This week I had the opportunity to participate in a virtual panel at Southern New Hampshire University. As a Creative Writing & English major alum of SNHU, I was honored to share with current Creative Writing students about my humbling beginnings as an undergrad, and how I’ve continued to build my career as a marketer.
I was enticed by the invitation to participate in this panel simply because of its title:
I Need Someone Who Can Write!
Career Insights for Students Who Want to Use Their Writing Skills
As someone whose educational background is primarily writing, I’ve been blessed to be given opportunities where I use my writing skills daily. After I received my Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, I started working immediately. My first day of work was actually a full week before my official graduation date!
It was bittersweet to reminisce about certain classes I took as an undergrad and to even learn the Creative Writing program has grown substantially since I graduated in 2015.
At the end of the discussion, students chimed in with their own questions. There was one particular question that shook me to the core. A student shared their concern about not being able to find a job after graduating. They had been told on a number of occasions that a degree in creative writing has very little value.
At that moment, I looked up from my laptop and stared at my high school and college degrees. My whole background is English and Creative Writing. I attended a private art school from sophomore to senior year of high school as a writing and publishing major. At the age of fifteen I was taught a curriculum equivalent to a Graduate School program for a variety of writing styles: prose fiction, verse and playwriting.
From there, I attended Southern New Hampshire University and was enrolled in their Creative Writing program. Since I was a child I knew I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t care so much about being the next Stephen King or Judy Blume but, I was committed to applying my skills in the professional world in some way. In the last seven years, I have contributed to a variety of industries and can tell you without a doubt, my background in creative writing has been very much appreciated. When I heard this student’s question, it took everything in me to not say…
Are you f***in’ kidding me?
I instead compiled my thoughts.
I shared that I am proof that a creative writing degree is very valuable, and that what this student had been told is 100% false!
I believe everyone has something vital to bring to the table. I work alongside a great group of people who come from different backgrounds such as Political Science and even Biochemistry. With our combined skill sets, we have found ways to clearly communicate and collaborate on all things related to marketing a new ad technology.
Where others may be lacking in understanding, I attempt to fill the gaps with my expertise, and vice versa.
Although that student spoke up, it breaks my heart thinking of the other students who may have been too scared to share a similar concern.
More than anything I want those students to enjoy the educational journey and see how truly significant they are.
I am so grateful to have participated at this virtual panel and even more so to be a SNHU graduate. I had such inspiring professors who pushed me to be the writer and professional I am today.
And as they say… the pen is mightier than the sword!
Fun Fact … Southern New Hampshire University’s mascot is Petey The Penman so, I believe that speaks for itself!