Name: Sonya Summerville
College & Major/Minor: West Chester University, B.A in Literature, Minor in Creative Writing
Current Location: Philadelphia, PA
Current Form of Employment: Self-Employed
Where do you work and what is your current position?
I am the owner of an editing and proofreading company - SheEditsMyPaper, LLC.
Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job.
My first job was actually a work-study job in the English department on campus. I worked for a couple of hours a week, shredding previous students' papers from the late 80s and early 90s. After many unsatisfying part-time jobs, l realized that I loved editing and that I work better on my own time, so I started my editing business.
What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?
During a very hard period in my life, I began to doubt everything; going to a university for “reading” and “writing” would end up being a waste of money, and nothing would ever come out of this. Of course, I still needed to make money. I applied for a freelance writing job, writing product descriptions. I never experienced such happiness from a job and decided that writing (and editing) were the path for me.
What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?
I didn't necessarily know the post-grad plan while in college. I'd be a graduating senior, with a degree in "Reading" and a minor in "Writing", assuming that I’d go home and work on the books I’d been telling people I was going to write. I did, however, understand, while in college, that I loved editing, but I didn’t know it would lead to me starting a business.
What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?
Some majors come with a ‘set-in-stone’ career plan. English is not one of them (in most cases). It allows you to create your own plan, but it’s easy to get off course. My advice to you is to create your own plan and commit to it. It may take a little time to get in your groove, but if it’s really what you want to do, it’ll all be worth it.