Posts tagged #Copywriting

Marianne M. Chrisos: Content Developer

Name: Marianne M. Chrisos

Age: 29

College & Majors/Minors: BA in English with a Minor in Psychology, MA in Writing and Publishing

Current Location: outside of Chicago, IL

Current Form of Employment: Content Developer

Where do you work and what is your current position? 

I work on a phenomenal content team at a promotional products company (the people who put your logo on cool stuff like pens, stress balls, and bags) called Quality Logo Products. I write blog posts, articles, product descriptions, web copy, email marketing copy, and other various tidbits. I also help manage and monitor our corporate social media channels; Tumblr in particular is my social domain and I take great pride in sharing marketing, branding, and design news with the millennial masses.

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

My first job out of college was working in the customer service and sales departments of a publishing house.  I thought that might eventually lead to an editorial or acquisition position, but nothing ever opened up. I did, however, get to work on the editing of the sales team fact sheets and processes manual, and also worked to help set up conferences and worked on author orders and other fun book things. I was there for over five years, met a ton of rad people, and learned an insane amount about publishing, bookstores, and production.

In my current job, it’s all writing, all the time. I don’t interact much with our end user like I did in prior positions, but I do work with other departments to figure out what resources we can create to help serve those users better, be it resources on marketing, entrepreneurship, or how promo products can help grow a small business.  

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

Between my publishing job and current content gig, I worked as a freelance writer and editor and also as a marketing specialist for a real estate brokerage. Both of those opportunities helped me incorporate more research into my writing and cultivate different voices across different mediums. Web copy is different from academic writing, which is different from marketing emails and as someone building a career in writing, it was good to have experience in different areas.

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

I think the best thing I did in college was find like-minded English majors to bond over books, literature, words, and writing. This not only helped me survive the stress of school, but having a group of people with similar interests and goals helped me stay focused and productive when finding a job was difficult or when I was struggling creatively. 

Sometimes it feels like the English major job and accomplishment pool is very competitive; a lot of talented people fighting for a lot of the same positions, gigs, internships, publishing opportunities, etc. Having a good group of go-to peers can be encouraging. It keeps you linked to what you love and you can offer and receive support and insight. 

Need a writing group or book club? Those are your people. Need a recommendation or someone to proof your grad school application? Got that too. Need someone to geek about indie bookstores and movie adaptations with? English nerds to the rescue. Writing can be lonely; find your people.

The skills you develop as an English major can translate to a lot of different jobs and opportunities, so don’t limit yourself.

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

Be patient. Everyone wants to get out there, make a name for themselves in editing, teaching, writing, and publishing, and validate the choice to major in English. But it’s important to remember that there’s room for everyone and to stay open to all the possibilities. The skills you develop as an English major can translate to a lot of different jobs and opportunities, so don’t limit yourself. 

Also, it can be discouraging to have spent years of your life studying English and literature, writing papers, performing Shakespeare, and dreaming English-y dreams only to have to get a job doing something that doesn’t fulfill you or pertain to your passion. Remember that there is plenty outside of a 9 to 5 that can bring you creative joy and justify your English endeavors.

Respect the Oxford comma. 

Oh, and read as much as you can. Read everything. Don’t limit yourself to textbooks and syllabi suggestions (but don’t shun those either). Make time to read what you know you love and stretch yourself to reading things you don’t. Some of my favorites (things have grown me as a writer and a person) are Anne Lamott’s nonfiction and Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed. 

The marketing blog I write for is here and I can also be reached on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram!

Posted on March 11, 2016 and filed under Communications, Content Marketing, Marketing.

Anna Wenner: Editor at Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Name: Anna Wenner

Age: 23

College Majors: English and History Minor: Global and International Studies

Current Location: Kansas City, MO

Current Form of Employment: Editor at Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I work at Hallmark Cards, Inc. as an Associate Editor making greeting cards. 

