Name: Chelsea Phipps
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!
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.