Name: Becca Wallace
College & Majors/Minors: San Diego State University – Bachelor Degree in English
Current Location: San Diego, CA
Current Form of Employment: Full-time Content Manager
Where do you work and what is your current position?
I currently work as a Content Manager (or Content Queen as my coworkers like to call me) for an Internet Marketing Company. We have a few different names for our company depending on our client’s category of business; Dental Affiliate and San Diego Business Media are the two main ones. We create websites and manage marketing for dental offices, plastic surgeons, auto shops and a large variety of other businesses, but our primary focus is dental offices.
My job is to manage all of the content that goes onto our clients' websites, including blogs and content on all of the pages. This includes lots of copywriting and copyediting and some SEO! I know way more than I ever wanted to know about dental procedures now that I am constantly reading and editing about them. We usually send our content off to writers (I occasionally write it), and I am the one who edits and posts it on their websites. I also manage social media for our clients and our company. This will include posting links to their blogs and posting occasional fun things. One of my other duties includes writing for our corporate blog and whitepapers. This means I need to stay on top of what’s happening in the internet marketing world!
Tell us about how you found your first job, and how you found your current job (if different).
The first job I got after college was as a Marketing Assistant for a manufacturing company. I found that one on Craigslist after applying like crazy one month before graduation. I went in for two interviews, and even though I had a degree in English, I had the skills and attitude they were looking for so they hired me. I stayed at this job for about six months and went in search of a job more relating to reading and writing.
I also found my current job on Craigslist (apparently it’s the place to go!). I sent in some writing samples and came in for an interview and was hired!
What was another writing-related job that was important in your career?
The only writing experience I had outside of my current job and the endless amount of essays from my college career were these two groups I was involved with while I was in school. (See next question for more info).
What did you do in college to prepare for your post-grad life?
For my first three years of college, I really wasn’t doing anything to prepare for post-grad life other than working at my part-time job at the school’s dining hall. Although all I was doing was cooking and serving food, it really helped me break out of my shell and develop a more lively personality, which is something I think is important for people to have when they go to job interviews.
During college, I got involved with my school’s literary review (Aztec Literary Review). This is where students submitted poems and short stories for our semester PDF of student work. We had a team of about seven people who all worked together to spread the word to students asking for submissions, read the submissions, and create the PDF that contained the winners. I also helped manage our website and created the artwork for one of the semesters.
Another group I had in college was through my Publishing and Editing class. In this class, we formed groups based on our interests in books and made a website on WordPress where we would feature book reviews, interviews with authors and more. This was by far one of the most important parts of my college career because I learned how to use WordPress and Adobe InDesign which came in handy with both of my post college jobs.
On top of my work experience, I tried to read and write as much as possible, as well as learn anything that would help my resume stand out. I taught myself about HTML, CSS, and Photoshop. The more skills you have, the better your resume will look!
What is your advice for students and graduates with an English degree?
Don’t give up hope and don’t listen to people who tell you that you won’t find a job. My advice is to be open-minded about careers. Before I graduated, my heart was set on working in publishing, but that’s a whole lot harder to get into than you might think. Sit down and make a list of jobs you think you might enjoy, and apply to all of them. Your first job will most likely not be your dream job, so just think of it as a stepping stone and resume builder towards your career goals. If you can, get an internship or join the school newspaper while you’re in school! Any experience and extra skills you have will make your resume stand out more. There are two parts to getting a job: 1. Have a resume that stands out and 2. Impress your interviewers with your outfit, confidence, skills, and interpersonal skills. Finding a job can be extremely stressful, but if you are able to apply the skills you gained with your English degree, your career possibilities are endless.