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

Although I did have some part time jobs and internships in college, this was my first full time job. In January of my junior year I applied for dozens of internships, most of which I never heard back from. Honestly, it felt like I could have been tossing my resume to the wind and had the same effect, which was pretty disheartening. Then I got a call back from Hallmark for their Writing/Editorial Internship. The application for this internship probably took me the most time out of any of those that I applied for. It involved creating a portfolio of greeting card samples and insight as well as submitting more standard application pieces such as a resume and cover letter. Then, when I got called back, I still had an interview to get through. Although it took time, it was well worth it because I got the editorial internship. That summer I interned at Hallmark's main headquarters in Kansas City, MO and later that year I was given a full time job offer to be an editor at Hallmark. 

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

My junior year in college I was the editor for the opinion section of the University Daily Kansan, the KU student newspaper. This job was great as a resume builder, but more than that, it was a great experience toward learning what I liked and didn't like about editing. In this position I read and edited about fifteen opinion pieces per week, which meant that in order to save time, I had to adapt to reading faster, giving only the most important comments as feedback for the writer, and honing in quickly on the meat of an argument and whether it was well made. Moving quickly for the paper as an editor (and in other roles that I served on the paper before and after my stint as an editor) taught me the importance of deadlines and helped me learn to balance speed and accuracy in my work.

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

More internships hands down. It didn't really feel necessary to me to apply for internships until the summer of my junior year, and honestly, that was coming into it pretty late in the game. I lucked out because the first internship I did in college turned out to be something I really wanted to do full time, but that's not always the case. For instance, during high school I did an internship at a newspaper and while I loved the experience, it made me pretty confident that I didn't actually want to be a reporter like I thought I did. If I'd done more internships either during school or during breaks, I could have felt more sure about what sort of job I was (and perhaps just as important, wasn't) looking for. For me doing more internships wasn't entirely feasible because I studied abroad the summer of my sophomore year and I worked a lot every other break, but I do think I could have made it more of a priority to find internships. 

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

I have two pieces of advice for my fellow English majors:

1) People told me constantly that I wouldn't know what I wanted to do for a living in high school because there were so many jobs out there that I'd never heard of before. They were right.

If you'd asked me in high school what I thought I'd be doing by now, I'm sure I wouldn't have answered that I'd be making greeting cards, because honestly while I knew someone had to be the person putting the words on greeting cards, I never imagined it was a job I could actually have. Being at Hallmark has made me realize how many awesome, entirely unheard of jobs there are out there. 

2) Take that weird, non-writing related job. The stranger the better. 

The job I'm asked about most often off my resume is never something writing related—it's my part time job at a cemetery. 

I spent every break for several years returning to my hometown and working in the office of a cemetery there. I helped digitize their records by doing data entry, and did some investigative work to try and recover records that had been destroyed by a fire a few decades ago. There was nothing remotely writing or editing related about this job, but it's come up in every interview I've ever had. Why? Because let's be honest, it's a talking point. From my point of view, I was better off taking a strange paid job than doing a handful of more stereotypical "English major" roles at my college. Don't get me wrong—English major related experiences are really important for all the reasons I listed before, but I do think a weird job helps you stand out. It helps too if you can tie it back to whatever you're applying for. For instance, I usually said something about how working on rebuilding the lost records in the cemetery taught me to think outside the box and explore new avenues for answers. 

You can connect with Anna on LinkedIn here, and follower her on Instagram here.  

Posted on February 25, 2016 and filed under Interview, Writing.

Lauren Pope: Copywriter & Social Media Marketing Manager


Name: Lauren Pope

Age: 24

College Major: BA English Lit/Creative Writing

Current Location: St. Louis, MO

Current Form of Employment: Copywriter/Social Media Marketing Manager

Where do you work and what is your current position? 

I currently work for Imagery Marketing Group as a Copywriter and Social Media Marketing Manager. I specialize is social content creation, marketing copywriting and all things social media.

Tell us how you found your first job and how you found your current job.

I spent the summer after graduating cold applying to every publishing house I could. I’d gone to school to become an editor and one day a publisher, so I was blindly following that path with little to no success. In the five months I applied to editorial positions I only heard back from one Big Five publisher and that interview didn’t go anywhere past the first round.

