Sarah Hierl: Legal Assistant

Name: Sarah Hierl

Age: 22

College & Majors/Minors: University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Bachelor’s in English Literature and Cultural Studies

Current Location: Clearwater, Florida

Current Form of Employment: Legal Assistant for an Insurance Defense Law Firm

Where do you work and what is your current position?

At the moment I work at Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A., as a sort of assistant to the legal assistants. I help a team of around twenty people with any overflow work that they come across (which tends to be a lot, as our firm is one of the largest in Florida). I do quite a few things, such as drafting and serving pleadings and subpoenas, tasking trial orders to ensure the attorneys have accurate deadlines to follow for trial, as well as transcribing billing and correspondence for about three of the firm’s managing partners. It is quite a big job that takes a lot of time management to avoid getting overwhelmed.

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

Well, my first job ever was as a Kids Zone Employee at Brighthouse Networks Field, a baseball field near my house where the Philadelphia Phillies had their spring training. I found the job through a friend I was in a volunteer club with, which launched me into my first ever work experience! I was responsible for attending the playground and various games in the kids zone, such as our batting game and bounce house. Although, the most challenging part was babysitting some of the tipsy adults trying to use the bounce house.

I found my current job through my sister, who is actually a client of our firm. She is an adjuster and has many connections with different attorneys in different firms. I was looking for a firm that would work with my college class schedule, and CSK just happened to work out perfectly for that. As I worked here longer my responsibilities have grown and I’ve learned many valuable new skills as well. I am currently looking to move outside of the legal field to a career which offers more room for growth without requiring additional degrees, as that isn’t something I can afford right now.

“Knowledge of spelling and grammar is super important in the legal field, since one mistake on a pleading could cost the firm or client millions of dollars, or even cause a legal malpractice case (definitely no bueno).”

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

I would say that the first law firm I worked for, Vernis & Bowling of the Gulf Coast, P.A., really gave me a leg-up in the way of proving my skills in order to be successful in a career. I had always been told that an English degree was going to be useless unless I went into teaching, but the managing partner of the branch would introduce me to guests as “the resident English major,” which always gave me a lot of pride in what I chose to do. Knowledge of spelling and grammar is super important in the legal field, since one mistake on a pleading could cost the firm or client millions of dollars, or even cause a legal malpractice case (definitely no bueno).

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

I was fortunate to have professors that stressed preparing a portfolio for future applications. Though I was often stressed and cursing the time I spent on carefully compiling one of each document I wrote for every single class, I now appreciate the results of that hard work. I was also taught how to prepare a resume, something that I feel isn’t often adequately stressed to college students, but which makes a MASSIVE difference once you graduate. Jobs don’t even look at you if your resume is sloppy or has poor spelling. It was a huge bonus that my teachers cared about giving us tips that would help in the real world.

“Also, if you graduate and end up stuck as to where to apply, start with administrative positions. Most start with a decent pay rate of 10-15 dollars an hour, and you can always find the ones that have room for upward mobility. There is no shame in starting from the bottom and working your way toward success, as cliche as that sounds.”

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

Don’t listen to the people who tell you that an English degree is useless. It may be more of a niche job rather than finding a Fortune 500 company to work for, but there will always be work for you. We all know how bad Microsoft Word is at grammar checks and spelling, so having a human with the skills to edit and write properly is invaluable to a lot of companies right now. Also, if you graduate and end up stuck as to where to apply, start with administrative positions. Most start with a decent pay rate of 10-15 dollars an hour, and you can always find the ones that have room for upward mobility. There is no shame in starting from the bottom and working your way toward success, as cliche as that sounds. I had many times where I wanted to give up, but one thing that we young people have is a lot of drive, and that has kept me going. Not to mention, who knows how far it will take me? I still have a lot of time to find out!


Posted on February 18, 2017 and filed under Interview, Interviews, Law.

