Meagan Banta-Lewis

Meagan Banta-Lewis

December 29, 2020

Meagan Banta-Lewis (2020)

Meagan works as a Producer for the Federal Reserve in St. Louis. Previously, she worked as a project manager for Wunderman Thompson Health, a health care marketing agency. Before that, she worked in the field for the Democratic Party, was a digital writer/videographer for KTRM/Truman Media Network, and a blogger for Nine Network of Public Media. Personally, she is an ENFJ, 213, Virgo/Pisces, a St. Louis native and aspiring New Yorker. She is frequently spotted eating shopping center Chinese food and dwelling in dive bars. She’ll only come out at night. The lean and hungry type.

What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?

I graduated in 2016 with a Communication degree emphasis in Public Communication, and minors in Film Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies.

What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?

I was involved in a lot.  I was a member of Film Club, Women’s Resource Center, UpChuckles, Lamda Pi Eta, TMN, KTRM, Beta Omega Beta . . .  #TooMuch

The poster from Meagan’s Senior Roast with UpChuckles (2016).

Did you go to grad school? If so, where?  Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait?  Why?

Funny you should ask. I just enrolled this fall at Webster in a New Media Production program. Even after school I continued to dabble. I worked in politics, customer service, marketing . . . the list goes on. It’s taken me a second, but I’ve settled into production, for now.

What was your first job after graduation?

I worked on a couple political campaigns in 2016. First, as a field assistant for Jason Kander’s senatorial race and then as a field organizer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential race. If you are interested in politics at all, I cannot recommend working on a campaign enough. The work is grueling, but incredibly rewarding. Also, a great place to network. Everyone on a campaign is only there temporarily. It’s a great place to meet different professionals in different areas if you’re still figuring it out.

Meagan (1st row, 3rd fr right) busting ghosts while working on the Clinton campaign (2016).

What work do you do/What are you doing now?

I work as a Producer for the Federal Reserve. What does that even mean? It’s mostly client-based media production. That’s the simplest description when you boil it down.

How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?

Although I have no comparison, I’d say the Liberal Arts education at Truman gave me the freedom to figure out what I wanted to declare. I was undeclared for two years and bouncing between fields helped me narrow my list until I landed on Communication. Professionally, a COMM education shaped the way I interact with my peers and how we interact with our audiences. Perhaps most importantly, it made me despise passive voice.

Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?

Interpersonal Communication (Sorry, Dr. Kleine). At the time, I thought I had it all figured out and that the material was “common knowledge.” Come to find out, I reference a lot of the theories we learned in interviews and on the job today.

What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?

Go to the Iowa Caucus! Every four years, the COMM Department gives students the opportunity to go and cover the Iowa Caucuses for TMN.  Even if you don’t like politics, it’s a great way to produce tangible work for potential employers. Also, who doesn’t love a road trip with your peers and professors?!

Meagan (2nd row, right) & compatriots triumphantly returning from the Iowa Caucuses (2016).

What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?

Gosh, if I don’t say graduating, what was the point? If I had to choose something else, I’d say roasting Dr. Self.

Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?

Of course, the small class sizes help establish great relationships with professors. Truman is easy on the professor/student ratio, and easy on the wallet. Truthfully, I couldn’t afford any other local four-year university. The scholarships they offer played a huge part in even getting my degree.

What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?

Meagan (right) and friends in front of Grim Hall (2016).

First of all, what a specific dream! Second of all, go for it. I almost passed up my current role because I thought I wasn’t qualified. Don’t count yourself out. Push yourself, oh, and prep for the interview. You never know!

What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?

Is Grim still open? Gosh, I loved that place.  (Editor’s note – Sadly, no).

What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?

“We talk real good.”   

If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?

COMM 666: Empathetic Manipulation – Discern what you will.

What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?

Everyone is faking it. When I was at Truman, I spent so much time fussing about the future only to find out that no one knows what they’re doing. Just do your best and everything will shake out fine.

Meagan feeling short in her freshman-year dorm room (2012).

If you would like to learn more of Meagan’s story, or you want to learn more about the Department of Communication, contact us!