Posts filed under Social Media

Paris Kim: Content & Social Media Manager

unnamed-191.jpg

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). 

unnamed-195.jpg
unnamed-20.png

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.

unnamed-192.jpg
unnamed-193.jpg

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

unnamed-19.png

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!

***

Links:


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

Alaina Leary: Social Content Curator & Freelancer

Name: Alaina Leary

Age: 23

College & Majors/Minors: Westfield State University, English with a concentration in Writing, Editing, and Media (Bachelor of Arts degree, May 2015); Emerson College, Publishing and Writing (in-progress Master of Arts degree, expected May 2017)

Current Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Current Form of Employment: Full-time, regular, plus I have several ongoing freelance roles

Where do you work and what is your current position?

Right now, I'm working at Connelly Partners / Breaktime Media, and I'm a Social Content Curator on several different client accounts. I'm involved in a lot of different aspects of social media, including community management, content audits, analytics and regular reporting, strategy development, creating posts (writing the copy, contributing design ideas and video concepts), scheduling posts, running social media ads, and working with bloggers, user-generated content, and social media influencers. I also work with some longer form content, including print and online magazines and blogs, and help out as needed with the publicity and PR side of social.

I'm also involved in a few ongoing freelance projects, including Her Campus, Luna Luna Magazine, We Need Diverse Books, Dear Hope, and Doll Hospital. In these projects, I have varied responsibilities, mainly tied into social media, editing, writing, graphic and web design, marketing, and publicity.

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

My first job out of college was at a start-up that owned 19 local websites. I worked mainly on the feature stories program—seeking sources, reaching out for features, interviewing sources, editing content written by our freelance writers, curating photos, writing headlines and subheads, and electronically publishing. I did a bit of copywriting, social media, and community management work as well.

I found that job on Craigslist jobs, which I've always found kind of ironic. I was afraid of using Craigslist to look for work, but at the time, I'd been applying since December of my senior year (more heavily since February of that year). I'd used every career website, but I'd never used Craigslist. So I gave it a shot, and the interview process went so well, so I accepted the position. I really enjoyed working there, and it gave me the opportunity to use more than one skill set, which was fantastic.

“As it turns out, I wasn’t right for a senior role, but the recruiter told me not to give up, and I didn’t. I reapplied for another position in March, and she asked me if I’d be interested in joining the team on the client-facing side, as part of the agency.”

I found my current job in an interesting way. I connected with a recruiter at Breaktime Media in January for a senior editor position for an entertainment website that my company owns. I was really passionate about working at the company, but I didn't have quite the experience level that was necessary for the open role. After talking with the recruiter, I was even more convinced that this company was right up my alley. When she and I talked company culture, I tried really hard not to imagine myself getting the job. I didn't want to get too excited. As it turns out, I wasn't right for a senior role, but the recruiter told me not to give up, and I didn't. I reapplied for another position in March, and she asked me if I'd be interested in joining the team on the client-facing side, as part of the agency. I've worked in an agency setting before, and I loved it, so I said yes. The interview process convinced me even more that this was the right fit for me, and I'm so glad that I didn't give up! It just goes to show you that showing particular enthusiasm about a company or a type of role can go a long way—and so can finding a recruiter who you click with!

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

While I was still in college, I worked at a media agency, as I mentioned before. In that role, I wasn't dedicated to one branch, like I am now, because it was a much smaller agency in Western Massachusetts. I started there on co-op and was hired on as staff afterward. That job was crucial to getting where I am today. Not only did I learn a variety of skills and get to use more than one skill while I was there, but I also learned what it's like to work with clients directly, which was extremely beneficial for me later getting freelance work and now, working at an agency. In that role, I had an opportunity to work with writing, editing, graphic design, journalism, video editing, social media, PR, publicity outreach, and even customer service and administrative tasks. And the biggest thing that stuck with me? My incredible relationship with my supervisor, who I still speak with on a regular basis. She was my mentor throughout the process, and we really connected. I can't tell you how important this relationship was for my career development.

“And the biggest thing that stuck with me? My incredible relationship with my supervisor, who I still speak with on a regular basis. She was my mentor throughout the process, and we really connected. I can’t tell you how important this relationship was for my career development.”

