IEC Intros: Meet Ren Mattson
by Ren Mattson on Monday, December 6, 2021
I came across the Administrative Assistant position with the Iowa Environmental Council randomly while sitting on my parents’ couch in front of my laptop four months into a rather unsuccessful job search. For a moment, I had a thought: “What if I looked for non-profit administration work here in Des Moines…beyond the performing arts?”
I graduated May 2021 from the University of Northern Iowa with my B.A. in Performing Arts Management and minors in Spanish and Women & Gender Studies. Post-graduation, I had the opportunity to serve as a marketing and public relations intern with the Des Moines Symphony. When I wasn’t working, I spent most of my time job-hunting, many of the positions I applied for being with symphonies and other performing arts organizations.
My love for music and the performing arts runs deep. I started taking piano lessons at a young age and took up flute in late elementary school. I later started singing and playing ukulele. Until that point, studying music in college was something I didn’t question. It wasn’t until my job search when I really started to wonder if I would ever be able to pursue a career outside of the performing arts, and if it would be possible with the degree I had received.
I believe in working for causes that I am passionate about, and the environment is one of them. I have always been an avid environmentalist, and coming across this position with IEC was when I realized just how amazing working with an environmental coalition could be. So I took a chance.
After completely re-working my performing arts-based cover letter, as well as second-guessing myself only a handful of times, I submitted my application materials. I was surprised to hear back about an interview, and then a second interview, and then eventually a job offer. It has been a complete whirlwind, but there is nowhere else I’d rather be and no other cause I’d rather be working for.