Name: Nicole Danielle Chinn
College & Majors: I graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor of Arts in Literary Studies
Current Location: Dallas, Texas
Current Form of Employment: Copywriter
Where do you work and what is your current position?
I'm currently a self-employed freelance copywriter.
Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).
My first couple of jobs were fairly easy to get; they were all either in retail, fast food, or lifeguarding, so the process was pretty simple. Walk in, ask for an application, and wait for a callback.
Finding my current job took a bit more work. I stumbled accross the opportunity when I was job searching back in November of 2015 and applied for it and didn't hear back. That's when I got my job as a Content Strategist/Copywriter and Social Media Manager at a local digital marketing agency in Dallas. A few months later I found out that I had a friend who knew someone that worked at the company I hadn't heard back from and and was able to put me in contact with the Editor-in-Chief. About a month later, I was offered the option to come on board as a freelance copywriter.
What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?
Before I decided to go freelance, I worked as a Content Strategist/Copywriter and Social Media Manager for a digital marketing company during my final semester of my senior year. During that time I was able to really immerse myself in my writing and I was able to refine my writing skills in many different areas thanks to my time in this position.
What did you do in college to prepare you for your post-grad life?
Pretend that post-grad life didn't exist and that I'd never have to become an adult? In all seriousness though, I spent my extra electives throughout college dabbling in different subjects that seemed interesting to me. This allowed me to see if maybe there was something out there I wanted to do other than write. In the end, I learned a lot from those classes, but nothing ever trumped my love for writing.
After I made certain that I really wanted to write, I started looking for careers that would allow me to hone my abilities to the fullest. I tried the whole 'corporate America' desk job thing for awhile, but I ended up feeling very stifled. So, I looked for other ways I could support myself by writing that wouldn't make me resent my craft. Freelancing is the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.
What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?
Don't settle. Don't settle for a dead-end job that doesn't allow you to utilize your English degree and everything you've learned and practiced and perfected over the years. I know that when I was in school, I would get a lot of weird looks and chuckles when I told people what I was majoring in, which can feel a little discouraging. I was told I would never be able to find a job with my degree. However, when I was growing up, I was always told to go after what I enjoyed and what made me happy, so I did and I don't regret it for a second. Don't settle because it seems like the only option. Find your passion and do what you love.