I was at dinner with family and friends when one of my fathers friends jokingly mentioned that the marketing group his company had hired didn’t know how to write to save their lives and he casually mentioned they could use someone like me. That’s when I broadened my search and discovered the world of marketing. Another family friend mentioned the FleishmanHillard internship program after I expressed interest in marketing and that was how I got my start.

I swear by LinkedIn when searching for jobs. LinkedIn and Glassdoor are the two websites I recommend every job seeker utilize to their full advantage.

My current position was found through LinkedIn. My experiences with Fleishman and my LinkedIn page scored me the interview and I was hired the same day I went in to talk with the people at Imagery. I swear by LinkedIn when searching for jobs. LinkedIn and Glassdoor are the two websites I recommend every job seeker utilize to their full advantage. 

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

Being a freelance copyeditor. I work for Booktrope for freelance work and I think editing the work of others has made my own writing stronger. You can get stuck in a rut with your writing that sometimes it’s nice to step back and see what others are putting out into the world. You can see different writing styles while editing and decide you like something that someone else is trying, or see something you don’t like at all and figure out why you don’t like it. Editing the work of others really centers you on your own voice and preferences. 

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

Internships! Internships of any kind. I had a year of editing experience by the time I left college through two internship programs at my University. When I was applying at Fleishman I had no marketing experience, but the fact that I was an editor by trade really helped me stand out to them. Almost any skill is transferable if you know how to spin it. So my advice is to start looking for experiences you can bolster your resume with while you’re still in school. 

And join a book club. Join a writing guild. Join clubs and programs that compliment your skills. Don’t play down the fact that you’re an English major. You need to embrace your strengths.

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

If you’re going to claim you’re a writer on your resume or in a job, you need to have published work or a portfolio. When I first started applying to jobs I was telling people I was a writer because, well, I am. But I was writing short stories that weren’t a good fit for company applications. Thankfully the company I applied to had a writing test so I could prove my chops, but I lost several opportunities because I didn't have "real world friendly" writing pieces to highlight my skills. Start a blog or find a website that does think pieces and write for them. Write original pieces for your LinkedIn page. You just need to have something tangible that you can bring to the person hiring to show them that you can write. It seems like a no brainer but you would be surprised.

LinkedIn is my other piece of advice. Weaponize it. It’s Facebook for the corporate world. Go to Walgreens and get a decent headshot of yourself for your LinkedIn page for $3 and spend an afternoon really crafting something that shows your strengths as an English major and writer. People will look you up on LinkedIn when you’re interviewing and a strong profile can make or break you. Use it to connect to industries you want to work in. Find others with the job you want and message them to ask them how they got there. Join groups and use it to meet and talk with people in the industry you're trying to break into. Use it to find a job. LinkedIn is the best resource people aren’t using.

Chelsea Phipps: Community Management Lead

Chelsea Phipps: Community Management Lead

Sydney Turnquist: Social Media Coordinator

Sydney Turnquist: Social Media Coordinator

Mollie Turbeville: Content Editor & Freelance Book Editor

Mollie Turbeville: Content Editor & Freelance Book Editor

Posted on January 17, 2016 and filed under Copywriting, Social Media.

Larry Castro Nadorra: Copywriter


Name: Larry Castro Nadorra

Age: 23

College & Majors/Minors: AB English with focus on Linguistics, Literature and Language Teaching

Current Location: Manila, Philippines

Current Form of Employment: Copywriter at Cre8 IFC Inc.

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I work for a Singapore-based digital design agency which specializes in annual reports. As a copywriter, my task is to conceptualize the design of annual reports while providing taglines and text for the inside pages. I also do some ghost writing for CEOs and chairmen for their corporate statements whenever I’m assigned one. I’ve been doing this job for more than a year now and so far I have been able to meet the expectations of clients whose businesses are listed in the Singapore Stock Exchange. They range from technical/industrial, food processing, textile and etc.

Probably the best thing about my job is that I get to be creative in different levels depending on the client. Most of them tend to be conservative and would want to reflect that in their reports while others would want something different and would demand a more creative approach. While there isn’t exactly a wrong design, the challenge I’m faced with as a copywriter is trying to make ends meet, finding a way to incorporate your own creativity with what the client wants. It’s never easy but along the way this helps me understand the taste and style of clients and makes work less stressful eventually. 