Tabitha Cornwell: Project Manager

Name: Tabitha Cornwell

Age: 30

College & Majors/Minors: Arizona State, BA in English; University of Phoenix, MS in Psychology

Current Location: Phoenix, AZ

Current Form of Employment: Full-time, higher ed administration

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I work at the University of Phoenix as a project manager of learning content. My department handles the acquisition and management of all the types of materials that may go into a course—textbooks, educational technology, internally-developed tools and multimedia, open-source or free web content, and anything else the instructional design teams throw at us. As a core (and relatively small) team in the middle of a huge institution, we maintain a working knowledge of products we currently offer, pending requests coming down the pipeline, industry norms and trends, as well as the legal and contractual obligations associated with each of these product types. It's my job to maintain close and productive relationships with our internal customers (primarily college staff) as well as external vendors and suppliers.

A typical day might involve presenting a training surrounding our processes to staff in production before going back to my desk and calling my publisher rep to find out why an eBook file isn't rendering properly. I also work with vendors to establish and maintain QC processes that ensure we're providing consistent eBook experiences for students. It's essential for me to be able to translate between academic requirements, technical specifications, and high-level snapshots expected by executives.

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

As a teenager, I volunteered for the local library system for five years, since I practically lived there anyway. That hands-on community work introduced me to the world of networking, opening doors to several jobs funded by local government grants. As president of a library branch's "teen council," I met with corporate sponsors and participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony while still in braces (and a terrible haircut, thanks Mom!). At thirteen, I was part of a group teaching senior citizens basic computer and internet skills, and by sixteen, I had revamped and updated the curriculum as the sole instructor. 

"I'm the one in the fuchsia top looking up." -Tabitha

"I'm the one in the fuchsia top looking up." -Tabitha

With the grant extinguished, I began working for a program sponsored by the Arizona Science Center that introduced middle school and younger students to scientific concepts in hands-on workshops (think CSI lab in which one of the instructors is the culprit). Looking back, these classes were a precursor to the current STEM wave in education. 

Because my mom worked in computer networking for my school district, I was usually taking apart computers or running CAT-5 cables under desks. I dabbled in web design, taught myself some coding skills and ran a small website for a genealogical society my family belonged to. I saved every penny from these early jobs and eventually bought myself a Blue Dalmatian iMac named Spot. (Spot still lives in my home office, though his fan needs a thorough cleaning. I'm thinking about converting him into a fishtank.)

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

Despite entering with a slew of AP credits, ASU still required me to take ENG/102 as a freshman. Within the first week, I was essentially running daily tutoring sessions in the back of the class. Looking back, the professor could have been really grouchy about my co-opting her students, but instead, she referred me to the director of the on-campus Writing Center for a job. Within another semester, I was the student coordinator. In my earlier teaching work, I had realized I have a knack for analogies, and meeting students at their level of understanding. Over time, I began to realize that ability was one of my most unique, transferable skills.

A few months after I'd graduated, a friend forwarded me a few postings for admin, entry-level positions at UOP, where she worked. I immediately gravitated to one in their online tutoring center—for math (yikes!). After poring over the job description a few million times, I realized they weren't actually looking for a math expert, but someone to keep the center organized. I also guessed that fewer people might apply because of the scary "math" word in the title, and I was right—the position only had about 20 applicants. In the interviews, I pitched myself as someone who could add perspective of a student who needed math tutoring, because I'd been in that position myself. It worked! Though it was a pretty basic admin job, scheduling shifts and managing payroll for about 50 faculty tutors, I really enjoyed working with a group of intelligent, thoughtful academics coming from a wide range of experiences and industries. I'm still close with several of these awesome individuals.

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

The problem with being interested in everything is that it's impossible to settle on a major! I enjoyed my Writing Center work more than any of my classwork—in fact, when I look back, it's still my all-time favorite job. Somehow, I was too stubborn to see the obvious choice (Dear English Major would have been sooooo helpful). I found myself nearing the end of my four-year scholarship with credits all over the map and no degree in sight. I was juggling four jobs and trying to complete five courses per semester. My body couldn't take the stress, and a bad cold turned into pneumonia. I broke up with my boyfriend, moved back home, transferred campuses (and writing centers!) and met with the umpteenth (and final) advisor to review my credits. Suddenly, the answer was obvious, and those AP credits finally came in handy.

“I resisted the English major for years because it seemed like the easy way out, and because it didn’t represent a clear path to a career. No longer ignoring the obvious degree choice forced me to confront those preconceived notions, and suddenly, I was passionate about my coursework, engaged in every class discussion, and stretching my brain with every assignment.”

