B.A. in English, Minor in Marketing, 2020
M.B.A. (Masters in Business Administration),concentration in
Project Management, 2021
Favorite memories of being an undergraduate English major:
My favorite memories would be finding quiet places around campus to read, even when I should have been studying or doing other homework.
Office Manager and Writer
Coopwood Publishing Group (Publications include: Delta Magazine, Delta Business Journal, Delta Ag Journal, The Welcome Guide, and The Bolivar Bullet Newspaper)
When you graduated with a degree in English from MSU, what were your plans for your future? Has your career path mostly realized those early plans, or have you discovered new plans and goals along the way?
My plan was to get my MBA, and find a job in book publishing. I was hoping to find something in Nashville, but sometimes you must grow where you are planted. My hometown has one newspaper, and it is the only newspaper in the county. This is where I was needed.
What is your current occupation, and what does your work mostly consist of?
Currently, I do whatever is needed. We are a small business. Sometimes I stuff envelopes, I help people create ads, post all our payments, send mailing lists to our printers, answer emails and phone calls from customers, edit articles, write articles, mail out books, magazines, and newspapers, take photos for our publications, create event calendars for Delta Magazine, sell magazines, and anything else that comes up.
Which skills that you learned as an English major do you use most in your job?
The ability to write is extremely important in this job, but also my attention to detail has been a real asset. I notice things that others don't and that helps our team. The ability to edit others work without changing the composition of it is also important.
What additional skills did you need to learn in order to do your job, and how did you learn them?
I have had many jobs that prepared me for dealing with people on a day to day basis including; being a Resident Advisor at MSU and waitressing for many years. Everything else I have learned by trial and error. When I take on a new task, I know I might fail. Realizing that you might fail and being okay with that is extremely important.
Are there common misconceptions about your career field, which current English majors might share, that you have learned the truth about?
There are many misconceptions about writing. One is that it is easy. It might be easy for someone who has practice, but the first couple times I wrote articles it took me hours.
Publishing in general is exactly what you think it is. It is hard to get a job and when you do you have to start at the bottom. You often have to know people that know people to get into this business. I started by sending my resume to every publishing company in Mississippi and though I got a few replies to let me know there were no openings, half never even responded to my emails. I would suggest going in person to your local newspaper or your local publishing source and starting there. It’s not easy or everyone would do it.
In what ways does your career enrich your life and help you to achieve your personal as well as your professional goals?
My job builds my confidence and gives me space to grow. The people I work with are honest with me and push me to do things out of my comfort zone. Since starting here, I have grown as a person, gotten more involved in my community, and started writing and reading for fun again.
What advice do you have for undergraduate English majors right now who might want to follow the career path you did?
If you love it, do it. If you don't love it, do something you love. Being happy is what matters. Joy is what gets you up in the morning and makes you get to work.
English, Journalism, Business, Marketing, Political Science as well as other disciplines overlap in publishing. Having studied Marketing, I realize the depth of what people take away from what they read. Writers have power over people even if they don't want it. It is a lot of responsibility to make sure you do publish honest and interesting news and information.
There are more jobs than you think, but it is important to have life experience and do things outside your comfort zone to differentiate yourself. Getting an internship is a wonderful way to get in the door. I did not have an internship. Just remember, they don't hire your English Degree, they hire YOU, and you need to be confident in the fact that you are capable of doing the job, whatever that might be. No job ends at the job description. If you are capable of helping the team in other ways, do it.
[Updated September 2023]