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

I found my first job when I applied as a copywriter for a local KPO company in Makati, the central business district of the country. All my life I had lived in the comfort of a small city in an island south of the Philippines, where the beach and the mountains are just less than an hour away from where everybody was living. I didn’t tell my father of my plans of getting a job outside my hometown and when I finally dropped the bomb I was glad that he was supportive. However, I was only allowed to go for the interview if I had at least three other interviews in different companies. This proved to be a challenge because for someone fresh out of college, the better jobs most likely went to those who studied in the country’s top university, almost all of which are located in the capital, Manila. The competition was tough and all I had to bank on was my degree, my ambition and a lot of humility. 

When I finally went for the interview, I realized that in some way, I was fighting for a job against applicants with much relevant experience than I had. I was nervous, knowing that my resume alone will not land me the job. So when it was time for me to be interviewed, I made it a point never to sell myself cheap. In one way or another, I managed to explain to the interviewer that my background in the liberal arts allows me to think critically and creatively while keeping yourself composed and well-rounded in any environment. Those weren’t the exact words I used but it was something to that effect.

A few days later, I got the confirmation and found myself working with amazing people, analyzing news and economic trends that would affect the reputation of many multi-national companies. I did this for about a year and seven months before moving on to my current job.

When I decided to take the next step in my career path, I saw a job opening for a copywriter position in a new company to be based here in Manila. I thought this opportunity to be a pioneer employee was too good to pass out so I sent an application and got scheduled for an interview. I was pretty excited about this because I thought that this job would allow me to gain experience in a more creative field. The company was also willing to send their employees to work in the main office in Singapore for exposure so this definitely was a plus. Since my employer has yet to establish an office in the Philippines then, I was interviewed in their hotel room where I was made to conceptualize and materialize a sample cover art and tagline for one of their clients on top of the copywriting exam. My heart sunk to rock bottom when I had to do this for a few hours and fortunately I was able to accomplish it despite not having any background in graphic design. The confirmation came after two weeks and the rest is history.

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

Among the more recent and highly relevant writing assignments I had would probably be writing for corporate messages for clients. Most of the time, the heads of many companies don’t have the time to share their message to stakeholders and they rely on the services of creative design agencies to do the writing for them. In my first year of work, I wasn’t given this task because I was still learning on my own. (Mentorship is not that easy when there is no direct supervision.) It was only this year when I was assigned to write a draft and it was for one of the company’s long-time clients. The pressure was definitely intense because I really had to give it my best shot to keep the client satisfied. While this proved to be challenging at first, I guess it helped that I got used to doing a lot of client research and keeping myself updated on any new developments. When I submitted my first draft, I thought it was total mess but when I got it back for revision I was relieved to find only a few. From this experience I learned to trust in my abilities and to continue on developing style suited for such writing assignments.   

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

In my junior year of college, I volunteered to be the stage manager/apprentice director for our Dramatics and Stagecraft class. My professor, who is a practitioner in theatre arts, was in the process of making a theatrical deconstruction of Oedipus Rex based on the context of Muslim Mindanao culture. At first I was planning to audition for one of the roles in the play but then decided to take on a more challenging position as the stage manager. It was really crazy to say the least. For the entire semester I had to manage my time effectively in order to comply with requirements and obligations from different classes and organizations. But in the end it all paid off because we exceeded our professor’s expectations and paved the way for the refinement of the production which was to be performed during the seasonal tour of our school’s theatre group. This was one of the most valuable experiences I had in college since it allowed me to hone my people skills while testing my ability to maintain a balance in my academic and extra-curricular life. 

My experience as a practice teacher also helped me significantly in my career. Before, I was less enthusiastic about this because of the amount of work and effort you need to exert to help students learn. We even took the extra mile and climbed on top of a hill to reach a school as part of our extension activity to help the less fortunate. This went on for several months and it changed my perspective on what it means to be a teacher. Through this I learned how to be professional despite the least ideal of circumstances and to take a step further in giving the best of what you can offer.   

