Name: Kristina DeMichele
College & Majors/Minors: BA English & Spanish, University of Dayton; MA Publishing and Writing, Emerson College
Current Location: Boston, MA
Current Form of Employment: Senior Email Content Marketing Coordinator, America’s Test Kitchen
Where do you work and what is your current position?
I work at America’s Test Kitchen as a Senior Email Content Marketing Coordinator. America’s Test Kitchen films two cooking shows for PBS (America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country). We also publish Cook’s Illustrated magazine, Cook’s Country magazine, and many cookbooks. My role there is to manage the entire email newsletter program. I write most all of our newsletters (6 out of the 7), conduct creative tests, analyze the data, and contribute to the overall marketing strategy. I write about food every day, and I love my job!
Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).
I went straight to graduate school after undergrad, and I interned at a few publishing companies—Da Capo Press in their marketing department, Pearson Education in their rights department (I requested rights from Stephen King/Stephen King’s people once, which was pretty cool!). Then I heard that my colleague at Emerson’s writing center (I worked as a writing tutor there) landed a job as an Editorial Assistant at America’s Test Kitchen. I love cooking and I love publishing, so this company felt like such a perfect fit for me as a workplace. I had coffee with her, and she recommended that I apply for the social media internship. I applied, and her recommendation helped me get an interview and ultimately be offered the position. On the last day of my internship, I interviewed for the position I have now, my first full-time job out of graduate school.
What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?
Two internships come to mind that were both pivotal to my acceptance into graduate school and some of the keys to how I received my current position. In college, I was an Editorial Intern at Grupo SM in Madrid, Spain for their English language imprint, University of Dayton Publishing. I translated their texts from Spanish to English, and I did some writing for them as well. This international publishing experience made the difference for me in my graduate application and still stands out on my resume. I was also an Editorial Intern for Entangled Publishing, a remote internship where I got to read New Adult manuscripts (mostly in the genres of romance and science fiction) and write reviews of these manuscripts for the Executive Editor. My boss during my internship at America’s Test Kitchen told me that she thought this experience was so cool and unique—it’s how she remembered me.
What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?
I was one of those kids who knew exactly what she wanted to do after college from day one. I wanted to work in publishing, ideally in Boston where my family lives, and work in the editorial field. I made sure to gain experience in the publishing industry before graduation (in Spain with Grupo SM and with Entangled Publishing). To gain experience in research, I wrote an honors thesis on international digital publishing and conducted my primary research while I worked in Madrid. Networking via LinkedIn and informational interviews over the phone allowed me to establish connections to the publishing industry and learn more about where I wanted my career to go (and where I didn’t want it to go).
What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?
Networking is the single most important thing you can do for yourself. I would not be where I am today without my connections. Now, I know you’ve probably heard the common phrase “It’s all about who you know.” Well, it (kind of) is. A recommendation from a professional connection is just the first step. Then, when you have an interview with a company you’re passionate about, that’s your opportunity to impress them with who you are. Your experiences matter, too! Also, don’t be afraid to stray away from an “editorial” title. I work in marketing, yes, but I get to write creatively every single day. It’s okay to go outside the box with your job search. You’d be surprised at how many jobs rely heavily on you knowing how to write well. Most importantly, find a job that brings you joy!