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

I took on three internships and several other professional development roles, including working freelance with two area nonprofits (Habitat for Humanity and Hope For Limpopo). I took a career prep class that gave me the opportunity to do mock interviews, practice my "60 second elevator pitch," and have my resume and cover letters critiqued. I took several other unique and useful classes, including special topics in freelance writing and advanced prose, which helped hone my skills and sharpen my ability to edit and refine my work.

I was an honors student, and I decided to do an in-depth thesis project on social media's influence on our relationships, which has been really helpful in my capacity working with social media and learning about human behaviors online and why they happen. It also gave me a chance to work one-on-one with a team of advisors, including a main advisor who I met with every week, and who gave me incredibly beneficial constructive criticism. 

I also worked on campus as a writing consultant at the reading and writing center, and as a tutor in almost 20 different subjects. My work as a writing tutor—and in the class I had to take to prepare to become one—was hugely helpful. My professor was adamant that all of us learn the importance of revising, and it actually changed the way I see the editing process for the better. She also inspired all of us to work on campus social justice issues. Because of that experience, along with three fellow writing tutors and the Student Veterans Association, I wrote a proposal for a veterans' center to be created on campus—and it's now in the process of becoming real.

I presented my work at five conferences, which was wonderful for my public speaking and presentation skills, and gave me the confidence I really needed when I was asked back as an alumni speaker for my college's annual English department award ceremony. 

Making connections was the best thing I did in college, though, as much as every professional experience gave me useful technical skills and practice. My work on Dear Hope came directly from the writing tutor veterans' center project, because DH's founder was a part of our four-person group. He and I have remained really close, and we believe in the same things, which is why Dear Hope is a perfect project to collaborate on. My relationships with supervisors and professors in college were also crucial. I still ask my former professors for career and professional advice (they're probably sick of me!), and connect with them about what I'm up to. The only reason I was invited back as a distinguished alumni is probably because I've kept up such strong connections. I've worked with my former professors, Catherine Savini and Beverly Army Williams, on their new website MotherShould? www.mothershould.com, and I've kept in contact with many colleagues and classmates, too.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t get a job with an English degree. You can get so MANY jobs with one! In today’s fast-paced digital age, an excellent writer is a necessary skill to get people’s attention and keep it.”

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

Do it! Don't let anyone tell you that you can't get a job with an English degree. You can get so MANY jobs with one! In today's fast-paced digital age, an excellent writer is a necessary skill to get people's attention and keep it. You also don't need to be a full-time writer just because you have an English degree. People with English degrees can go to jobs in editing, digital and social media, PR, marketing, publishing, and many other fields. There are no limits unless you create them for yourself by saying that you can't do it.

Also, connect with fellow English majors and ask English grads what they're doing. Get a feel for what you might want to do early on, and try it out via an internship or co-op. Find out what your passions are and go for it! And don't be afraid to ask people in your dream job how they got there and what their advice is!

Visit AlainaLeary.com to learn more about Alaina and her work, and connect with her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


Rebecca J. Griffith: Social Media Customer Support Leader @ Safeway, Inc.

Name: Rebecca J. Griffith

Age: 30

College & Majors/Minors: Northern Arizona University, Bachelors of Arts, English 2012

Current location: Phoenix

Current form of employment: Social Media Customer Support Leader, Safeway, Inc.

A few months after graduating with my English degree, my husband and our two dogs and I moved from Northern Arizona down to Phoenix. We knew that there was a larger, if not more lucrative, job market here in the city compared to the relatively limited one in Flagstaff, where I finished my schooling. (Flagstaff is a small city, with a relatively high cost of living. It’s not ideal for the post-grad to find something that can stand up to student loan repayment.) Down to the hot, sprawling city we came, and my first step was to check online and at job fairs for anything that might get me in the door to something where I could use my degree.

After some searching, I started to realize that my qualifications landed somewhere in between the requirements of the job postings I was circling in my search. I found many entry level jobs, and many jobs requiring some kind of business admin, library science, or other specified degree criteria. I had already worked for several years in assorted customer service positions, some of which were more inclusive of writing and grammar skills, but none of which had fit the bill of something I wanted to stay with, long-term. I got frustrated, and wondered where I fit in this transitioning, digitally-driven job market that I emerged into after college.