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

To my fellow English majors, I’d like to share this quote from Jenine Weyrauch. "You are not the product of your circumstances, but rather, you are the product of your choices." Don’t just settle for what is available. Take a gamble and pursue your passions. While the career path for us is not definite, this allows for more opportunities to choose from. In the end, the most important thing we can take with us is not only the theories we learned from the classroom, but also the values and the many pearls of wisdom we have inculcated while finishing our degree.

Visit Larry's blog, oohlalarry, and connect with him on LinkedIn.


Vincent Rendoni: Email Marketing Copywriter

Vincent Rendoni: Email Marketing Copywriter

Posted on June 10, 2014 and filed under Copywriting, Writing.

Nicki Krawczyk: Copywriter, Copy Coach & Founder of

Name: Nicki Krawczyk

Age: 34

College & Majors/Minors: Boston University, BS in Communication

Current Location: Boston, MA

Current Form of Employment: Copywriter, Copy Coach and Founder of

Where do you work and what is your current position?

This isn't as simple a question as you'd think. :) Right now, I'm working part-time for a company called SmarterTravel as their Copy Manager. I'm there to help out, but my main focus is on my company, Filthy Rich Writer. We provide tips, tools and training for new and aspiring copywriters and we're in a big growth phase. It's very exciting, if ever so slightly exhausting. I also take on freelance copywriting work if it seems interesting. (I just finished up a video series with an animation studio in Brazil.)

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

Well, my first real job out of school was running events at a health club. It took me a little while to find copywriting. The funny thing is, when I was in high school, my Dad was a marketing director and used to bring home extra work for me to do. I'd write it and he'd review it, offering me feedback and suggestions. After college, though, I stumbled through a few different jobs (I taught aqua aerobics—and I made those ladies work) before it occurred to me that I could actually write copy for a living. Once I figured out that that's what I wanted to do, I really hustled; I put myself out there, learned as much as I could, made a bunch of mistakes and wasted a lot of time. It worked out in the end, but it wasn't exactly the most direct route to success.

Since then, I've had the privilege of working for and with a bunch of really fun clients including TripAdvisor, Marshalls, Hasbro, Keurig, adidas and, yup, Harlequin Romance novels. I’ve worked for agencies, I’ve worked in-house and I’ve worked freelance. I love copywriting. It's fun, it's challenging, it lets you work with really dynamic people and you get to see your work in print or online all the time. And it doesn't hurt that it pays really well, either.

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

I actually think the answer for me has more to do with a task within a job. I was working to build up a team of writers to write copy and content for a flash sale travel site and my team consisted of two brand new junior copywriters and three writers whose experience was in editorial writing. To bring them up to speed, I put together a course to teach them everything I knew about copywriting, and my company spawned from that. The crazy thing is that it’s actually been really hard for people to learn copywriting—and what I mean is that there very few college classes in it, ad school is expensive and many of the online courses out there have been either get-rich-quick schemes or don't give people all the information they need.

So, basically, I started my company to teach people everything I wish I'd known when I started out and then everything I’ve learned since then. (The books I bought back then basically just told me to buy a fax machine. I'm not joking.) I love copywriting, and I discovered that I really love coaching people to be copywriters.

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

Not enough! I mean, I had a couple of public relations internships and those taught me that I didn't like public I guess that's something... Most of my preparation for post-grad life came post-grad. During college, I was always kind of itching to get out and really start my life. The thing is, though, that back then, internships were pretty much the only thing you could do to prepare. Now, there are a million and one things you can learn online and so many more opportunities to help you to hit the ground running when you graduate.

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

Get training in the field you want to get into, no matter what that field is. The big secret about changing careers (or starting careers) is that it's a three step process:

  1. Get training
  2. Get experience 
  3. Get work

The thing is, most people try to skip over step one, step two, or both of them—and that's usually exactly why they fail. A lot of people think the way to break into a new career is just to write/rewrite their resumes and apply. But no one's going to hire you and give you a shot just because you're a nice person. I mean, if two people are applying for a job and one has training and experience while the other doesn't, who do you think is going to get the job? The good news, though, is that it's easier than ever to get job training. There are so, so many quality courses online. And the really good courses, too, will give you training, plus give you the steps you need to take to build experience and success for changing careers.