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

If there's one thing I wish I could go back and tell myself, it's that struggling does not equal learning, and that you don't have to fight for something in order to consider it an accomplishment. I resisted the English major for years because it seemed like the easy way out, and because it didn't represent a clear path to a career. No longer ignoring the obvious degree choice forced me to confront those preconceived notions, and suddenly, I was passionate about my coursework, engaged in every class discussion, and stretching my brain with every assignment. I developed rich relationships with my professors and am happy to say I still keep in touch with some of them.

If something doesn't come naturally to you, there's no shame in finding a better fit. Especially in creative fields, people take their own talents for granted because they've always had them, and they lack the context and experience necessary to really understand that uniqueness. It's the same reason we have such a tough time pricing freelance creative work. Remember that learning what you don't enjoy is just as important as learning what you do. The world will be hard enough on you—be kind to yourself! This strengths-focused approach has been tremendously useful in making staffing recommendations, conducting trainings, and performing interviews.

You can connect with Tabitha on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter and Instagram


Posted on February 15, 2017 and filed under Communications, Project Management, Interview, Interviews.

Kendal Whitby: Marketing, Distribution, & Production Associate & Editor

Name: Kendal Whitby

Age: 23

College & Majors/Minors: The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, B.A. in English Literature and Spanish Literature

Current Location: Memphis, TN

Current Form of Employment: Marketing, Distribution, and Production Associate and Editor

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I work at BelleBooks, a small publishing house in Memphis, TN. BelleBooks, Inc. was founded in 1999 with a focus on Southern fiction and has since broadened its offerings with the addition of a second imprint—Bell Bridge Books—in 2008. We currently publish approximately 30-40 original titles per year (print and ebook simultaneously) in a variety of genres, which include: mystery/suspense, fantasy, science fiction, young adult, romance, general fiction, women's fiction, non-fiction, literary fiction and more. We are known for nurturing emerging fiction voices as well as being the "second home” for many established authors, who continue to publish with major publishing conglomerates. Our sub-rights sales for our titles include foreign rights, large print, mass market paperback, audio and film options.

Like everybody else in the office, I wear many hats. I am a Marketing, Distribution, and Production Associate. Basically what that means is I follow a book from its beginning stages as a manuscript all the way to its final print and ebook distribution. When I wear my Production Hat, I’m working the book through its editing stages (copy-edit, proof, print review, etc.). After that, I put on my Distribution Hat and make sure the title loads correctly to our platforms. Once the book is available everywhere, I, along with the rest of the marketing team, let our readers know through social media and email that the book is out in the world. All this talk about hats makes me want to actually make some for work!

I’m also a submissions editor for our submitted queries. We’re looking every day for the next great author!

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

While this technically isn’t my first job, it’s my first, what I like to call, adult job. When I graduated in May 2015, I really didn’t know what I was going to do with my career. I was rejected from law school, working in an after school program with terrible management, with no job opportunities on the horizon. I was pretty miserable, to be honest.

One day, I was browsing Facebook, and I got a notification from my school’s English Department page. BelleBooks was looking for a Fall intern. I couldn’t believe that one, there was a publishing house in Memphis, and two, that they were looking for an intern. Sure, it was unpaid, but it was my dream job. And everyone knows that the publishing field is so competitive and experience is your golden ticket. After applying and speaking with the intern supervisor (shoutout to the wonderful Niki Flowers!), I knew that I needed this internship. It was animal friendly, dress casual, and the friendliest people I have ever spoken to.

They were looking for two interns, but the second one had a family emergency that stopped her from continuing it. While her situation wasn’t great, it gave me the opportunity to show them what I was capable of. I had to do the work of two interns and somehow show them that I was worth investing in. My hard work paid off and I was offered a job when my internship ended!

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

The only writing-related job I had before my current one was editing my mom’s college essays for her Master’s program. All it really did for me was make me appreciate the comma more and help me learn that my love of the obscure comes from her.

