business during COVID-19 due to the rapid growth of people and businesses moving to online marketing and video content. Heater has been working with nursing homes, multiple small businesses and joined a friends business, KNM Productions where he worked as a videographer for multiple weddings over the past few months.
“A piece of advice I would give is to try a little bit of everything,” Heater said. “Especially in the J-school, I got my feet into a lot of different majors and a lot of different organizations and post graduation having a couple of public relationships classes and a couple of marketing classes under my belt, a basic understanding of a lot of different things is really beneficial.”
“Learning something you may not know a lot about and think you won’t do anything with, you might be surprised at what that information and how those connections may come up in the future, broaden your horizons, take advantage of your time on campus.”