Elizabeth Enochs: Staff Writer at Mercy For Animals & Freelance Writer


Name: Elizabeth Enochs

Age: 27

College & Majors/Minors: Southeast Missouri State University: BA degree in English-Writing with a minor in Small Press Publishing; Three Rivers College: AA degree in English.

Current Location: Long Beach, CA

Current Form of Employment: Staff Writer at Mercy For Animals and freelance writer on the side

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I’m a staff writer at Mercy For Animals, an international non-profit animal advocacy organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies. I also freelance for a few websites, like POPSUGAR, and I’ve had pieces published in Bustle, AlterNet, Girlboss, and a few others.

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).

I found my first freelance writing job through my cousin. A friend of hers from high school, who grew up in the same small Missouri town that we did, ended up moving to Manhattan and getting a managing editor job at Complex, a New York-based website focused on youth culture. I emailed her my resume and samples of my work, but I remember feeling so nervous about the whole thing that I almost didn’t reach out to her. I had no idea what I was doing, or how to pitch an editor, so I just winged it. Shortly after that, the editor got back to me and asked if I could write articles about new technologies, like smart homes and apps. I knew almost nothing about tech at the time, but I took the job anyway. Less than a week later, I turned in my first paid writing assignment. My editor loved it!

I found my current job through an editor I worked with at Bustle. Shortly after she was hired at Mercy For Animals, she called me to see if I would be interested in applying for the staff writer job I have now. It wasn’t as easy as answering the phone though—I went through an application process that spanned several months, and I had about six interviews before I got the job. I also did a ton of research to prepare. The summer before I got the job, I watched every documentary about factory farming that I could find. Then I moved to Los Angeles so I could pursue my current job even more seriously. To hold me over financially, I freelanced for several websites and secured a paid editorial internship at Girlboss, a Los Angeles-based media outlet. Incidentally, that internship made me an even more desirable candidate for my current job.

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

I wrote for Bustle — a feminist news and lifestyle website — for almost three years, and I feel like that job launched my career in many ways. I learned so much about essay writing, pitching, and journalism during my time there. I learned how to interview sources, how to report on an event, how to write a profile piece, and I spent countless hours researching everything from women’s health to solo travel to politics. I often joke that working for Bustle was like going to graduate school, except they paid me. Writing for Bustle enabled me to move to Brooklyn for a while, which was an incredible experience and career move. Perhaps more importantly, Bustle is where I met my current supervisor.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

Not enough. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard in college—I graduated from my university’s honors program and I completed an internship in small press publishing as well. I also worked throughout college so I wouldn’t owe an exorbitant amount of money when I graduated. But college didn’t really teach me how to get a job, how to pitch an editor, how to network, or how to use the internet to get writing jobs. Everything I learned about writing and pitching in college was exclusive to academic and fiction writing, so I felt very unprepared for the real world after I graduated college.

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

The internet is your friend! Whether your specialty is writing, editing, or even teaching, get online. Even if you don’t find a job to apply for right away, you’ll probably learn something. Take advantage of whatever connections you have, and don’t feel bad about it. Be afraid to take risks, but do it anyway. Study the people you admire, or people who are doing the kind of work you want to do—research how they got to where they are now, and try to apply their tactics to your own life. Be prepared to work really hard, but also take time to rest so you don’t burn out. If you think you might find more success in a bigger city, and you have close friends living in that city, see if you can stay with them while you look for jobs. Most importantly, don’t give up. You’ve got this!

You can read examples of Elizabeth’s work here, connect with her on Twitter here, or follow her on Instagram here!

Posted on October 15, 2018 .

Paris Kim: Content & Social Media Manager


Name: Paris Kim

Age: 26

College & Majors/Minors: B.A. in English, concentration in Creative Writing

Current Location: San Francisco, CA

Current Form of Employment: Content Management for Wish, Editor-in-Chief of Marjorie Magazine

Where do you work and what is your current position? 

I currently work in content management for the Ecommerce app Wish, a growing shopping platform with over 150 million worldwide users. I am also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marjorie Magazine, a vintage lifestyle magazine coming onto its third print issue this spring.

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different). 


My first job was a lucky break after just graduating from the University of San Francisco. I spent all summer indulging myself in creative DIY projects with designing notebook covers and typewriting my own prose, and it was put to great use during my time as a creative workshop captain for Paper Source's Fillmore Street location. All of us who worked there even got to design and display our own greeting cards made in-house, and shoppers were always asking about them. A year after working for Paper Source, I wanted to move up into the field of marketing, where I landed an internship with a small web interface startup called myWebRoom. Six months after writing copy for their products and their blog, I was approached by my current company, Wish, to help build and moderate the content on the app as well as launch and moderate their social media.

Having worked in San Francisco and surrounded by tech-talk for four years now, that is when I decided to create in March 2017 my own online publication and print magazine, Marjorie, devoted to vintage lifestyle in the modern world. I love vintage, from fashion to music and design, and naturally I wanted to find an outlet to write about these passions while connect with other like-minded creatives. When there was none to be found, besides small niche communities on Facebook and Instagram, I realized that I had to make it myself.

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career? 

Freelancing in between my time at Paper Source and myWebRoom really helped propel me into the right direction in terms of what I wanted to achieve with my writing. Simply looking for opportunities on Craigslist opened doors into what sort of writing jobs were out there and which ones made the most sense for my style and background.