While I was in college, I imagined that graduation day would be the end of one thing and the start of another. "Time to end the schooling phase and enter the working phase of my career," I thought. However, very few things in life are black and white like that. I didn't exit one door with my degree, and enter the next with a set career trajectory and contract in hand. For me, it didn't work that way. And that is okay. With my degree in hand, so to speak, I at least had the confidence to seek out something that sounded somewhat satisfying. 

“About a week in, I found out there was a writing team at the company that dealt with written correspondence, and I could try to get into it if I wanted to. Well, of course I wanted to!”

I decided to take what I could get and (hopefully) work my way into something where I could utilize my training and education. After all, I couldn’t expect to leave college, become an acclaimed nonfiction writer, and begin drawing the blueprints to my Tuscan villa just yet! That’s when I started my journey at Safeway, Inc. I was hired as a Customer Support Agent, and started by taking calls all day, every day, to assist with the myriad issues that arise in the grocery industry. About a week in, I found out there was a writing team at the company that dealt with written correspondence, and I could try to get into it if I wanted to. Well, of course I wanted to! After expressing interest and taking a simple writing exam, I was accepted onto the team. It certainly didn’t hurt that I came in with a swanky English degree! ;)

Fast forward three years to today: I am among the leadership in the Social Media Department for a Fortune 100 grocery chain that spans the United States. I write to customers and executives all day, every day, via email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogs. I am a part of the corporate side of the company who deals with both customer support and marketing, and I get to work closely with customer support agents, marketing directors, digital marketing specialists, and other company support networks.

Goodbye, phone calls, and hello, digital! I have learned tremendously valuable computer skills, and even honed my personal writing skills as a result of the demands of this position. Part of my passion is writing for an intended audience, and the challenge of determining that audience’s voice via the written word keeps me fascinated. 

It isn’t where I though my first post-grad job would land me, and I have plenty more goals and room to grow in my career. But it is certainly one way to make ends meet while making that degree work for me.

“And herein lies the beauty: we are needed just about everywhere.”

Take it from me, it’s easy to get discouraged. But don’t fall prey to this, fellow English lovers! The English degree, unlike some others, does not automatically route you into a field that is conducive to the work we want to do or are passionate about doing. If you pursued an English degree, chances are you have an appreciation for things that a typical 9-5 job may not satisfy: arts, poetry, literature, prose, history… unless you dedicate yourself to teaching a similar subject, many industries just don’t require or feed such an appreciation. But reach out anyway—take a chance somewhere, and see where your amazing skill set can help the company! You never know who may end up needing your help to edit correspondence that goes to an executive, or hears that you are strong in the written word and turns to you for proofreading help (which can pay quite well, in fact.) The doors that open for us may not be the big, grand, obvious ones that say “Doctors and Nurses, enter here,” or “Automotive Mechanics, right this way.” They are more hidden, a little more mysterious, and take some digging to find. And herein lies the beauty: we are needed just about everywhere. 

The best advice I can provide is to use your time at school to take in everything you possibly can to begin networking with people. Go to poetry readings at the university or college, or perhaps local poetry slams. Stay abreast of writers who are publishing in your areas of interest, and read everything there is to get your hands on. Engage in what inspires you, and make writing a habit as well as a hobby. Spend time researching what is required to enter the field that interests you, and go for it! The momentum involved in your years of higher education is the catalyst you will need to come out strong and with opportunities behind those numerous (if slightly obscured) doors that are waiting to receive us. 


Posted on May 24, 2016 and filed under Interviews, Interview, Social Media.

Jenna Stolfi: Gallery Manager, Writer & Researcher

Name: Jenna Stolfi

Age: 27

College & Majors/Minors: English with an emphasis in Creative Writing; Minor in Communications

Current Location: South Florida

Current Form of Employment: Gallery Manager, Writer, and Researcher

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I currently am the Gallery Manager, Writer, and Researcher for Daniels Antiques, a luxury antiques business.

This is not your grandma's dusty old antique shop. We specialize in selling polished WWII Binoculars, antique Louis Vuitton trunks, vintage coin-op and arcade machines, antique slot machines, and contemporary art. It is an eclectic, museum-quality collection that is a testament to both human ingenuity and a bygone era.

