Name: Emily Lenhard
College & Majors/Minors: Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI; English major with minors in writing and business administration
Current Location: East Lansing, MI
Current Form of Employment: full-time marketing and communications; freelance writing and editing
Where do you work and what is your current position?
Communications Manager for the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Medical Center
Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).
My first real job was as a project manager for a cross-cultural communications agency—translation, interpretation, consulting, travel, etcetera. I got lucky and was referred there by a past supervisor at a media company where I interned and temped during college. I started part-time at the cultural agency during my last semester of college, which turned into full-time after I graduated. It was a multi-faceted job—overseeing language projects, client/vendor relations, social media, web content creation, accounts payable/receivable—you get the picture.
For my current job, I just applied and interviewed for it. Pretty typical. I found it during my hunt of all jobs local and wordy.
What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?
Freelance writing definitely helped give me some credibility as a writer. Right now, I contribute to one magazine. It’s a nice balance with a full-time job, some novel editing I am also doing on the side, and the writing I do for myself.
What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?
Honestly, not a lot besides finding a job to start paying back my loans. I really had no idea what I wanted to do—originally, I wanted to teach high school, but I was placed with an elementary class, so I dropped it and just decided to focus on writing and trying to make myself marketable—hence, the business minor.
What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?
Don’t box yourself in. It can be easy to get comfortable or settle. Keep chasing your dreams and put in the hours.