Check out Nicki's copywriting portfolio at, and head on over to her business website,!

Posted on May 1, 2014 and filed under Marketing, Writing, Copywriting, Web Design.

Lisa Boosin: Senior Advertising Copywriter & Freelancer

Name: Lisa Boosin

Age: 42

College & Majors/Minors: CSU Fullerton for undergrad degrees in Philosophy and Communications; started (but quickly abandoned) an MA in Political Philosophy; MA in Communications with an emphasis on Advertising

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

Current Form of Employment: Full-time advertising copywriter, with a lot of freelance advertising work on the side.

Where do you work and what is your current position?

My main gig is Senior Copywriter for the Advertising and Brand department at UnitedHealthcare, the big health care company that’s a subsidiary of an even larger company. My department is basically the in-house advertising agency. I write/contribute creative concepts for a pretty broad spectrum of projects, including the traditional things you think of when you think of a copywriter, such as print ads, radio ads, billboards, web copy, and brochures. Many of these jobs entail concepting (a word that I expect will make many English majors cringe), or sitting around, sometimes by myself, or with other writers, art directors and graphic designers, to come up with overarching themes or concepts for campaigns. There’s a very social component to it but obviously, if I need to write a 16-page brochure, I work on this by myself, but I still have to juggle my coworkers’ demands. And since I’m the Senior Copywriter, that means I coach the other copywriters, work on (and enforce) our brand standards, and make presentations to our internal clients.

My job before this was at The Orange County Register. I was brought on to develop and edit a youth lifestyle publication as part of the paper’s Newspapers in Education program. Oddly enough, this publication “belonged” to the marketing department, not the newsroom. My only newspaper experience had been in high school, but I think my strong writing skills, combined with the fact that my boss liked my advertising background (I was working at a small advertising agency when I was offered the job at the Register) helped me seal the deal.

As the managing editor, I worked with a small staff to develop an editorial calendar; I did a lot of research on relevant trends and news; I wrote articles; I selected content from a wire service and then edited those articles; I assigned stories to interns; I worked very closely with a photographer, setting up photo shoots, giving input on art direction and then selecting photos; and since it was part of an educational program, I occasionally did outreach to high schools and a few youth groups.

In addition to being the managing editor of the publication, I also contributed to the Register’s in-house marketing and advertising department. Eventually, the publication was phased out, and I went to the advertising department full time.

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

I have always been lucky – well, maybe not really – in that jobs either fall into my lap or I get into a job and get opportunities to expand my role. For example, at my first real advertising job I was actually hired as a graphic designer! It was a job I could totally do, even though I had just gotten out of college with my communications degree and previous experience copywriting – it was just that I was at a point where I needed a job; I hadn’t had any luck finding copy work, and this place was willing to hire me to do design and production work. Of course, once I started, I kept reminding them, “Hey, I write copy! Hey, I write copy!” And eventually they let me.

The Orange County Register found me through a recruiting service. They saw my advertising work, which included brochures and long-form, and recognized that I could really write. Initially, I was brought on as a freelancer, so they could make sure I could really do the work. After a period of a couple months, I was made an offer to become a full-time employee.

My current job, I started off in a much different role: as a proofreader. I’d just been laid off from the Register, and I was FREAKING OUT, I’d never been laid off and I was like, “WHAT IF I NEVER GET ANOTHER JOB?” A few weeks later, I got a call from a recruiting service, asking me if I’d be willing to take a proofreading/copy editor assignment at a large health care company. To which I responded, “OH GOD YES, ANYTHING, I’LL TAKE IT.” And then, just like I did at that first advertising agency, I kept gently prodding my manager and reminding her that I wrote copy. She wrangled me a few assignments. The department had never had a copywriter before, so once people started hearing this service was available, copy jobs started rolling in, and it finally got to the point where I could just be the copywriter.