  Jenna Stolfi in the Daniels Antiques Gallery

Jenna Stolfi in the Daniels Antiques Gallery

As the writer and researcher, I am responsible for all written content, which includes all social media accounts, email correspondences, product descriptions, marketing materials, and the blog. I learn something new every day.

My challenge each day is to make each of our items come to life, whether it be through the content I disseminate via various online channels, or through the spoken word when I am educating or selling to a prospective buyer.

As I have transitioned into taking over more responsibilities on the gallery management side of things, I have learned more about business operations than I ever expected to. 

I think if I would have gone into a larger corporation, my position would have been a lot more narrow in scope. As one of four members of the business, I have many different responsibilities. This amount of responsibility has increased my skill set in ways I never could have imagined. I have learned the art of negotiation, learned accounting practices, and even become well-versed in shipping logistics, all while building my writing portfolio.

  The Daniels Antiques Gallery

The Daniels Antiques Gallery

While at first it may be appealing to go right after the big companies when you begin your job search, don't rule out smaller family-owned or local businesses, where you can become an integral member of a team.

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

When I first got out of college, the entry-level jobs I was most interested in were either unpaid or very low-paying jobs in expensive cities that would have required a cross-country move. I was apprehensive about going into debt or getting in over my head financially. 

While I continued my job search, I became a full-time server. I was fortunate to work at a high-volume restaurant for most of my tenure, and found that the flexible schedule and the pay afforded me a great opportunity: time and money. I was able to take on additional side-jobs regardless of what I was being paid.

Social media and the internet are absolutely great for finding opportunities, but it is important to thoroughly research any person or company you are going to work for, especially if it is unpaid. There are a lot of people and businesses out there that try to exploit aspiring writers or recent graduates, so exercise caution if anything seems off. Always trust your intuition.

I was fortunate to work with a few great non-profits and small businesses that needed content for their websites but were too busy and too understaffed to create content on their own. I volunteered my services for free in order to build my portfolio.

This strategy worked, and the writing experience that I gained while working as a server allowed me to transition into the next stage of my career, which was becoming the full-time writer and researcher at Daniels Antiques.

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

While it wasn't a job, one of the most important decisions I have made so far in my career was to pursue the Professional Sequence in Editing through University of California-Berkeley's Online Extension. I began this program while I was a server, and completed it while I was in my current position.

I wanted to supplement the creative skills I had practiced in my undergrad with the technical side of my craft, which is editing. This sequence begins with a much-needed refresher in grammar and mechanics, something that you don't actually spend much time on in an English degree! The middle two courses focus on copyediting, and the final course immerses you in substantive editing.

This sequence buttressed my confidence as both a writer and editor. I learned things that have helped organize my writing that I never would have thought of, such as style sheet generation. I also met a great group of diverse, virtual classmates who shared their wide range of experiences in different realms of both the writing and editing profession. 

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

When I was in college, I jumped at any opportunity that was put before me. If there was a club that sounded interesting, I attended the meeting. If a professor was looking for researchers, I volunteered. 

I always pushed myself to try something new and to get outside of my comfort zone, which is a spirit that I continue to feed in my post-grad life. You never really know which opportunity will either directly or indirectly take you where you want to go.

I would say one of the most formative experiences of my college career was participating in the required advanced writing workshops. The workshops were no more than 18 people, and you were required to write a piece of either fiction or a small collection of poetry, and pass it out to every member of the workshop. Then, for a full class period, you had to sit in silence while everyone discussed your work. You could not defend your work, you could not clarify anything. All you could do was listen.

It was both a petrifying and illuminating experience that taught me how to handle constructive criticism. It taught me how to put myself out there, and also how to look someone in the eye and stand by my work. 

If you are trying to become a professional writer or journalist, in the beginning so much of what you do involves the process of writing queries and submitting. It is a trying and difficult process that requires both vulnerability and detachment from yourself and your work. Workshops are an invaluable tool that can help you callous the skin you will undoubtedly need to be a writer.

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

Read as much as possible, all the time. Read books on craft, read books for fun. Ingest as many words as you can stand.