For a time, I also branched out to open mics across San Francisco and connected with poets to share my old typewritten prose, to which I realized that was not for me. I also found out about the incredible world of self publishing and began to publish my own books via Blurb featuring my poetry and personal essays. I still use Blurb to this day for Marjorie. It's a great start to building your portfolio and learning design, or just getting your work out there; you don't have to wait around for the big publishers at Penguin or The New Yorker to deem your book readable—if you have a story and you put social media and your networking to use, you're always guaranteed devoted readers, no matter how big or small, that will want to read, that will want to buy and invest in your talent.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life? 

I landed an exciting opportunity to intern for McSweeney's, reading submissions and fact-checking articles for their sister publication The Believer, while also volunteering as a tutor for grade-school students over at 826 Valencia. The interns even had monthly meet-ups with Dave Eggers himself—it was quite surreal! I was given the chance to pitch my own stories for both McSweeney's and The Believer, for the latter actually being commissioned to interview my favorite band, The Airborne Toxic Event, who happened to be in town that spring. Even though the editors ultimately passed on the final piece, they were helpful in providing alternative places to get it published and even referred me over to editors at The Rumpus. All of the ups and downs in my internship and college years spent as an English major were documented in my personal blog at the time, Paris Kim Writes.


What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree? 


My advice is simply to put your passions to paper, write it out, whatever IT is. A small idea, random words, just as long as you're still devoted to your words and ideas and never lose sight of these things that make you unique as an English major. And take charge of your resources. In just a few years from my Craigslist-surfing days I discovered a multitude of places to connect with other writers and find new opportunities for work. There's Shut Up and Write on Meetup, which are weekly sit-ins with other local writers at a cafe or elsewhere to just sit together and write; there's plenty of Facebook groups advertising freelance work and great media to apply to and get feedback; and of course, there's always open mics, for you never know who might be lurking in those crowds. The support is there, and I've listed a few, and it's there for you to take and know confidently that there is always something exciting waiting for you and your work on the horizon!



Posted on May 7, 2018 and filed under Content Marketing, Social Media, Interview, Interviews.

Jean Baur: Self-Employed Writer & Speaker

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Name: Jean Baur    

Age: 71

College & Majors/Minors: Lake Forest College, English Major with Honors

Current Location: Connecticut

Current Form of Employment: Self-employed: writer and speaker

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I work from home and write books, and I also create and give presentations to a wide range of industry groups, from librarians to insurance executives.

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).

My first really good job was working in NYC as a corporate trainer. I researched the company, found connections, and went after them until they hired me. I was hired to teach business writing, but soon also taught presentation skills. And then they asked me and one of the account executives to revise the writing program, which we did.

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

I worked as a freelance writer for many years and learned that I could write just about anything if I understood what was needed. I wrote for the food industry, Time Life Books, a small publisher, ETS, and so on. This gave me confidence and diverse opportunities.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

Not much. It was a tricky time as the war in Vietnam was raging and many of us were focused on social issues—stopping the war, race relations, poverty—without any real career path. I took the GREs, but knew I didn't want to go to grad school. It took me a long time to realize that my degree in English had prepared me for many types of work.

What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

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Take advantage of internships, and your career counseling office at your school. Don't worry about not knowing what you want as you'll discover that as you try out different jobs. For some, the job will simply be a way to make money so that they have time to write, while for others, the job itself matters more. Remember, every organization needs people who have what you have: great analytical skills, deep knowledge of human behavior and strong writing and editing skills. It won't be easy and your career path, like mine, may zig and zag a bit. But you'll never be bored and as long as you keep reinventing yourself, you'll be fine. I've been a corporate trainer, a creative writing teacher, a freelance writer, an author, a career coach, a florist, a mother, a therapy dog handler and a speaker. So much fun!

If you want to learn more about Jean, you can visit her site at JeanBaur.com. You can also check out a few of her books here: 

By Jean Baur
By Jean Baur
By Jean Baur

Posted on April 21, 2018 and filed under Self-Employed, Writing, Writer.

Jimmy Daly: Marketing Director


Name: Jimmy Daly

Age: 31

College & Majors/Minors: English

Current Location: Vail, CO

Current Form of Employment: Marketing Director at Animalz (a content marketing agency)

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I’m currently the marketing director at a startup agency called Animalz. We specialize in content strategy and creation for software-as-a-service companies. The company is based in New York City, but we have employees all over the world. I’m lucky enough to call Vail, CO home.

My current focus is on launching a company blog. It’s highly strategic—you won’t find information like this on other content marketing blogs.

Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).

Every job I’ve had since graduating college 10 years ago has come through a personal connection. I first put my writing skills to use for a family friend. He ran a web design company and needed some to help with email and content marketing. That job led to connections, which led to another opportunity, which led to more connections and more opportunities.

One great thing about working in content marketing is that all of my work is public on the web. My current boss hired me after reading work I’d published for another company. 

What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?

Early in my career I worked for an agency that required me to write 2-3 articles every single day. It was a grind, but I learned more about writing in those two years than I have before or since. I learned to be efficient, to quickly identify great ideas, and to create archetypes that I could use over and over again. There’s nothing like shipping new work on a regular basis to hone your skills.

What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?

Honestly, nothing.

I studied English because I liked writing, but I spent a lot of time fretting about what I would do with the degree. What I didn’t realize at the time was that writing is the foundational skill of many jobs in the tech sector. If you can write, you can find a good job.


What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?

A lot of people are going to ask you some variation of “So, what are you going to do with that English degree?” Ignore them. Keep an open mind. Your options are nearly limitless.

I never thought I’d spend 10 years working in software and tech, but it’s been a great adventure and I’m really excited at my future prospects. 

Most of my work is featured on the Animalz content marketing blog  including a post on commercial writing skills that I think would be useful to any English major. I also send a weekly newsletter for marketers and other creatives called Swipe File.

Posted on April 21, 2018 and filed under Marketing, Interviews, Interview.