Regarding job and skills testing: There’s not anything like a standardized test to assess copywriting skills, so these days, most companies or agencies want to try out copywriters on a freelance basis, which can last anywhere from a month to years.

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

I’ve always done a little freelancing, but for the past seven years, it’s accounted for a bigger portion of my professional life. My regular clients include a couple of smaller, well-respected advertising agencies, and a few of my own clients.

Taking on the extra work forces me to be on my game, time-management wise. And freelancing is like running your own little business: you have to handle billing, project management, marketing, and new business development. As someone with a “textbook” liberal arts education, I didn’t pick up any of these skills in college, and frankly, they do not come easy to me. But they are all worth having.

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

I worked all throughout college – not “career” jobs, just retail and assorted office jobs to support myself. (My backstory is that I was orphaned by the time I was nine and my adoptive parents died when I was 20 – leaving me on my own, in a big way, and responsible for hauling my own weight.) Because of the work/school load, I didn’t have time for formal extracurriculars.

In my senior year, I did an unpaid internship at a web design company, mainly writing copy for their clients but also doing some photo editing and coding, and making coffee runs. The most valuable part of this experience was learning what I liked in a job and at a work environment: for example, I came to appreciate how much I value having variety in my days, and that I preferred not having to deal with a lot of different people (which made me realize I do better in smaller companies or departments). I also figured out that I could not work in an environment where I was expected to wear a jacket, pantyhose and heels every day (or ever, actually).

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

If your goal is to be a writer, GO FOR IT NOW AND GO AT IT AS HARD AS YOU CAN, WITH EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT. My not-so-secret secret is that I’ve always wanted a career in creative writing, but because I was on my own, with no outside support at such an early age, I made conservative decisions about my education and my life. I knew I needed to be able to support myself and that being a writer was a big crapshoot. So I never had opportunity to make creative writing priority #1. Pursue your goals with a vengeance before you have a real job and real responsibilities: you’ll have the rest of your life to having a boring, responsible, adult job.

Here’s something else I wish I could tell 20-year-old me: knowing and being able to talk to people is a huge component of success, in just about 99.995% of all endeavors. It doesn’t matter how talented you are or how much ambition you have; you have to be able to connect with people and “market” or advocate for yourself and your work. This is especially true in both publishing and advertising right now. This is hard for a lot of creative people – if it’s hard for you, start practicing now so by the time you need these skills, they come easier to you.

Find Lisa Boosin online: 

My advertising portfolio is at I’m really proud of my work. I’ve worked for some big-name clients, and I’ve also worked with non-profits and public sector clients on causes I believe in, which has been hugely gratifying.

Like I said, I do creative non-fiction on the side and I’m working on a memoir. I’ve done spoken word shows around LA and contributed to a number of different websites. Three of the best examples of my work are:

Posted on April 30, 2014 and filed under Communications, Design, Freelance, Journalism, Marketing, Writing.

Katie Moss: Marketing Copywriter & Coordinator


Name: Katie Moss

Age: 26

College & Majors/Minors: AA Communications, BA English/Minor French, MA English Lit.

Current Location: Boston, MA

Current Form of Employment: Full-time Marketing Copywriter/Coordinator, Part-time Freelance Writer

Where do you work and what is your current position? 

Recently, I secured a job as a marketing coordinator/copywriter for a retail IT consultancy firm. I am the first official member of the marketing team, so I have a broad range of duties, ranging from coordinating company events, to handling social media initiatives, to writing content for the company’s focus reports and organizing/contributing to our website.

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

My first “real” job after graduate school took six months to secure, but it was a great first job. I worked at a technology company that built websites for automotive dealers. My position was that of a copywriter in an SEO department. I had to take a writing test to secure this job, as well as go through three interviews. The entire process from application took about four months.

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

My freelance writing has been an important part of growing my career. I take writing gigs across a variety of different industries and create many different types of content. This looks great on my resume and shows that I am a go-getter!

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

I WISH I had gotten an internship. It’s one of my biggest regrets. I expected to obtain a job more easily after college than I did because I had always done so well in school. Turns out, it’s really difficult to get your first job. I did do part-time work during grad school as a professional notetaker, so it was nice to have some work experience.