If you are trying to get published, many publications will put their contributor guidelines on their websites. Do the research. I recommend making a Twitter account to follow literary magazines, editors, other writers, and publications you want to submit to so you can get a good idea of what they are already publishing.

Explore all of your options when it comes to picking your career path. I never would have imagined myself working in a gallery, but I wouldn't change it for anything. Apply to jobs whether or not you think you have the experience. Try to add to your portfolio whenever you can.

English degrees can be one of the most valuable degrees out there because of their versatility. People are consuming so much information each day thanks to the internet. I don't think there has ever been a more important time than now to be able to write well and communicate clearly, and I don't think that's ever going to change.

You can read more of Jenna's writing online on her eco-conscious travel and lifestyle blog and on her recently launched vintage and antique book blog. You can also connect with her on Twitter.


Lauren Pope: Copywriter & Social Media Marketing Manager

DEM_Round_LaurenPope.jpg

Name: Lauren Pope

Age: 24

College Major: BA English Lit/Creative Writing

Current Location: St. Louis, MO

Current Form of Employment: Copywriter/Social Media Marketing Manager

Where do you work and what is your current position? 

I currently work for Imagery Marketing Group as a Copywriter and Social Media Marketing Manager. I specialize is social content creation, marketing copywriting and all things social media.

Tell us how you found your first job and how you found your current job.

I spent the summer after graduating cold applying to every publishing house I could. I’d gone to school to become an editor and one day a publisher, so I was blindly following that path with little to no success. In the five months I applied to editorial positions I only heard back from one Big Five publisher and that interview didn’t go anywhere past the first round.

I was at dinner with family and friends when one of my fathers friends jokingly mentioned that the marketing group his company had hired didn’t know how to write to save their lives and he casually mentioned they could use someone like me. That’s when I broadened my search and discovered the world of marketing. Another family friend mentioned the FleishmanHillard internship program after I expressed interest in marketing and that was how I got my start.

I swear by LinkedIn when searching for jobs. LinkedIn and Glassdoor are the two websites I recommend every job seeker utilize to their full advantage.

My current position was found through LinkedIn. My experiences with Fleishman and my LinkedIn page scored me the interview and I was hired the same day I went in to talk with the people at Imagery. I swear by LinkedIn when searching for jobs. LinkedIn and Glassdoor are the two websites I recommend every job seeker utilize to their full advantage. 

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

Being a freelance copyeditor. I work for Booktrope for freelance work and I think editing the work of others has made my own writing stronger. You can get stuck in a rut with your writing that sometimes it’s nice to step back and see what others are putting out into the world. You can see different writing styles while editing and decide you like something that someone else is trying, or see something you don’t like at all and figure out why you don’t like it. Editing the work of others really centers you on your own voice and preferences. 

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

Internships! Internships of any kind. I had a year of editing experience by the time I left college through two internship programs at my University. When I was applying at Fleishman I had no marketing experience, but the fact that I was an editor by trade really helped me stand out to them. Almost any skill is transferable if you know how to spin it. So my advice is to start looking for experiences you can bolster your resume with while you’re still in school. 

And join a book club. Join a writing guild. Join clubs and programs that compliment your skills. Don’t play down the fact that you’re an English major. You need to embrace your strengths.

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

If you’re going to claim you’re a writer on your resume or in a job, you need to have published work or a portfolio. When I first started applying to jobs I was telling people I was a writer because, well, I am. But I was writing short stories that weren’t a good fit for company applications. Thankfully the company I applied to had a writing test so I could prove my chops, but I lost several opportunities because I didn't have "real world friendly" writing pieces to highlight my skills. Start a blog or find a website that does think pieces and write for them. Write original pieces for your LinkedIn page. You just need to have something tangible that you can bring to the person hiring to show them that you can write. It seems like a no brainer but you would be surprised.

LinkedIn is my other piece of advice. Weaponize it. It’s Facebook for the corporate world. Go to Walgreens and get a decent headshot of yourself for your LinkedIn page for $3 and spend an afternoon really crafting something that shows your strengths as an English major and writer. People will look you up on LinkedIn when you’re interviewing and a strong profile can make or break you. Use it to connect to industries you want to work in. Find others with the job you want and message them to ask them how they got there. Join groups and use it to meet and talk with people in the industry you're trying to break into. Use it to find a job. LinkedIn is the best resource people aren’t using.