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

This question has caused me as much anxiety as a question possibly could. I’m going to be honest; I didn’t like college. The required classes, the students who didn’t care, and the Freshman 15 (it’s real) turned it into somewhat of a nightmare. I think the most important thing I did in college to prepare me for post-grad life was learning to not rely on others to tell me what I could achieve. After graduating high school with top honors and fourth in my class, I thought college was going to be a breeze and that all my professors would see my “obvious” intelligence. Until I met my psychology counselor. When she asked my plans for my third semester, I told her I wanted to start my Spanish classes as I wanted to double major in Psychology and Spanish. She promptly told me that she didn’t think I was smart enough to double major, proceeded to introduce me to a girl who was excelling in those exact majors, and then tried to convince me to take a class I knew I would hate. I switched majors that year. That counselor wasn’t the reason for the switch, though she might have been a big part of it. I had found an amazing English teacher who helped me re-find my passion for literature.

That counselor made me so angry that I wanted to prove her wrong. In a way, I guess I should be grateful for her because I became ambitious and developed a strong determination to achieve the unachievable. Two qualities that I am most proud of and that will stay with me throughout my entire career.

“Show that company you’re interning at that they need you. Do the busy work with a smile on your face and do it to the best of your ability. Make them realize that you’re capable of more than filing papers, but you will file to your heart’s content if that’s what they need. I was hired after my internship because I showed them that I was willing to do any project they threw at me and because they saw something in me that they liked.”

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

There’s so many things I want to say to those who are pursuing an English degree, but I’ll narrow it to three things.

1. Make room in your class schedule for any class that makes you excited to go to school. My biggest regret from college is missing out on the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Literature course because of a required Spanish class. The Spanish class was available every semester. Sci-Fi and Fantasy was not.

2. Take the unpaid internship! They usually count as credits as well as give you much needed experience in the field. Plus, if they’re hiring and you do number three on my list, you could find your first post-grad job.

3. Show that company you’re interning at that they need you. Do the busy work with a smile on your face and do it to the best of your ability. Make them realize that you’re capable of more than filing papers, but you will file to your heart’s content if that’s what they need. I was hired after my internship because I showed them that I was willing to do any project they threw at me and because they saw something in me that they liked.

My English degree gave me the tools to find my dream job while also letting me learn about my favorite thing in the world, literature.

You can learn more about BelleBooks here. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Kendal on Twitter and Goodreads.


Posted on January 26, 2017 and filed under Publishing, Interview, Interviews.

David Baker: Media Producer

Name: David Baker

Age: 45

College & Majors/Minors: University of Illinois Chicago – BS, Literature; Columbia College Chicago – MFA Creative Writing

Current Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Current Form of Employment: Media producer at Oregon State University

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I’m the lead for a group of video, film and digital media producers at a large land-grant university. We produce everything from marketing materials, broadcast commercials to web videos and documentary films. All of it either advances the reputation of the university, or informs the public about the major issues of our time.

In addition to doing all of the administrative work, budgeting, some video production and editing, I write many of the video scripts. Writing is often overlooked in planning, and having cranked out papers, stories and articles over the years, usually at around midnight the night before deadline, I’m pretty comfortable in that role.

“Storytelling has led me to some interesting places. It’s definitely a real skill. Any team needs a storyteller, someone who can rough an idea into a beginning, middle and end. Technicians and administrators don’t quite get it. They think it’s easy or some kind of magic. But if you can tell a story, reliably, you’ll eventually become the person they all depend on.”
Vintage: A Novel
By David Baker

Storytelling has led me to some interesting places. It’s definitely a real skill. Any team needs a storyteller, someone who can rough an idea into a beginning, middle and end. Technicians and administrators don’t quite get it. They think it’s easy or some kind of magic. But if you can tell a story, reliably, you’ll eventually become the person they all depend on.

I also do my own thing. I produce independent documentaries and I’ve published stories and a novel with Simon & Schuster called Vintage. I’ve also done some screenwriting. That side work sometimes pays off. I’ve earned some trips to Europe and a camping trailer in that way, though I’ve found I still need a straight gig to pay any kind of mortgage.

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

I worked at Kinko’s, which is now FedEx Office. It was in downtown Chicago. I thought it would be temporary, but it lasted four years and pretty much started my career. I worked the night shift because I wanted to write on the job like Faulkner when he was a security guard. It kind of worked. I got through much of grad school that way.