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

Take an applicable internship, if possible. It’s a great way to show you have related work experience. Write. Write a lot. You’ll need a variety of samples for your applications. You should also market yourself online with a blog or portfolio. An online presence is super important in today’s job market.

Connect with Katie on LinkedIn! 

Posted on March 10, 2014 and filed under Writing, Social Media, Marketing, Freelance.

Vincent Rendoni: Email Marketing Copywriter


Name: Vincent Rendoni

Age: 28

College & Majors/Minors: Chatham University, MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) & Western Washington University, BA in English

Current Location: Seattle, WA.

Current Form of Employment: Advertising/Marketing

Current Occupation: Email Marketing Copywriter

Where do you work and what is your current position? 

I am currently an email marketing copywriter for the GreaterGood Network, a charity website. In the past, I was a copywriter for the mom-and-kid focused zulily when it was still a start-up.

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

I was waiting tables when I found the copywriter posting for zulily on I was a bit nervous about applying as I knew nothing about moms and kids. They must have saw something they liked. It wasn't long after I applied that they sent me a time-sensitive copy test for five different items. After submitting, they had me in for a long interview with the three leads. That's when my future boss gave me a test on the spot. It wasn't long after that they hired me.

My current job was found on Craigslist. The GreaterGood offered a more challenging position and more responsibility for causes (Animal Rescue, World Hunger, The Environment) I truly care about. Despite a lackluster first interview with HR, I had some wonderful conversations with my future boss and colleagues during the second one. To my surprise, I was hired later that day.

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

Funny thing: I never wanted to be a professional writer. I always sort of thought I should keep work and passions separate fearing it would all become work. Sometimes it feels like that. But copywriting keeps me sharp. There are worse things that constantly practicing your craft and getting paid for it.

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

In my undergrad, I actually didn't do much to prepare for post-grad life. Failed to network, content to pass instead of excel. To be honest, I was a bit of spoiled slacker. It didn't bode well for what happened afterward. It was 2006 and the recession was in full swing. When I couldn't find a job at Kinko's, that's when I got a TEFL Certificate and taught English abroad.

I don't want to go into too much of a tangent here, but teaching English abroad is something I highly recommend for English Majors— for anyone with a college degree, really. You get to experience a different culture, contribute to an emerging economy, and make money instead of blowing through savings. It's not always easy at times: Not every country is hiring and the schools that hire you don't always have your best interests in mind. Homesickness can be crushing. It's not an adventure you can easily pull out of. If you decide to do it, consider placement carefully. That being said, I wouldn't take back any of my experiences. I student-taught in Italy and later taught courses in South Korea, Turkey and eventually the United States. It was a good thing for a really long time, but definitely something I couldn't do forever. When I got into Chatham's MFA program, I decided it was time to head back home.

When I got into graduate school, I changed it up. I said yes to everything. Maybe too many things. (Readers, be mindful with internships. You don't work for free, you hear?) But I'm glad I did. Went to readings big and small, read for my school's literary magazines, interned at the county jail, worked with Chatham's international community. I just tried to absorb everything I could before it was time to hunker down and get to work on my thesis.

One instructor in particular prepared me well for copywriting. Novelist Sherrie Flick taught me a lot about sentence structure. I tend to be long-winded and say nothing in particular quite often. Her classes helped me get to the point of what I wanted to say. Turns out if you can write succinct, active sentences in fiction, you can do quite well in the copy world.

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

Don't let people tell your degree is useless. Our world is not as literate as you think. A moderately well-spoken person who reads is an asset in any business. Take advantage.

You won't use your degree for what you want. Not at first, anyway. Acknowledge that you will have to write about lingerie for pregnant women, breast-pumps, and tulle-laden tutus. You will just have to. But soon enough, you may get to write copy about helping dogs in Sochi, rescuing horses and how people can help feed the hungry.

Check out Vincent's resume, portfolio, and connect with him on LinkedIn

Posted on February 28, 2014 and filed under Marketing, Teaching, Writing.