 Chelsea Phipps: Community Management Lead

Chelsea Phipps: Community Management Lead

 Sydney Turnquist: Social Media Coordinator

Sydney Turnquist: Social Media Coordinator

 Mollie Turbeville: Content Editor & Freelance Book Editor

Mollie Turbeville: Content Editor & Freelance Book Editor

Posted on January 17, 2016 and filed under Copywriting, Social Media.

Chelsea Phipps: Community Management Lead

Name: Chelsea Phipps

Age: 29

College: University of Washington 

Major: English: Creative Writing

Minor: Diversity Studies

Current Location: Seattle, Washington

Current field: Social Media Marketing

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I currently work at a social media marketing agency as the Community Management Lead. My team and I represent a variety of local and nationwide brands on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. We write Facebook posts, tweets and interact with our brands’ fan bases across all platforms.

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

My first job after college was as a seasonal hire for the Seattle International Film Festival on the Marketing & Communications team. In this role, I wrote copy for SIFF’s website, e-newsletter, print media and even wrote film blurbs for the Seattle Times! I found this job simply by browsing SIFF’s website and sending in a cover letter and resume. Though they weren’t hiring at the time, they reached out when they were hiring and it was an incredible experience. 

“I ended up at my current job via good old-fashioned networking. In other words, a colleague from a previous job referred me when she heard her company was looking for writers. Fellow writers are your best friends when it comes to finding a job!”

I ended up at my current job via good old-fashioned networking. In other words, a colleague from a previous job referred me when she heard her company was looking for writers. Fellow writers are your best friends when it comes to finding a job!

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

Before I ventured into the world of social media, I worked as an Email Copywriter for the flash-sale site, zulily. This role was incredibly fast-paced as we had to produce quippy email and homepage copy for over 100 different branded events every day. I learned how to create copy that was memorable and made an impact with very limited characters and with very little time.

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

During my last year of college, I took an internship for about 25 hours a week and was eventually hired on full-time. That being said, I don’t believe I really did enough to prepare myself for my post-grad life. If I could go back, I would definitely have taken many more internships, at a variety of organizations, so that I would have a greater breadth of experience going into my first year out of college. Many internship opportunities are only available to current college students, so I wish I had taken advantage of those opportunities. 

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

To current English majors I would say, begin your job search early! Also, throw yourself into the internship search early in your college career. Not only will you gain valuable experience in the workplace, but you’ll start to get over some of those job interview jitters. Lastly, keep your social media profiles interesting and personable, but maintain at least a degree of professionalism. Social media is becoming an increasingly important part of the business world and employers love to see you know how to conduct yourself in an engaging, appropriate manner. 

You can connect with Chelsea on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter


READ MORE: 

 Sydney Turnquist: Social Media Coordinator

Sydney Turnquist: Social Media Coordinator

 Ariel Price: Associate Editor at Corwin

Ariel Price: Associate Editor at Corwin

 Jack Neary: Head of Community @ Litographs

Jack Neary: Head of Community @ Litographs

Posted on September 22, 2015 and filed under Social Media.

Kelsey Manning: Ad Promo Coordinator at HarperCollins, Social Media Manager, & Contributing Editor

Name: Kelsey Manning

Age: 23

College & Majors/Minors: University of Notre Dame, Program of Liberal Studies Major, Italian and Design minor.

Current Location: Living in NJ, working in NYC

Current Form on Employment: Ad Promo Coordinator at HarperCollins, Social Media Manager for Kate White, Contributing Editor at thegloss.com and levoleague.com

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I work at HarperCollins in the Ad Promo department designing ads, postcards, social media graphics, flyers, tote bags, and other promotional items for our books and authors. That can mean anything from making a Facebook cover image for an author to designing tattoos based on a book for Comic Con.