We had a desktop publishing center where people designed flyers and brochures and typed up resumes. I always eyed that desk because sitting down seemed a lot easier than standing at a photocopier or binding machine. So when there was an opening, I made my move.

The web was just coming out at that time, and we got this program called Adobe Pagemill. So when web requests started to come in, I took the lead. If you can write a paper dissembling Chaucer at 11:00 p.m. the night before it’s due and still get a ‘C’ or a ‘B,’ you can figure out HTML and Pagemill. So that’s what I did. That led to a job in consulting and eventually into Flash and motion design and finally back to video and film production because I was the guy who could write scripts and storyboards on the fly.

“...English majors are especially adept at these changing circumstances because of our education, because we learn to be analytical and apply our own voice, ideas and talents to a problem. We learn the mechanics of stories, which are the real currency of human existence. We’re flexible. We have to be. And the dawn of the web as a profession was a perfect era for the English major. A lot of us are in digital communications because of that.”

So my point is that careers are actually accidental and not planned. I see it all the time with young interns who go on into the workforce. And English majors are especially adept at these changing circumstances because of our education, because we learn to be analytical and apply our own voice, ideas and talents to a problem. We learn the mechanics of stories, which are the real currency of human existence. We’re flexible. We have to be. And the dawn of the web as a profession was a perfect era for the English major. A lot of us are in digital communications because of that.

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

I wrote a screenplay that fared well in a contest a number of years ago. Someone bought the option and I ended up working with producers, rewriting it for a budget. That collaborative writing process was very helpful in allowing me to learn to work with others, to try to help the person investing all of the money and time into a film realize his vision. It really stripped out my own ego.

The film never was made, but I still have some friendships and it gave me confidence since someone was willing to pay me a couple months’ wages to do something creative. They also bought me a plane ticket to LA and a cheap hotel room in Santa Monica. We had dinner and talked about casting Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead in a script that I had written (and we did so with straight faces, but then everyone in LA does that). Still, it was a wonderful experience. I remember lying in that bed that night unable to sleep thinking for the first time, “Hey, I guess I’m kind of a writer.”

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

I didn’t do enough. I read books and wrote stories. That’s never a bad thing. I also probably smoked way too many cigarettes. I also played in a bad hair metal band, which wasn’t helpful at all.

What I wish I would have done, which is what the interns I work with now do, is jump on any internship I could find that did something related to my interests. Even if I volunteered for free. Write articles. Write scripts. Work on the school paper. Get clips. Edit a literary magazine. Edit videos. Write marketing copy. Take photos. Write for blogs. Whatever, as long as it’s not working in the cafeteria (which I also did) or sitting around rehearsing Queensrÿche cover songs.

“What I wish I would have done, which is what the interns I work with now do, is jump on any internship I could find that did something related to my interests. Even if I volunteered for free. Write articles. Write scripts. Work on the school paper. Get clips. Edit a literary magazine. Edit videos. Write marketing copy. Take photos. Write for blogs.”

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

The internship thing is key. It often leads to real work. When you’re in college or when you’ve just graduated, that’s your only real leverage: work for free. Once you have a relationship, maybe kids, mortgage or car payments… you no longer have that leverage. If you can swing it, that’s time to work somewhere for little or no money. I know some students are in a tough spot and need to work retail or something to eat and pay rent… that’s what I did. But still, if you can somehow manage to do it, even for six months… volunteer. Work for free somewhere cool. Do your research, knock on ten different doors and say, “hey, I like what you’re doing and I’m willing to do it for free for six months.” If you kick some ass, and if they have any kind of soul, they may start paying you. They may even keep you. At the very least, you’ll get a cool bullet on your resume.

Our department has hired four of our interns into full-time roles over the years. Those are creative gigs with benefits where we send people all over the world to film and write stories about research and all kinds of cool things.

Some of our interns at OSU have gone on to great jobs working in commercial and film production, and I’m always pleased when the top item on their first resume is working for our department, or when I see their names on television show or feature film credits.

I also always advise our students to work on a demo reel and portfolio before they get into the market. Back in my day, it was your clips and your little black portfolio binder that you had to tidy up to get a creative or writing gig. Today it’s a website. You’d be surprised how many professionals don’t have a decent website with good samples. It’s not even that hard if you have a couple nice photos. Wordpress is still free.

