Foreign language graduate and Brain Stew editor Aimee Pieper lands full-time job at Steady Rain

by | Dec 19, 2022

Pieper, who worked on campus publications Brain Stew and Bellerive, accepted a position at the St. Louis-based digital marketing agency.
Aimee Pieper

Aimee Pieper, who graduated from UMSL this month, is moving on to a full-time position at Steady Rain, a digital marketing agency in St. Louis. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Aimee Pieper lasted about a week as a biology major before switching to Spanish.

It didn’t take long for Pieper, who graduated from the University of Missouri–St. Louis last week with a bachelor’s degree in modern language with an emphasis in Spanish, to realize their love of writing and editing. Studying Spanish – in addition to working on publications produced by the Pierre Laclede Honors College – allowed Pieper to develop these skills over the course of their time at UMSL.

“To be honest, Spanish is an English degree but in another language,” Pieper said with a laugh. “But Spanish is a communications degree as well. I’ve gained experience trying to learn to communicate in two different languages, which is super helpful.”

Pieper, who received several scholarships to UMSL, including the Chancellor’s Scholarship and a Pell Grant this year, was initially worried that the Honors College would be too much work. But once they learned more about its seminar-style classes, with an emphasis on reading, writing, discussion and critical thinking, they were in.

“I am not a very test-oriented person,” Pieper said. “Writing papers was a dream for me.”

Looking back, Pieper easily points to the Honors College as the best part of their UMSL experience, emphasizing the feeling of community the college provides with its smaller class sizes and frequent discussions. In addition to the personal connections Pieper made through the Honors College – they met their core friend group, who they remain close with today, freshman year – they were able to gain valuable writing and editing experience through campus publications Brain Stew and Bellerive.

While the two publications are decidedly different, they both helped Pieper grow as a writer and editor. As one of four editors for Brain Stew, Pieper rotated roles for each bi-weekly issue, including drawing, designing layouts, writing short stories and compiling the newsletter. In Brain Stew’s most recent issue, and Pieper’s final as editor, Pieper was memorialized in the publication’s trademark tongue-in-cheek fashion. And while Bellerive is, as Pieper put it, a bit more sophisticated, Pieper did their best to incorporate more comedy into the annual literary publication.

“It was definitely a mixing of worlds,” Pieper said of working on the two publications. “Bellerive has a lot of pieces that are very serious or thoughtful, and those are great. But I think we have a lot of really great artists and writers in the Honors College that can do so much more with that. And sometimes something happy and lighthearted and comedic at times can be great.”

Pieper will now be able to flex the writing and editing skills they developed at UMSL with a new full-time position at Steady Rain, a digital marketing agency based in St. Louis. Pieper, who was first connected to the company through a fellow UMSL graduate and former Brain Stew editor, started at Steady Rain as an intern last year before moving into a part-time position in November 2021. Just a few weeks ago, Pieper signed a contract to go full-time with the company as a digital marketing specialist.

Steady Rain offers a range of digital services to its clients, including digital strategy consulting, user interface and user experience design, web development, software development and digital marketing campaign strategy and management services. The agency, led by UMSL graduate Thompson Knox – a founding editor of Brain Stew – counts companies such as Build-A-Bear, the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Siteman Cancer Center among its clients.

In their role as digital marketing specialist, Pieper will be doing “a little bit of everything.” Much of the work will involve copywriting – Pieper’s favorite part of the job – in addition to working with data and running reports on SEO to keep tabs on how clients’ websites are performing online. With their promotion to full-time employee, Pieper is excited for an increase in responsibility and more exposure to client projects and leadership opportunities. They are also grateful to have the chance to translate their love of writing and editing – something they only fully recognized over the course of their time at UMSL – into a full-time job.

“I think I was helping edit a friend’s paper for one of the Honors College classes and I was just like, ‘This is really enjoyable to me,’” Pieper remembered from early in their college career. “I just like writing in general; it’s one of my passions, one of my hobbies that I really enjoy. Being able to do a little bit of that in a professional field will be awesome.”

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