I am also a Social Media Manager for Kate White, who is the former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmo, a career expert, and a New York Times bestselling mystery author. And I spend the rest of my time freelance writing and editing

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

I got my current job based on a referral from a former boss at Hachette, another publishing house. I interned there last summer, and this fall I was a temporary hire as a Web Designer for four months. Someone from Hachette referred me to my current boss at HarperCollins, I interviewed, and started in January. My actual first job was scooping ice cream, but my first internship that really mattered was the one at Hachette, which I got by reaching out to Notre Dame graduates on LinkedIn. I've told so many people (and actually wrote an article about it) that people still seem to underutilize LinkedIn. My junior year I just did a LinkedIn search for anyone who went to Notre Dame and worked in publishing in NYC, reached out to all of them asking for advice/informational interviews, and one hired me for an internship that summer. She became my boss last summer and referred me for the position I have now.

The other jobs I've come about in similar ways—knowing someone who knows someone, reaching out to anyone I could, and never saying no to anything. I got my job with Kate White because I offered to work for a small literary PR firm for free for a few weeks, and someone there was impressed and introduced me to Kate.

“My junior year I just did a LinkedIn search for anyone who went to Notre Dame and worked in publishing in NYC, reached out to all of them asking for advice/informational interviews, and one hired me for an internship that summer. She became my boss last summer and referred me for the position I have now.”

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

Early in college I thought I wanted to be a journalist, so I worked for Notre Dame's newspaper for two years. I don't anticipate working for a newspaper again (though who knows), but it was an awesome place to learn, especially how to write quickly and concisely. My internship after sophomore year was crucial too – I wrote for crushable.com and thegrindstone.com, which gave me amazing experience, confidence, and writing connections who are still helping me today.

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

Like I mentioned, I said yes to everything and tested the waters of everything I thought I might want to do. I wrote for the newspaper at first. For marketing and event planning, I worked in the ND football recruiting office. Then I thought I would like to work in publishing, so I got an internship at a small publishing house near my school. That turned out to be a good instinct. For writing and editing, I managed a national online journal written by college students.

One thing I never did was take grades too seriously. You're an English major. Unless you're going to grad school (and possibly even then), no one cares about your GPA. Enjoy your classes, get the most you can out of them, listen to your professors, improve your critical reading and writing skills, apply for grants, do research, take an internship. Just don't waste precious time stressing about grades.

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

The same advice I would give to a college student or graduate with any degree: Use college to test the waters and experiment with different career paths. If you want to write, find a way to do that. There are thousands of outlets for writing in college. If you think you might want to be an illustrator, take a few art classes. If you think you want to design websites, start teaching yourself how to code. The list goes on and on and on. Take advantage of the overwhelming amount of opportunities there are on a college campus. Don't just glance over the posters about contests, grants, research opportunities, etc. Put yourself out there, try everything.

Check out Kelsey's career articles on Levo League, fashion articles on The Gloss, and book blog on Fashioning Fiction. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.


READ MORE:

 Angeline Evans: Digital Media Manager

Angeline Evans: Digital Media Manager

 Melissa Hattab: Social Media Coordinator

Melissa Hattab: Social Media Coordinator

 Sydney Turnquist: Social Media Coordinator

Sydney Turnquist: Social Media Coordinator

Posted on March 15, 2015 and filed under Social Media, Marketing.

How One Writer’s Instagram Scored Her a Book Deal

Alicia Cook was one of the very first people we interviewed for Dear English Major, and less than one year later, she's got herself a book deal! Entranced—her book of poetry—will be available for purchase on February 17th, 2015 by Underwater Mountains and will be carried by 13 retailers (including Barnes & Noble) in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. 

Alicia was kind enough to take the time to tell us all about her upcoming release, what led to it, and more:

  Entranced  features four different covers, all designed by Alicia. 

Entranced features four different covers, all designed by Alicia. 

Thank you for taking the time to share your upcoming poetry book with us. Why don't you just start out by telling us a bit about your book Entranced.

Alicia Cook: Thank you for even wanting to hear about it! It's very surreal. If you told me less than two years ago when I started sharing my writing publicly that I would have a book deal today and be a contributing writer with two major online blogs, I wouldn't believe it. It has always been a dream of mine, but I thought it was more of a pipe dream. I have been writing creatively since I was eight years old and I studied English in college, so it's a dream come true.

I recently signed a book deal with Underwater Mountains Publishing, an independent publisher based out of Los Angeles. They are a force of nature. They took on a lot of “Instagram writers" and have really been amazing during this whole process. Entranced is a book of poetry comprised of 100 never-before-seen poems as well as a bunch of my favorite pieces that I have already shared on Instagram.