To learn more about David, visit his website at DavidAlexanderBaker.com.


Posted on January 12, 2017 and filed under Interviews, Interview, Communications, Author, Filmmaking.

Kim Askew: Director of Content at FIDM & Author

Name: Kim Askew

Age: 46

College & Majors/Minors: Mount St. Mary’s University, M.A. in Humanities with an English Lit Emphasis, California State University Fresno, B.A. in English Lit

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

Current Form of Employment: Director of Content at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles). Co-author of the Twisted Lit novels from Merit Press.

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I manage all the content for the college’s marketing efforts, such as websites, email campaigns, social media, ads, brochures, blogs, press releases, and the college catalog. I developed and oversee FIDM’s brand strategy and voice/style guide which ensures that all designers, writers, and marketing coordinators stick to our brand attributes and competitive positioning. I directly manage a team of writers, and approve all copy generated by the Marketing department. I also launched an Employee Engagement team to encourage an optimistic and collaborative company culture. We do everything from hosting coffee and Ted Talk viewings to raising funds for charitable organizations. My office is at the college’s main campus in Downtown Los Angeles.

In my spare time, I write (with my friend Amy Helmes) young adult novels inspired by Shakespeare’s plays. Our fourth novel, Puck, came out in November. I love to work in cafes or on the sofa with my dogs, Macbeth and Dolce.

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

I don’t remember how I found out about my first job after college, but I can still remember how excited I was on the first day. I was hired at a computer textbook publishing company in the San Francisco Bay Area, and at the time, it truly felt like a dream job to be working in publishing. I had the Chicago Manual of Style and Strunk & White’s guides on my desk. I was promoted a few times, and when I left, three years later, I was the editor of computer gaming guides.

I found my current job through my writing partner, Amy. She knew someone who was leaving the position of Writer for FIDM. I was hired as her replacement, and thirteen years later, here I am with a window office and a director title.

Kim Askew 3.jpg

Could you share more about the process behind writing and publishing your novels, and how you found other publishing opportunities?

My writing partner and I had finished an entire book and had a rough draft of a second book before we got a publishing deal. A friend of mine knew Jacqueline Mitchard, the author of Oprah’s first book club pick, and she was at the helm of a new young adult imprint. She read our manuscript and offered us a two-book deal on the spot, with a third book deal quickly following. Our fourth book, Puck, is in stores now. In addition to working with Amy, I have my very own noir/detective/sci fi novel that I’m working on and hope to finish by this summer.

Co-writing has been incredibly fun and rewarding. My writing partner and I take turns, writing a chapter each and then editing each other’s chapters. Once we decide on the voice of our narrator, the rest really just flows.

“I try to remember that most authors, including some of the very best, were rejected numerous times. It keeps me going!”

My advice for getting published, whether it’s books or articles, is to submit, submit, submit. If you don’t put your work out there, no one is going to see it and publish it. It’s as simple as that. I have to override my self doubt every time I send something out. Sometimes it’s rejected, and sometimes it’s accepted. I try to remember that most authors, including some of the very best, were rejected numerous times. It keeps me going!

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

As an undergrad, I (unfortunately, perhaps) didn’t spend much time thinking about my career. I was living in the past—and by the past, I mean the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. My mind was happily focused on the literature of those periods and working many part-time jobs to pay the bills. I think all of the part-time work I did, while mostly unrelated to my future writing career, helped me develop a really strong work ethic and also gave me (an extremely shy person, back then) confidence. In grad school, I was already working at FIDM, so I had to juggle school and work throughout.

“Be bold (even if you have to fake it) and apply for writing gigs or jobs even if you don’t think you’re “good enough.” You’re probably better and more qualified than you realize.”

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

If you dream of being a writer, write every day and submit your work often. Be bold (even if you have to fake it) and apply for writing gigs or jobs even if you don’t think you’re “good enough.” You’re probably better and more qualified than you realize. Take every opportunity that comes your way, and be your own best friend. I don’t believe in writer’s block. If you sit down and write, something will come. It might not always be great, but it will be something you can build on. Good luck!

To learn more about Kim, visit her site at KimAskew.com. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Instagram.


Posted on January 11, 2017 and filed under Author, Content Marketing, Interviews, Interview.