I named it Entranced because the definition of the word is "fill someone with wonder and delight, holding their entire attention." And I really hope my words hold that power… to captivate someone, to SPEAK to someone. I don't want someone to read my book, and just put it down after without taking at least one special thing away with them. The best part of my day is when a complete stranger messages me and "thanks me" for writing something that they "needed" to read at that very moment to help them through whatever they are going through. That means the world to me.

What inspired you to begin sharing your work on Instagram?

Alicia: In 2012 after Hurricane Sandy, I wrote "An Open Letter to the Shore Kids" that went viral. At the bottom of the article, I just happened to include my email and Instagram name, @thealiciacook. Next thing I knew, I had strangers from all over the country emailing me to share their shore memories and following me on Instagram. The piece had resonated with them. I responded to every single email and comment I received on the piece.

One of the people who emailed me was a hip chick from Oregon (Hi Lindsey!). For some reason, I took to her and she really pushed me, whether she knows it or not, to begin sharing my work more regularly… and the rest is history! This boost in readership and confidence has led to other writing opportunities like contributing to Elite Daily and Thought Catalog, as well as my upcoming book.

How did your book deal come about?

Alicia: Basically, Underwater Mountains started signing deals with some popular Instagram writers. One of those writers suggested they check me out. After I heard from them, I formally submitted my work for their review, and I got a call later that day that they were interested.

What tips do you have for other writers who want to share their work on Instagram or other social media platforms?

Alicia: Social media is a powerful tool. I only have Instagram, so I don't want to speak to sharing work on other social media platforms. But when it comes to sharing creativity, be it writing, drawing, singing, calligraphy—you name it—my advice is just to be yourself, be sincere. Do not just try to replicate what "worked" for other artists out there on social media, because it won't work for you, and no one likes a rip-off. Bring something to this creative community that is different, and you will stand out.

Once you start gaining momentum, try to respond directly and personally to every person who may reach out to you. It becomes time consuming, but that interaction and human connection is my favorite part of all this. Stay true to your own voice while still being supportive of other's work as well. Hashtag appropriately. And for God's sake NEVER, EVER steal someone else's creative property.

What has the pre-publishing process been like?

Alicia: I am actually in the pre-publishing phase still! It's been exciting, but also nerve-wracking. I know that when my deadline comes I will need 100+ poems that I am actually PROUD of and stand behind. And I am a perfectionist at times. Every day I re-write the poems, even if it is just changing a word or two. I am having fun titling them. My publishing company has given me freedom to express myself, which I am grateful for. The editors are top notch. I even drew/painted all four of my book covers myself!

What's the plan once your book is published? What will you do to promote it? Will you go on tour?

Alicia: I won't be going on tour. But through Instagram I plan on letting people who might be in the area know when I am going to go to a store and geek out over seeing my book on a shelf. I have some ideas up my sleeve about how to make this even more fun.

Also, most of the other writers signed to Underwater are supportive of one another. We write together, we share one another's work. So their "readers" will occasionally see my name or work on their pages as well, which is awesome. The publisher is the reason the book is even getting put anywhere, physical or online, so I am grateful for whatever they decide to do to push my book as well. Right now I am on their website and Instagram. We will see what the future holds come February 17th!

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Alicia: The more I "get to know" other writers on social media, the more I realize that some of the people closest to them—friends, family—do not even know they write! The realization that not everyone has a support system for their passion around them made me take a step back and realize I was taking my family and friend's support of my writing for granted.

My parents never once told me I couldn't achieve my ultimate goal of sharing my words. They bought me my typewriter when I was ten. They supported me when I decided to major in English in college. They never once discouraged me. My mom still prints out all my blog articles and basically forces the neighbors to read them as she stands right next to them. My dad doesn't always "get it" but he gets that other people do. My sister, Kellie, and best friend, Renee, are two of my biggest fans. I could never imagine hiding such a huge part of my being—my existence—from the people I love the most. What I am trying to say here is that the more I travel down this road, the more grateful I am for my family and friends and their unwavering support.



READ MORE:

Posted on January 19, 2015 and filed under Social Media, Publishing, Poetry, Writing, Featured Articles.